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6 wrong habits among entrepreneurs

An entrepreneur’s skill, knowledge, and decision making abilities are key for the success of his business. Apart from having specialized knowledge in some fields such as finance, IT, operations or marketing, an entrepreneur should possess certain traits and qualities that benefit his business. However, you cannot expect an entrepreneur to be perfect in all areas. There are always some areas of improvement that need to be worked on, no matter who you are. And since we are all human, we are prone to bad habits that create obstacles to our success. So, if you are aspiring to be the next Elon Musk, then watch out for these common bad habits among entrepreneurs.

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1. Over Committing

There is nothing wrong when you say ‘yes’ to new opportunities and challenges. The problem takes place when you do it every time. Do not take new projects and tasks if you do not have the bandwidth. I know it’s difficult to say ‘no’ to new clients. But there are ways to deal with this without seeming rude. You can do one of two things.

One, you can ask for more time from your existing clients to finish the work. You may have a good relationship with them and so they probably won’t mind giving you more time. Provided you complete the work without any compromise on quality.

Two, ask your new clients if they can provide a longer deadline to complete the work. You can be honest and tell them that you will need time to schedule this new project or that new orders need to be placed with your vendors.

In some cases, you may not have the luxury of prioritizing one client over another. In such a case, it is alright to over commit yourself and do the extra work once in awhile. However, it should not become a habit. Extending your boundaries often becomes a habit and you may end up sacrificing opportunities to rejuvenate yourself. Therefore, commit to things that you can manage and do not push the limits.

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2. Bottlenecking the Processes

Some entrepreneurs are very particular when it comes to delegating responsibilities to others. They want to have full control over business operations and are reluctant to delegate even the smallest of responsibilities to their subordinates. Although an entrepreneur is accountable to the decisions taken in business, he may not have sufficient time if all the decisions taken need his approval. This may cause delays in going ahead with processes and, as a result, business operations slow down. Moreover, employees feel dissatisfied in an organization where the superior does not trust them and approval is required for everything. Thus, productivity of your employees gets affected and processes end up taking a long time to complete. To avoid this habit, empower your employees to take decisions on their own. If they are incapable, train and develop them to perform their responsibilities correctly. It helps you complete your work faster.

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3. Waiting for the “Right Opportunity”

Another common bad habit among entrepreneurs is to keep procrastinating while waiting for the “right opportunity”, and it’s too late when opportunity finally arrives. Shane Melaugh, the founder of Thrive Themes, a company that produces conversion-focused WordPress Themes talks about waiting for too long in launching his product, which he claims to be his biggest mistake. He says that he was intimidated by the technical aspects of running an online business since he did not have any first hand experience of dealing with it. Shane further adds that now when he looks back, he thinks he could’ve easily got started a few years sooner and thus avoided working in some really crappy jobs.

If you keep on delaying, there can be a situation where your product may become obsolete by the time you launch it. Or your competitor may come up with a similar product and benefit from its launch. Therefore, do not keep waiting for the right time. If you have the right resources and capabilities at your disposal to launch the product, then go ahead with it.

4. Being Reactive Instead of Proactive

As an entrepreneur, you should be able to think one step ahead and accordingly take precautionary measures. Being proactive helps you minimize risks to your business. In order to be proactive, understand what’s happening in the business environment and be prepared for it. Set objectives for your business and create plans to achieve them. This way, you remain alert to your external business environment and are always prepared in case of contingencies.

In a reactive situation, entrepreneurs tend to focus on the current problem at hand. In doing so, other operations are kept on hold and you end up lagging behind. Moreover, in certain cases, it becomes difficult to counter the effects of unforeseen events for which you are not prepared. For example, let’s say the economy is unstable and expected to go into recession. In such a situation, you should start making arrangements to venture into new markets or reduce your promotional expenditures. If you do not take proactive measures and the economy tumbles, being reactive may result in closure of your business operations. Therefore, if you want to grow your business, then make sure you are a proactive entrepreneur and not a reactive entrepreneur.

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5. Not Expanding Your Network

In the initial stages of your business, you maybe engaged in networking with more and more people to get business. However, once your business is growing and developing, you might not have much time to make new contacts or connections. This does not mean you limit your network only to a chosen few. Indeed, it is difficult to be available for all client meetings but wherever possible, keep increasing your connections. Not expanding your network leads to over-reliance on your existing network. Suppose you end a deal with one of your partners on bad terms, you need to have a suitable replacement to take up her responsibilities. If you have multiple connections, you can look for potential partners within your circle. Your goal should be to have a maximum number of significant and valuable relationships. This way, you are able to get more business and enhance your reputation in the market. Furthermore, when you expand your network, you get access to people across different industries and learn from their experiences as well. Develop the habit of meeting new people by attending networking events, conferences or seminars and establish connections by staying in touch with them.

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6. Persistent Multitasking

You may be good at some tasks while other tasks may not be up your alley. It is difficult to carry out multiple tasks at the same time, so stick to tasks that you are good at and delegate the rest. For this purpose, hire employees who specialize in a particular field. For example, if you need to keep a regular record of your financial transactions and also take care of your tax returns, then you can hire a professional accountant. If you find it difficult to get right employees, then you can consider training your existing employees to carry out those activities.

Bad habits among entrepreneurs don’t make you a bad entrepreneur; they just slow you down in the race to achieve your goal. That’s why, they are best avoided. If you are looking for more entrepreneurial tips, then get in touch with a resource center in Canada.

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