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Common Mistakes Business Owners Make

Here at A & A Employer Services we get a behind the screens looks at all different kinds of business owners. From these relationships we found a few common mistake business make.

  1. Don’t do things you’re not good at.

You know your business, but you’re not an expert at everything. So, stop doing things that you don’t do very well and instead focus just on the things that you do best.  It is beneficial to hire experts to help you. This can mean hiring someone to do your payroll and/or file your taxes, send out emails, fix your trucks, key in orders, or arrange for travel. It costs you more in time and lost opportunities to do everything yourself.

  1. Don't Blame Others

Every problem—every issue, every challenge, every mistake, everything that goes wrong—is ultimately your fault. You hired the people. You bought the tools. You sold to the customers. You chose the priorities. This is your show and if anything happens, it's your responsibility.

  1. Don't ignore the math.

Not knowing or ignoring your profit margin is high on the list of mistakes made by business owners. The math to know and understand all the costs that go into turning a profit can be boring but it is the most important math to ensure a successful business.

  1. Don't take your employees for granted.

Your employees have lives. Really, they do. But, when they’re in your office, they’re doing something important: making you money. Don’t take this—or them—for granted. Offer competitive compensation, good benefits, and, most importantly, an ear for when they want to vent about a professional or even a personal issue. They are, after all, people—and they all want to do the best job they can. Your job is to give them the best environment to accomplish this.

  1. Don't mistreat your suppliers

Don’t monkey around with your suppliers. Treat them well. Pay them early. Take discounts if they offer them. But behave as a partner would, because you may need that key supplier in a pinch and, if you’ve got a good relationship, that person will come through.

  1. Don't get mistreated by your customers.

Some customers aren't great customers. Your goal is to do business with people that you enjoy doing business with. You should never fire a customer because let’s face it: We all need customers. But you can price those customers that you’d like to see go away a little differently. If they want to behave that way, then they should pay more—that’s your compensation for putting up with their nonsense. Otherwise, let it be their decision to leave you, not yours.

  1. Don't Ignore your customers.

You work hard to get your customers. So, don’t ignore them. It’s much, much more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to grow your revenues with existing ones.  Focus on your existing customers first and, believe me, the new ones will come.

  1. Don't Forget to pay you taxes.

It’s a fact of life: taxes are due every quarter. When your accountant tells you to pay, then pay. Meet with your accountant a few times a year and maybe you can adjust the estimates, depending on how your business is doing. But don't ignore your tax liabilities—they will quickly grow and could potentially bury you.

  1. Don't give up equity

The majority of business owners want to grow their companies, earn a nice living, build some value, and then one day either pass the company on to another generation or to a buyer. Try not to give up ownership in your company too early or for too little. The more equity you control, the more of your life you will control.

  1. Don't invest in too much technology.

One of the common mistakes entrepreneurs make is investing too much in technology. Treat purchases like the purchase of any other capital investment: with return on investment in mind. Measure the cost of it over a five-year period of time with the benefits it will produce more business, better productivity, and lower costs. If you can get yourself a good return on your money, then buy that tech. Otherwise, invest somewhere else.

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