Are You Sabotaging Your Own Business?
Without realising it many business owners are sabotaging their business. Through no fault of their own, many business owners are unknowingly creating problems, building inefficiencies or simply not doing what needs to be done when running a business.
Owning and running a business is complicated and the road to success contains many twists, traps and pitfalls as you go through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows to achieve your goals. In Marilyn Burton’s experience there are many ways in which we can inadvertently sabotage our own hard work.
Most go into business because they are fantastic at something and they want to see if they can take their technical skill and turn it into a way in which they can earn a living and build a business and lifestyle. We don’t usually go into business to do all of the other things that are involved with running a business, the stocktaking, paperwork, form filling, accounting, HR management, marketing, business development, process mapping, workflow development, IT, telephony, rent negotiating, office fit out and so on and so on.
And that is the first mistake people make, they think that their technical excellence is enough and that they can do it all. You can’t. There is a reason that we surround ourselves with experts, because they are better at the parts of our business than we are and if we try to do those parts ourselves it is a waste of time and money. By wasting our time and money we are sabotaging our business.
The second way you can sabotage yourself is by running away from the things you are not good at. And from experience, people run away from numbers faster than any other part of their business. The first question to be asked is do they know their numbers? What does it cost them to “open their doors“ every day? What does their hourly rate work out at?
So many business owners don’t have the answers to these questions and without this knowledge they are starting out on the back foot. Your costs versus your sales versus your profit are hit and miss and the only time you find out how you’ve done is at the end of the year when your accountant announces a profit or a loss. You need to have basic knowledge of numbers to enable you to manage your business successfully and not subject yourself to the surprise at the years end. Maybe you are unknowingly sabotaging your business.
Not having a clear plan allied to goals is another way in which you can be harming your business without realising it. If you don’t have a plan that’s written up and broken down into doable steps that is visible for both yourself and your employees, how do you know which direction you’re heading in? Without a plan you cannot set targets. How can you keep your team members engaged and on target if they have no direction? When you have your plan it’s not set in stone if somethings not working. Analyse what needs to be improved and change it. As Jim Rohn said, “If you don’t like how things are change it. You’re not a tree.”
Being too general and lacking focus in your activities is another way you can hurt your business. Have you defined your position in the market place? Branding and positioning statements announce to the world that you are and what problem you solve for your clients. It’s what will attract them to you initially. It is what will differentiate you from your competitors and make you the business of choice.
And finally, by not having the right systems and processes in place you will directly sabotage your business performance. Do you shy away from systems and processes? Are they in the too hard basket? Too many people complicate systems and processes but with a little bit of knowledge they are really simple to put in place and the best thing is they will allow you to automate and delegate, so you are no longer tired and stressed.
As a business owner, you have to do a million and one things. Far more than you ever have to do if you are an employee and that sometimes leads us to sabotaging our business and performance by trying to do it all or running away from the parts we do not like. If this is you then consider working with an expert like a business coach who can help you to prioritise key parts of your business, build an effective plan to move forward and to connect you with people, systems and processes to ensure that unknown sabotage is not harming you or your business.