Business Mistakes

Business Mistakes


I used to own a small business. It failed. Here are the four main mistakes I made that contributed to its failure:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  1. 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!
  1. 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

Subscribe to Fran’s Wisdom Way Blog