05 Sep Business Mistakes
I used to own a small business. It failed. Here are the four main mistakes I made that contributed to its failure:
- My business launch was under capitalized from day one. I had no reserves to start with. I didn’t establish the habit of setting aside reserves. I lost market share over time because we couldn’t stay visible enough. When the event of September 11, 2011 happened we didn’t have the reserves to survive the financial set back.
- Poor job of screening and hiring. I wasn’t clear on the qualifications, skills, or role responsibilities needed for the jobs we needed to fill, so I didn’t hire the right people for the job. I didn’t have job descriptions for my employees, so they weren’t clear on their expectations.
- I kept people too long when it was clear they did not fit or weren’t performing up to par. I was afraid of the burden on the rest of the staff to be short-handed. Sometimes this cost a loss of morale, because I was tolerating poor performance from one of their peers too long!
- I didn’t utilize outside resources, partly because we didn’t have the money to pay for professional services, but also because I let my business partner insist that “we can do it ourselves.”
Perspective about Business Mistakes
My business failed, but I didn’t! I succeeded in gaining a master’s degree equivalent of personal and professional learning. My next venture…well I made mistakes, but they weren’t the same ones!
I hope you can learn from my mistakes. But, it’s also important to ask yourself this question as an ongoing inquiry: How well am I learning from my own mistakes?
“Notice the difference between what happens when a man says to himself, ‘I have failed three times’ and what happens when he says ‘I am a failure.’ ”
—S. I. Hayakawa