When you’ve been running a business for a long time, it’s pretty easy to assume that you’ve pretty much got the hang of it. Is it a pretty reasonably assumption, right? You’ve made it this far without anything awful happening! And that’s very true; you’ve likely built up your skills over time and improved greatly as a business owner as you’ve learned from previous experience. The problem is that tends to come with a flip side. While you do learn from your experiences and improve, there’s also a fairly decent chance that you’ll have picked up some pretty bad habits along the way. The problem with these habits is that it’s hard to tell that you’re doing them without being brutally honest with yourself. So get ready to do some self-examination! These are some of the most common mistakes that business owners make.
Assuming you don’t need to learn
It’s tempting to assume that, as the owner of the business, you know more than everyone else involved. There’s a degree to which this might be true. After all, this is your business; few people will know it better than you. But there will still be things that you can learn more about or ways that you can improve your knowledge. Don’t assume that you don’t have to keep up with new methods and techniques. The best thing that you can do for your business is to stay as up to date as possible. For example. If your business works with plastics to create your products, don’t assume that you already know everything about the manufacturing process. There are injection molding seminars available so that you can learn something new, or at the very least, refresh your knowledge. Of course, this is just one example, but it applies to business owners no matter what industry you’re in.
Ignoring your employees
Your employees are the ones who are down in the trenches. You might be looking at the big picture, but they can see the fine details. Don’t assume that just because they don’t have your perspective that their suggestions don’t have value. Make sure that you have an open door policy and that your employees feel that they can discuss any suggestions or issues that they have with you. In the end, the decision of how to move forward has to be yours, but don’t dismiss things from your employees out of hand. Make sure that you’re giving them fair consideration at least.
“We’ve always done it this way”
This is the most dangerous phrase that you could ever say as a business owner. The nature of business is that if you don’t adapt, you fall behind. And once you fall behind, it’s really hard to catch up again. You need to make sure that you’re flexible in the way you approach every aspect of your business. From marketing to infrastructure to accounting, you simply can’t afford to get stuck in your ways. The modern business world is constantly moving, and you need to do the same.