As the economic crisis takes its toll on more and more Americans, an increasing number of us are starting to run our own businesses. The change from employee to employer can be strange and challenging, with the majority of first-time businesses failing within their first year. Even if you have what you think is a surefire idea, success doesn’t just land in your lap. It takes effort. Ask any self-made millionaire and usually their answer to the question of their secret to success is invariably hard work. It takes time to adjust from being an employee to business owner so helpful advice is invaluable. I’ve compiled a list for those wanting to be their own boss of 8 Supremely Catastrophic Ways to Run Your Business. I hope you find it helpful!
1. Going without Enough Sleep
A good night’s sleep is the most important tool for any worker, but even more so if you are the business owner. Starting to run a business for the first time can be stressful and tiring, which is why many new owners find themselves working through the night to catch up or organize work. Eventually it leads to them becoming irritable and making poor decisions because they are over worked and often under paid for the effort. Take a break; if you need help, hire an assistant.
2. Acting like You Are an Employee
The attitude of many employees is that they’ll try to get as much as they can out of the company without paying for it. Whether that’s spending the company money at an unaffordable rate or slacking on certain boring tasks, you can’t afford to do it when you are the owner. It may have been acceptable when you were employed by a huge company, but not when you run a business yourself.
3. Not Pressuring Customers into Paying
It can be awkward and uncomfortable to hassle customers to pay you for a job, but all business owners have to do it. As soon as you appear to not care about late payments or the odd bill missed here or there, more customers will start to take advantage of your good nature. You shouldn’t be rude to customers, but you aren’t there to be their friend.
4. Taking a Job 100 Miles Away
Very rarely will it pay off to take a job that is far away from your base location. Unless the customer is willing to pay for your travelling expenses and any missed work due to travelling, your profit margin will be eaten up. It’s a bad idea to run a business in a large geographical area before you are ready.
5. Listening to Sob Stories
Customers will try anything to get a cheaper price or to delay making their payment. Although it may seem harsh, you need to ignore sob stories and treat them as paying customers; I’ll reiterate, they are not your friends.
6. Upgrading Nonsense Items
No, you do not need a new desk. No, there is no need for two water coolers in the office. No, the plasma television in the entrance hall does not need to be any bigger. Spending money on items that are unnecessary is a huge problem for new business owners with a couple of bucks in their pocket. Save the money that you might spend on such items and reinvest it back into the company in a meaningful sense.
7. Sharing Unnecessary Information
You are the boss, not the office gossip. If you are told something by another employee in confidence, the worst thing you can do is tell another member of staff. It’s best to run a business on a need-to-know basis, where only the very senior management members know the personal information that you are privy to.
8. Keeping Your Office Door Closed
Micromanagement is not something that people particularly enjoy, but keeping an eye on what employees are doing is a good idea. If you sit in your office without knowing what’s going on with your employees, you’re being a bad leader. A good boss will be able to establish boundaries with employees without being too unfriendly.
Hopefully my list of Catastrophic Ways to Run Your Business will come in helpful to everyone that wants to run a business some day or is already undertaking a new venture. You have to remember that being a boss is not about making friends, but rather making money; if the money aspect of business is not your biggest priority, the likelihood is that your company isn’t going to have longevity. If you feel there are any tips on how you shouldn’t run a business that I’ve left out, please share them in the comments section.
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