Watch Out for These 13 Deadly Mistakes in Your Business

Every business, including mine, at one time or the other is guilty of making some cardinal mistakes. These mistakes inhibit growth, kill sales and are generally counter intuitive.

Here is a checklist:

Mistake 1: Failing to create real value.

Create real value based on what your clients define as real value. Create value for employees, suppliers, and government agencies. Have you critically looked at the failing of General Motors? I think they created value by their own definition instead of their client’s meaning. 

Mistake 2: Failing to have a unique selling proposition.

To be successful, you must be different, special, distinctive or advantageous in the eyes of your clients. It’s not a luxury, but a basic necessity in your business. 

You have to be seen by your clients as the only viable solution for the problems you are solving.

Mistake 3: Failing to be an idea generator

The more ideas you produce the higher your chances of growth. Great money-making ideas are usually simple. Continually look for ideas of faster delivery, simpler ordering procedures, and an easier reward system for your employees. 

Remember the difference between a gold medalist and a silver or bronze winner is normally in microseconds. However the rewards of the winner are monstrous. It is the small differences that will give you huge returns in your business.

Mistake 4: Failing to engineer success in every action you take.

Most people are reactive rather than proactive. Every action, move or decision you make must be to maximize your return on investment.

Plan 10 years ahead and take little actions daily to give you progress. Be logical, strategic and visionary.

Mistake 5: Failing to have personal discipline.

The success of every person largely depends on the discipline of the owners or leaders.

Nothing much worth talking about can be achieved without discipline. It is not easy to measure discipline however normally the numbers will tell. When an athlete wins a major competition or a business remains successful year in, year out, it is most probably as a result of discipline.

Mistake 6: Having one income source.

Depending on one income source is dangerous. You must continually work to reduce your income dependence on one client, industry (say mining or oil and gas), technology (such as visitor management system), geographical market, age group, or product.

Mistake 7: Failing to continually identify hidden opportunities.

Opportunities are everywhere in your business. The gold mine, the key to the safe is right under your feet. You must be committed to continually examine your business to maximize your income.

Every business has under-utilized assets, under performing procedures, untapped resources and even undervalued relationships.

If you examine carefully you might be shocked to find that one of your clients is a wife of a CEO of a major corporation. And this is the very corporation you’ve been looking forward to being on their supplier list. Do you see how relationships can spur your growth?

Mistake 8: Failing the test or ignoring it altogether.

You will be shocked how many businesses assume and take their markets for granted. They never test and so make costly missteps.

Testing your major business growth factors is critical. How do you know that the price you are charging now is the best for your market? Have you tested a higher or lower price?

Mistake 9: Mindset mistake. 

This is lack of persistence, positive mental attitude, poor ethics, poor vision, worry and not having gratitude.

Some people think they can hide their thinking, however you cannot. What you are on the inside will show clearly on the outside. In other words your outer environment is a direct reflection of your inner world.

Mistake 10: Failing to make small successes.

It is critical to psychologically make short-term wins. These successes validate your actions and direction. You must be committed to seeing that you mine windfall gains every month. Otherwise you will lose torque.

Making $5 profit when selling IT support services is better than nothing. A small success boosts your confidence.

Mistake 11: Failing to present an irresistible offer. 

Whenever two people are about to engage in a commercial transaction, there is always the ‘what if factor’ in their minds. Your duty is to remove any risk from your client’s mind. Offer a lifetime, one year, 90 days or 30 days guarantee as may be appropriate. 

Give a test drive, warranty or some form of assurance that if anything goes wrong you will stand by your product. Remember the fear of loss is much bigger that the desire for gain in human beings.

Mistake 12: Failing to make growth a natural part of the business.

It is not just enough to say you desire growth. Have you put a referral system in your business? Are you marketing persistently? Are you putting up new products into the market continually? Are you relentlessly refining your processes, procedures and planning methods?

Mistake 13: Being a lone ranger.

Interact with like-minded successful people in your industry or outside your industry. Form strategic alliances, mastermind groups, brainstorming sessions and share perspectives.

To be a lone ranger is to simply make your life hard and poor.

Are you guilty of any of these 13 mistakes?

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