Guest Post by Derek Goodman, Inbizability
Although each small business owner brings their own strengths and weaknesses to the table, some common issues tend to crop up that derail small business success. OneClickAdvisor has created this guide to help you see possible pitfalls in time to avoid them:
Don’t get us wrong — confidence is an important trait for business owners, and it’s difficult to succeed without it. However, confidence that’s not backed by true skill or knowledge can wind up holding you back. If you’re not willing to admit when you don’t know something, you can easily end up getting your business into a bad spot.
Instead of getting caught up in ego, focus on gathering expertise. Going back to school, for example, can give you a chance to shore up skills you don’t already have. Whether you pursue a degree or just pick up a few classes here and there, continuing knowledge will make you — and, by extension, your business — much stronger.
You can also build in-house expertise through your hiring practices. Remember: When you bring someone onto your team, that person will, ideally, bring strengths you’re missing. The ability to see your weaknesses for what they are and spot those skills in others is invaluable when it comes to crafting a well-rounded team.
Business owners are naturally focused on building a successful business. However, they can let that focus get in the way of seeing the big picture and, more often than not, that big picture matters in reaching your goals. If you’re finding yourself hyper-aware of one specific measure of success — say, profits — and ignoring everything else, you’ve got tunnel vision.
The best antidote for tunnel vision is awareness. If you know you’re prone to this, build a big-picture session into your regular schedule. Take this time to look at your cash flow, employee retention, client growth — any metrics you’re inclined to overlook in favor of your major goal. The process of taking a step back can ensure that you keep that big picture in mind and create fully developed plans going forward.
Poor Emotional Awareness
One side effect of tunnel vision is poor emotional awareness. Being goal-oriented certainly has its benefits, but it can come at the cost of noticing the psychological state of those around you. For example, you might inadvertently steamroll your staff and create a toxic work environment by accident.
There are several ways to get a temperature check for how your staff is doing. For example, you can schedule weekly check-ins with your team. This helps make sure you have a dedicated time to hear concerns and find solutions. HR services can also give you valuable insight into your employees’ satisfaction and well-being.
Business Owner Burnout
Finally, burnout is one of the most common and recovery-resistant forms of business derailment. Once you’ve hit a point where the sheer thought of working is causing a panic attack, it’s hard to go back. You can learn coping skills and self-care measures to recover from burnout, but it’s far harder than just preventing it in the first place.
The most effective way to prevent burnout is to make sure you’re taking breaks. Business owners work long hours — they tackle huge tasks and they pour out their creative energy almost constantly. If you don’t take time to rest and recharge, burnout is almost inevitable. Pencil in daily breaks, such as taking a walk during lunch, and make good use of your free time. Try to do something fun and relaxing at least once a week to make sure your life isn’t completely wrapped up in work. Not sure how to make the time? Consider outsourcing some of your workload to freelancers to build some downtime into your schedule.
Avoiding these derailers isn’t always simple, but if you keep your eye out and catch them early, you’ll have time to adjust. At the end of the day, you’re the main pillar keeping your business standing. Keep yourself on track, and your business will follow.
Looking for more small business guidance? OneClickAdvisor has all the resources you need, from starting to operating your business, marketing to financing, and more.