If you could have a do over in your business, what would you do? Focus more on sales? Strategic planning? Marketing and advertising?
Many small business owners would say “yes” to all of this, but there could be more fundamental issues you need to work on that would fuel your passion to engage in revenue-driving activities.
Indeed, according to Brother International’s 6th Annual Small Business Survey, passionate people like you are making the same mistakes repeatedly. While many would spend more time hiring and training employees and more money on marketing, even more would focus on avoiding the four mistakes outlined below.
1. Taking on too many roles and responsibilities:
While some small business owners seem to take pride in wearing multiple hats, 35 percent of respondents would like to reduce or eliminate taking on so many roles and responsibilities. It’s been said that the jack of all trades is master of none.
Although it’s absolutely true that a start-up business owner must go the extra mile, refusing to delegate can backfire on your best laid plans as you blow deadlines and miss potential opportunities for more profit. Take a moment to examine what you do on a daily basis and see what you can delegate now and work toward delegating in the next quarter.
2. Not taking enough time off:
Hard work is part and parcel of business success, but not taking time off can stifle your creativity. Twenty-six percent of respondents in the survey would like to take more time off. That means 74 percent are either well-balanced or don’t see the need to rejuvenate and may be heading for burnout. I would imagine the latter is more likely.
Taking time off seems like a waste, but studies have shown taking a rest drives up your productivity in the long run. Despite the screaming voice in your head that says your business won’t survive without you, you can take a few days off—or at least a morning now and then—to recharge. I assure you, the world will not come to an end and you’ll be more energized when you return.
3. Failing to pursue work-life balance:
Work-life balance is not merely about taking down time. Work-life balance includes more than time on and time off. What you do in your time off matters. Your life includes your health, recreational activities, family and spiritual development. Vegging out in front of a TV to binge watch your favorite show on Netflix may help you recharge this weekend, but you need to feed your mind, body and spirit with activities that bring harmony to your whole person.
4. Using outdated technology:
If your smartphone and computer is old, old, old, you could be making your life and work a lot harder. Thirty-eight percent of survey respondents would replace their current laptops, 20 percent their mobile devices, and 13 percent their desk phones. It’s not about looking cool, it’s about working smarter, faster and more effectively. If you want to bang your head against a wall waiting for your browser to load a web page, it may be time to for a tech makeover.