Daily Leadership Thought #170 – Fifteen Common Business Mistakes

There is a great benefit to working with a wide variety of clients for a number of years.   You start to recognize patterns; seeing what works and what gets organizations in trouble.  I have compiled the following list of common business mistakes (many of which I have made myself):

  1. Hoping for different results using the same strategy and/or tactic that isn’t working
  2. Ignoring your business and/or marketing plan once it is completed; even worse, not having a plan to begin with
  3. Not developing and managing to key performance indicators (KPIs) and failing to make sure that everyone in the organization is on the same page as to what success looks like
  4. Not planning and managing to multiple financial scenarios (and knowing which way you are trending): best case, expected case and worst case scenarios
  5. Not realizing that there are no real expense reduction strategies that will properly address a sales issue; you can’t just cut your way out of a business development problem
  6. Not fully respecting the fact that “CASH IS KING” and that it will often erode more quickly than you can replace it; cash reserves are a requirement not a luxury if you want to be able to weather any storm or embrace any major opportunity
  7. Treating your profit center(s) like a cost center; spending money faster than you earn it (both personally and professionally)
  8. Failing to understand that debt properly managed creates leverage and that debt improperly managed creates a burden that only compounds as time goes on
  9. Viewing business development as an expense rather than investment; reaching new customers and/or markets requires $$$
  10. Hiring and/or keeping substandard talent that play a key role in the business; forgetting that “you are your people”
  11. Failing to become knowledgeable about the competition (including your competitive advantage) and staying that way; market ignorance is never bliss
  12. Failing to measure and understand the importance and interrelationship of both employee and customer satisfaction; happy employees and customers aren’t mutually exclusive, in fact, the opposite is usually true
  13. That the leaders(s) of the organization don’t see it as part of their responsibility to get smarter and better at their job every day; thinking and learning is more important than just doing as you grow the business and take on more responsibility
  14. Explaining away poor results rather than taking them seriously and/or responding aggressively enough;  the performance improvement curve only ever gets steeper over time
  15. Not appreciating that fact that the answer isn’t always to work harder and longer; a long-term lack of work-life balance will ultimately affect everyone in our lives negatively and will tend to lead us to less than optimal decision making
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