Approyo CEO recently shared his perspective in a blog post for the Small Business Experts Forum.
As a young and a brash first time CEO, I made some basic mistakes. I took those missteps as hard-won lessons and didn’t repeat them. It’s easy to think that smarts, drive and dedication will lead to success. But there’s much more involved in starting a business.
Avoid stupid mistakes that even smart entrepreneurs make and get it right the first time:
It Takes a Village You can’t do everything yourself. You’ll never get everything done. You’ll get frustrated and then start blaming others for your lack of ability to get things accomplished. If you can’t delegate and trust those you have hired, you’ll never succeed as a company. The key is to spend time with your staff and groom them to be critical, empowered employees. You must trust them and their abilities.
Trust Your Staff Let’s be honest, no one is going to be as dedicated or care as much about your company as you do. Also, not everyone is an entrepreneur like yourself. You will be the most dedicated person at your company. Period. Just because you send an important email at 2am, you can’t expect an employee to answer it immediately. Set your expectations with the understanding that you’ve hired good people, trained them well, and that they do care about right.
Expect the Unexpected Most entrepreneurs fly by the seat of their pants. They don’t think about a client leaving, an unexpected expenditure, people quitting, or potential legal issues. No matter what type of an entrepreneur you are, you must have a plan in place that will allow you, the business, and the staff to continue forward if something were to happen. Most entrepreneurs are thinking about the best case scenario. Force yourself to think about the worst case as well. Being prepared and mitigating risk will drive your success.
Understand Revenue Entrepreneurs need to understand and focus on the revenue coming in the door. A highly-recommended and good book called Finance Essentials for Entrepreneurs, by Naeem Zafar focuses on this aspect of doing business. The book clearly outlines how to protect your sales revenue and the cost of selling your product. Even if you have funding, you must have a model that generates a consistent stream of revenue. It doesn’t matter how you do it — even if you’re initially offering your services at a lower price point to get revenue.
It’s All About Relationships Many companies and entrepreneurs think that just because they have a customer, the sales job stops. The customer is the lifeblood of your company and you must treat them that way. Interact with them on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. No matter what, you need to understand your customer’s problems and pains points.And you must react to their issues quickly. Keep in touch with customers or clients. Write them notes. Remember their birthday’s and anniversary’s and check in with them often.
The bottom line is that you’re going to screw up. You’re never going to be perfect. And that’s okay. But if you follow an entrepreneurial path with a willingness to learn and grow along the way the journey will be rewarding.
This post originally appeared in the Small Business Expert Forum: http://www.smallbusinessexpertforum.com/entrepreneurship/5-stupid-mistakes-smart-entrepreneurs-make/ About the Small Business Expert Forum The Small Business Expert Forum is the largest, most comprehensive and most credible grouping of entrepreneurship and small business experts and small business influencers from all over the world, across all major industries. Their audiences cover solopreneurs, small businesses and mid-sized businesses. Founded by internationally noted small business expert, Carol Roth, in conjunction with small business and online marketing expert, Angel Djambazov, the Small Business Expert Forum was created to bridge the gap between small business experts and influencers and those businesses and brands looking to engage with, hire and learn from such experts.
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