Entrepreneurs regularly fall into the same traps when trying to take their business to the next level. Which mistake are you making?
Glen Carlson is co-founder of Dent Global, which focusses on helping entrepreneurs stand out and scale up, says, “We have seen fledgling start ups grow through into successful businesses and achieve their goals. We have also seen a lot of business fail. Success is not a linear process; it’s a staged event.
“Firstly, entrepreneurs quite often forgot that they need the small wins before they can take a leap with a bigger client, a bigger budget or a new product. Secondly, they forget the most powerful productivity hack in business, developed in the Industrial Revolution – building a high-performance team. This second factor is about organising teams – division of labour, and measuring team efficiency. businesses really take off after the first three people join their team. People who we meet who say they have a great business, almost always credit their core team as part of that. And yet many businesses still hesitate to build a team that can help them power forward.”
Having interviewed and surveyed thousands of business owners, Glen Carlson shares 6 common mistakes that business owners make which prevent growth
1. Not achieving regular small wins
Success follows a predictable pattern: lots of regular little wins followed by a quantum leap. In their haste to achieve success, the entrepreneur tries to force their way into a level of business they aren’t ready for. Rather than creating some profitable quarters, winning some small contracts and completing some manageable deals, the entrepreneur goes after ‘that one big deal’. The result?
2. Missing the quantum leaps
Conversely, as success is a staged event, it requires you to achieve your regular little wins and take advantage of the quantum leaps when they come along. A quantum leap in business feels risky and often requires the entrepreneur to significantly change the way they do things. However, the very reason you get the regular little wins is so you’re offered the chance to take your business to the next level.
3. Waiting for business wins before hiring staff
Hiring new staff doesn’t come after you get more money in the bank, win a big client or after you get new business leads, it comes before. Hire people who can help you win more business, service more clients and grow revenue.
4. Waiting for ‘perfect’ employees
Perfect people are not ‘found’ – they are the result of ongoing development. Training new recruits in a simple fashion will garner results and can be done in just three months. Note that employee development is a must – if you don’t invest in people, you will either lose them or their performance will drop.
5. Not knowing how to compete with the big companies
The best people already have a job or they’re bright young people looking for an area to express themselves in. Therefore you’ll either find people who are working somewhere else, people who have just arrived into the country or people who are currently studying. To compete with big corporations, emphasise the benefits of flexibility, mentorship and creative freedom over big pay, stability and a big brand to go on their CV.
6. Thinking your business is better off as a one-man show
One of the first lessons in a management course is ‘division of labour’. A person who has to worry about sales, operations, accounting, networking, logistics and strategy won’t be very productive at any of these things. As soon as you have a few people working together and each person is focused on their job, a business takes on a life of its own – and frees up more time for you to build a better business.