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Advices and insights

You want to know the main mistakes inherent to business life that you should avoid. The life of a company is subject to hazards. Exogenous factors can bring your entrepreneurial adventure to a halt. However, it is most often mistakes due to the lack of knowledge of certain management principles that are detrimental to the durability of companies. Without being exhaustive, here is a list of 7 common mistakes that are potentially fatal to the company.

Do not be results-oriented 

The business world is a world where only results count. There is no point in working all day long if the performance does not follow. Instead of working too hard and asking employees to do the same, the entrepreneur should focus on results. Spending 12 hours a day in the office is not a guarantee of success. Neither does working 60 hours a week. If you want your business to take off, focus on clear goals that can be achieved with the right flexibility. This will make it easier for each of your employees to balance their personal and professional lives. 

Neglecting marketing communication

Some companies treat communication in a completely subsidiary way. This is often the case with young entrepreneurs, especially in B2B areas. You cannot underestimate the role of marketing. Its importance is paramount and it must be made a priority, especially when a start-up needs to make a name for itself. A few small investments are enough to support actions in this area. It can be about feeding social networks, maintaining a blog, making press releases, making commercial brochures, etc.

Recruiting without moderation

This is a common mistake. Recruiting without a coherent recruitment plan can be untenable in terms of cash flow. It is very common to see a company go bankrupt because of a too rapid expansion of its workforce. Young companies make the mistake of recruiting easily and thanking with difficulty. However, it is the opposite that allows the company to survive. It is necessary to recruit with difficulty and not to hesitate to thank unproductive employees. 

The other no less important aspect is poor recruitment. Due to a lack of resources or because it is easy, young entrepreneurs are often inclined to surround themselves with family members, acquaintances or close friends whose only asset is their availability and their benevolence, but who do not always have the required expertise. But a poorly done job that has to be repeated several times is a considerable waste of time, energy and money. This loss could have been avoided by knowing how to recruit and how to thank your employees. 

Lack of adaptability and resilience

Another common mistake is refusing to deviate from your business plan or your original goals. You are more likely to succeed by being able to adapt. Resilience is also the ability to back off or change your approach when situations require it.

In biology, Darwin teaches us that it is not the most resistant or the most powerful who survive the mutations of their ecosystem. A company must therefore be constantly aware of market changes. Whether it’s the arrival of a new player, a change in consumer habits, the development of a new product… Competitive intelligence must make it possible to monitor all the variations and adapt to them as quickly as possible, otherwise you will quickly be out of the running. 

Going it alone

We all know the adage, “if you want it done right, do it yourself”. Except that the fear of entrusting a part of your project to individuals who do not have the same knowledge as you should not make you forget that a company is nourished by exchanges. On the one hand, teamwork, exchanges and delegation are vital and on the other hand, networking is necessary. 

Internally, you must therefore learn to delegate and trust your employees. Knowing when, to whom and how to delegate is an art that is refined through experience. Externally, networking is a full-fledged activity that allows you to find other supports and open unsuspected doors.

It is a beautiful utopia to think that you can do everything, alone. In history, no one has ever succeeded in doing anything significant alone. If you call on qualified professionals outside the company, you will not die. Instead, it will be possible to get certain tasks done quickly, expeditiously and efficiently. It is very detrimental to work with blinders on. 

Multiplying financial management errors

This error accounts for about 50% of the causes of business failures. It is essential to be trained in the various aspects of financial management. It is fundamental in view of the large number of essential notions to be mastered. Here are some key points to watch out for: 

  • Ensure a healthy cash flow by taking out loans and other credits in a timely manner
  • Constantly strive to break even
  • Take into account the company’s working capital requirements
  • Prefer overvaluation and always avoid undercapitalization

You should never invest heavily as soon as you start making profits. You should focus on organic growth and keep your expenses to a minimum until the company is profitable. Therefore, major purchases should be carefully considered.

In any case, a scrupulous management of accounts is essential, whatever the size of the company. You can entrust this activity to a qualified person or, at worst, use an adapted software. 

Not knowing how to manage your client portfolio

The customer is king. It is better to treat them with care, because they are the lifeblood of the company. You should implement the customer experience and make it as pleasant as possible. Also work on loyalty strategies. You must do everything to avoid losing your customers to the competition. 

Alicia Gomez - Senior Content Manager | Alicia is an author, blogger, and certified Enneagram coach with a bachelor's in Communications. She's been blogging for six years and run a consulting business offering communications, strategy. Her favorite quote: Be you. Break free. Break through.

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