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Top 7 Tips to Avoid the Top 7 Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

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Small business owners numbered over 5.5 million in 2001 and generated over one billion in annual payroll. Sam Walton was quoted as saying “There’s a lot more business out there in small town America than I ever dreamed of.” and looks like Sam was right.

During the last five years as THE small business coach in the Chicago area, I have discovered 7 mistakes that small business owners consistently make. These small business help tips should guide you as the small business owner, entrepreneur or executive around these pitfalls as you work to dramatically improve your business results.

  1. Work on your business not in your business
  2. Mistake: Most new business owners and many experienced business owners are so busy working in their business, they fail to work on their business and demonstrate the leadership that the business demands. In the book, It’s Not the Big that Eat the Small, But It’s the Fast that Eat the Slow, the authors revealed that executives spent less than 15 minutes each day thinking about the future of their business because they were so busy dealing with yesterday and today’s events.

  3. Assess your business both externally and internally
  4. Mistake: Don’t presume that you know what is going on in your business. Take the time honestly and objectively to assess your business both externally and internally. Using an organizational assessment or survey based upon proven criteria such as Baldrige may help you to focus on the directionally correct actions.

  5. Develop a strategic plan
  6. Mistake: If you don’t have a plan, you are on someone else’s plan. A strategic plan indicates who does what by when. Remember, hope is not a strategy.

  7. Work your plan
  8. Mistake: Pay for a plan and leave it on a shelf or in a desk drawer. A plan’s purpose is action. Without action, the plan is useless and the dollars invested in creating the plan are wasted.

  9. Invest in your people
  10. Mistake: Spending dollars on things such as technology and not people. People make the business. They create the loyal customers or disloyal ones. Employees don’t come to work thinking how they can mess up the company. Invest in people development and watch your investment quickly multiply.

  11. Pay yourself first
  12. Mistake: Wearing all the hats and not paying yourself what you are worth. Entrepreneurs wear many hats when they establish their business. As time progresses, they continue to wear these hats because money is tight and they believe that they can do things better. The end of the year approaches and the company made a profit. By paying yourself first, you will focus on what you do really well and delegate those other activities to others at a far lower rate.

  13. Keep balance between your personal and professional lives
  14. Mistake: You are too busy to take the time with your family or friends. By attending to your work life balance as well as your personal and professional development, you will see incredible results happen within your business.

These 7 tips will help you catapult your small business in warp time. Of course, if you like where you are now, then ignore these tips. However, can you be sure your competition will also ignore these tips? And what would happen, if they just implemented one tip less alone all 7?

P.S. In future articles,as the small business coach, I will provide some additional coaching advice by expanding each tip so that you and your business can reach incredible heights.

Leanne Hoagland-Smith - EzineArticles Expert Author

Leanne helps individuals, small businesses and large organizations to double performance in real time. Click here to learn the Secret of Success and sign up for a free monthly newsletter. If you truly don’t believe doubling your results is possible, read some case studies where individuals and businesses took the risk and experienced unheard of results.

One quick question, if you could secure one new client or breakthrough that one roadbloack, what would that mean to you? Then, take a risk and give a call at 219.759.5601 to experience incredible results.


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  • Posted On October 27, 2006
  • Published articles 283513

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