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The 7 most common mistakes business owners make

Running your own business is tough. Too often business owners get stuck in their day-to-day tasks and they don't take the time to think about the big picture.

Dr Mike Ashby, CEO of The Breakthrough Company, has helped hundreds of business owners grow their business and improve their lifestyle - good businesses in tough sectors, average businesses and well-established businesses at the very peak of their sector.

"Despite the diversity, we always find each business owner is making one or more mistakes in common with all the other business owners" says Ashby.

Ashby has put together a list of the most common mistakes business owners make. "If you see yourself here, you're in good company. And if you see yourself in several of the mistakes, that's even better news. That doesn't mean you're a failure, it means you've got opportunities for easy improvement."

Here is a brief summary of those most common mistakes:

  1. Thinking Small. If you define yourself as a small business, you'll stay one. Instead, be today what you will become tomorrow.
  2. Under Marketing. Before you even think about how you will market, you must answer three vital questions:

    • "What business am I in?" To make a choice is sometimes painful because we worry about what we're letting go of.
    • "Where do I find A class customers?"
    • "Why should customers buy from me, rather than our competitors?" This is the one that relies on our confidence in ourselves and our businesses. Do we genuinely believe in the value of our product or service?
  3. Settling for Less. Leaders see greatness where others see ordinary. They see greatness in their staff, their customers, their business and, most importantly, themselves. Seeing greatness is the very opposite of thinking small. Great leaders see greatness in their business, both in where it's at and what it could be. Great leaders make that gap their first order of business every day, because they know they can't deliver without a team of people who share that vision and energy. They are ferocious in their defence of the brand, but at the same time they are always willing to find ways to improve it.
  4. Working too hard. In recent times, working long hours has become an ill-conceived badge of honour. Business owners too often work on all things instead of the right things and try to grow by simply working harder.
  5. Adding Complexity. "There are many good opportunities, but only one great one." – Steve Jobs (Apple). A classic symptom of the business owner is to try and execute too many strategies and goals all at once. Instead, find the great opportunity and then pursue it with full resource and focus.
  6. Too much time IN, not enough time ON. We've all heard this phrase. The hard part is actually defining what time ON is and how we go about making it happen. Working ON is when the focus changes to HOW we do business, rather than WHAT we are doing.
  7. Knowing and NOT Doing. Rarely do mistakes 1 – 6 come as a surprise to business owners. They are all things they know and yet often don't do anything about. The endless battle with the status quo: repetition without progress. The solution is not pixie dust or a golden bullet, but a shift in thinking and then a sustained focused effort.
Download the e-book " 7 Mistakes Business Owners Make" for additional insight into the 7 Mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / Freedigitalphotos.net