So, you’ve been dreaming about becoming an entrepreneur ever since seeing a special on the life story of Bill Gates, have you? If you’ve never stepped out of the confines of a regimented, eight-to-five schedule, you may be unfamiliar with the real-world difficulties that arise, including handling payroll services and employee burnout. Here are some pitfalls to avoid, should you decide to walk the tightrope that is self-guided entrepreneurship.
Six Errors to Avoid in Your New Business
1. Trying to grow too quickly. It’s one of the first mistakes that people make when trying to become business moguls. Desiring to carve off a large slice of the pie for themselves out of the total economic dessert, they cut too deeply. People often try to increase sales without the corresponding staff on hand to help ensure a smooth experience for everyone, from customers to employees.
2. Overworking key employees. A staunchly supportive employee should be rewarded with higher-than-typical pay, as well as more hours if they wish to work them. But it’s a mistake to take advantage of another person’s workaholic nature. Set a firm cap on the number of hours you’ll allow any single employee to remain on the job during the average week. There will be some exceptions, but constant overwork dulls the creative drive and de-stimulates the brain’s responses. This results in an overall drop in productivity, which is the wrong route to travel.
3. Disrespecting employees who don’t live and breathe their jobs. Many people view a job as a source of income, or as an obligation. It’s typically only entrepreneurs, and those on their inner circle, that truly enjoy talking about aspects of the workplace, even during time away from work. By expecting others to develop the same passionate interest in the business as the owner, entrepreneurs are asking for the unobtainable. And treating employees poorly when they refuse to pretend that their jobs are the end-all, be-all, only creates resentment and ill favor.
4. Ignoring updates in technology. It’s not essential to download the latest version of software the week that it comes out, but it is essential to avoid being the last business on the planet to update to the latest technologies, such as moving from a paper-based system to a computer based one. A digital system allows much tighter inventory control and allows for remote access to critical data. These things can be important, especially if your job takes you away from the office frequently.
5. Handling the company payroll on your own. There is a reason that most small businesses outsource their payrolls. For the average business owner, handling payroll services is a time consuming headache. The minutiae of calculating pay down to the minute can be overwhelmingly monotonous, tedious, and time consuming. Business success revolves around knowing how much time to apply to each aspect of your start-up. The safe answer when it comes to payroll services is zero. This is one aspect of the business that should be outsourced from day one.
6. Ignoring customer requests for acknowledgment. In an era of social media, it’s important to pay attention to customers who ‘like’ your business on Facebook. When one of them has a bad experience, it’s up to you, or someone that you hire, to help get them sorted out immediately following a bad experience. Otherwise, they are likely to counteract every good decision that you do make by saying bad things about your business in a public forum. Keep them on your side by dealing with them in an expedient fashion.
Keep these half dozen typical business start up mistakes in mind when setting off down the entrepreneurial road. They’ll help to keep your business heading straight towards reasonable profitability.