You’re a Type A business owner with grand visions of where you want to take your company. Because of this, you’re always looking for ways you can improve your business, or things you’re doing that might unintentionally be holding you back. In my years of experience working with talented entrepreneurs, I’ve noticed four big mistakes owners make that impede their growth and stop them from building the business of their dreams.
You’re not prioritizing your people and your culture
A business is not what you do, what you own, or what you sell. A business is a culture.
By culture, I mean the set of beliefs that bind your team around a common goal. At Titanium, we believe in improvement, making big, hairy, audacious goals, and in being blunt. This isn’t just how we do business; it’s how we live our lives. Your team is going to take your business home with them every night, so make sure they’re taking home the right things.
On top of your values, your culture is how you treat your people. Too often, I see business owners hiring only contractors, not paying people a living wave, and generally not providing stability for their employees. All of this shows that their team is not a priority to them.
If you don’t make your team a priority, they won’t make your business a priority.
A business built on a negative, uncaring, and weak culture is not a business built to succeed.
You’re not asking for feedback
“How did we do?”
This is a million dollar phrase, and one that’s often underutilized by small business owners. Customer feedback provides an immeasurable amount of value whether it’s positive or negative. If they love what you do, asking for their input shows that you care about their opinion and makes them that much more likely to work with you again. If there are areas where you need to improve, it’s better to know this than to live in the dark and lose out on future opportunities.
If you’re avoiding asking for feedback because you know it won’t be great – find a new approach or find a new job.
You’re not seeking growth
Asking for feedback can help you know where there’s room for growth, but the next step is actively seeking that growth.
Great businesses experiment continually. They try new ways to get new business, measure results, abandon the bad and improve the good. If you’re not pushing yourself to find new – and better – ways of doing what you do, you’re resigning yourself to stagnation, or worse, shrinking. And a business shrinking is a business dying.
You’re not recognizing signs of success
Numbers never lie, and that’s why the best leaders know their numbers. Your accounts hold all the information for exactly how your business is performing; the areas that are helping your progress and the areas that are holding you back. Even when you have an accountant like Titanium doing most of the financial heavy lifting, it’s important that you’re still aware of where you stand and what it will take to get to your goals.
On top of this, I often see business owners begrudging or downright resenting clear signs of success in their business. I once had a client with a commercial property sitting vacant for four years. He had a series of losses which resulted in tax refunds each year due to the high mortgage interest payments. When the property was finally rented, his cash flow increased by $14,000, but my client was too busy bemoaning the extra tax he had to pay.
Paying taxes is a good thing. It shows your business is making money and your efforts are being financially recognized. Great businesses are compliant, and compliant businesses are built to last. Looking over your shoulder for the tax man is no way to grow your business.
To learn how Titanium can be the Goose to your Maverick on your entrepreneurial journey, check out our How We Work page.