The life of an entrepreneur is filled with challenges. Increasing sales and attracting more customers to go through the door can be a daily struggle. Some new laws may make doing business challenging. But sometimes, the biggest challenge to overcome is yourself, particularly, how you run your business.
Let’s take a look at the things that entrepreneurs should stop doing to increase their chances for success:
1. (Too) Frequent Meetings
Meetings waste more time than you think. It’s never just an “hour-long” meeting, it’s an hour multiplied by the number of participants that you have! If you met 20 people, who each took an hour, think of it as 20 hours that could’ve been spent being productive.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should completely disregard team meetings. Instead, be smart about it and use it sparingly. Most of the time, what you needed to convey in a one-hour meeting can be conveyed in an e-mail to the team.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood, and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” So teach your staff to see the big picture of your business and give them enough trust that they can do their job well, thereby enabling everyone to sail with the boat you all made.
3. Working Hard
Don’t work hard. Instead, work smart! You can chase every customer and sell them your wares or you can target only those customers who are more likely to buy, then, focus your attention on them. You can open your shop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which is working hard. However, you can form a strategy for marketing and operations based on customer behavior, which is an example of working smart.
4. Repetitive Tasks
Automate it! Invest in tools that can make tasks easy for you and your team. These tools may include a new software or a new tool. Identify tasks that can be automated and invest in tools that can do a work efficiently. Assigning a repetitive task to an employee can be an option, but that’s a way to exhaust an employee and you don’t want that.
5. Fearing Risks
If you fear risks, then boy, you are in the wrong career. It’s your job to manage risks. Scared that you might lose a major client? Don’t rely on one client and make the effort to expand your client base. Not sure about the legalities of your next move? Consult a lawyer! Getting insurance for your assets is also a way to manage risks. You can get fire insurance for your warehouse or car insurance for your fleet of cars, if your business relies on these assets. Can you imagine the effect on your business if the van that you use to deliver goods is damaged?
6. Setting Impossible Targets
Just because you’re the one who gives out a paycheck doesn’t automatically make you endearing to your employees. There will be times when employees will need to prioritize their families over work, and issuing an across-the-board memo about tardiness or about taking time off work can be tempting. If you’re pitting your employees to choose their jobs over their families, guess who your employees will pick? Don’t set your employees up for failure by setting up impossible attendance policies, and realize that your employees can’t be 100% committed to their jobs.
Focus on your business goals and make sure that your employees understand what these are, so you don’t have to manage them every step of the way. If you focus on your larger business goals and be more flexible when dealing with your employees, you’ll be well on your way to being a tycoon!