Are you killing your business?

As a business starts to grow, it’s crucial that your actions don’t strangle it in its infancy.  Over the next seven weeks I will be sharing the seven most common mistakes that people make that kill their business.

MISTAKE 1 – Doing Too Much Yourself
Many business owners fall into this trap of trying to do it all by themselves. As they attempt to keep their costs to a minimum they avoid hiring or outsourcing. It seems like a sensible strategy to begin with but ultimately it can mean you get bogged down in day-to-day issues and fire-fighting. There’s  less and less time to step back, plan for the future and anticipate problems – which then hit as the cycle goes round again.  If you find yourself in the classic “firefight to calm to firefight” cycle – then the chances are you are doing too much yourself.

On top of this, guilt about the lack of time spent with the family can compound the issue and in extreme cases can lead to exhaustion and collapse. It sounds dramatic – but unfortunately I have seen it happen.

Many business owners kid themselves that everything is OK and only start to hire staff or outsource when the cracks are beginning to show. By then it can already be too late. You need to think ahead and get help in before you’re too exhausted to function.

So start by being aware that you are on the continuum of “firefight to calm”. When you are next on the firefight side build a strong visualization of what the “calm” version would be like.
The next step is to build a detailed plan of what’s required to deliver that – identify specific actions, and break them down into small pieces. Take action. Monitor the progress and look out for signs of trouble

About Hilary Briggs

A management consultant with over 15 years of industrial experience having held senior management positions at Rover Group, Whirlpool Corporation and The Laird Group plc. For the last 10 years, she’s worked with SME’s to improve their performance. Hilary is Managing Director of productivity specialists R2P Ltd.