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Five Common Mistakes Made by New Small Business Owners

mistake-statueIf уоu’rе thinking оf ѕtаrting уоur оwn ѕmаll business, thеn I can аѕѕurе уоu thаt уоu hаvе еvеrу chance оf bесоming ѕuссеѕѕful. Hоwеvеr, уоur сhаnсеѕ соuld be seriously jеораrdizеd bу mаking оnе оf thе mistakes mоѕt nеw ѕmаll buѕinеѕѕ оwnеrѕ’ make.

Dоn’t fоr оnе mоmеnt think thаt thе success of уоur buѕinеѕѕ dереndѕ on itѕ ѕizе. Rаthеr it iѕ уоur аbilitу to ѕuссеѕѕfullу сrеаtе аnd еxесutе strategies thаt will attract, keep and expand your сuѕtоmеr base thаt will ѕignifiсаntlу impact the ѕuссеѕѕ оf your business.

Diѕсоvеr thе usual miѕtаkеѕ mоѕt nеw buѕinеѕѕ owner’s mаkе аnd dеtеrminе nоt to rереаt аnу of thеm with уоur business. Here are the five most common small business lessons from these common mistakes: (more…)

Why Small Business Owners Sometimes Shouldn’t Listen

Small Business TrainingStarting, managing and growing a small business requires quite a bit of listening. Small business owners need to listen to customers, spot trends, solicit input from employees, and watch for regulatory and financial warning signs along the way to small business growth. Entrepreneurs without the ability to recognize these inputs and synthesize them into their strategic and day-do-day decision making often ultimately fail.

At the same time, there are times when it is important for small business owners to disregard inputs they hear from various sources. After all, there is a difference between detractors and non-believers versus those that are providing constructive feedback on how to make your small business more successful.

Here are three important scenarios where listening can be less helpful and more of a liability: (more…)

Three Smoke Signs of Small Business Failure

Small Business FailureIt’s no secret that most businesses fail. By most measures, somewhere upward of 80% of small businesses and startups fail in their first few years of operation. What is less clear is why and how those small businesses fail.

Most small business failures are long in the making rather than overnight catastrophes. Experienced entrepreneurs will recognize the causes of and reasons for failure and take proactive and reactive actions to remediate those risks. Less experienced small business owners, on the other hand, won’t realize what hit them, even after the failure occurs.

There are several key early warning signs that, when properly remediated, can proactively provide a small business owner guidance on how to avoid small business failure and instead achieve small business growth. Here are three of the most common ones: (more…)

Small Business Lessons from Celebrity Apprentice

Small Business LessonsIt’s not often that a reality show can provide meaningful small business lessons for entrepreneurs and business owners. There is one exception to this rule.

In addition to the antics of Donald Trump and celebrities as diverse as Flavor Flav, Gilbert Gottfried, and Donald Trump, several years of the TV show Celebrity Apprentice have brought many lessons for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Even though the show is well-scripted and staged for a reality show, it still provides several takeaways that we can apply to our small businesses: (more…)

Lessons from Radio Shack: Is Bigger Always Better for Your Small Business?

Small Business GrowthLast week there was a good article in the Wall Street Journal about Radio Shack’s struggles to avoid bankruptcy and remain solvent as a business. Although Radio Shack is by no means a small business, the trouble the company is facing is a good case study in some key points related to small businesses.

First of all, the company’s struggles are a good reminder of the various risks that businesses of all sizes face. Changing consumer preferences, new technologies, and financial headwinds are just a few of the many challenges and pitfalls that small businesses and their larger counterparts all have to navigate.

Second, this situation is a good reminder that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to small business growth. Radio Shack had become one of the biggest retailers in the world during its steep growth trajectory throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. However, the company’s growth has stalled in recent years and has instead been experiencing negative growth, fewer customers, and financial losses. (more…)

The Key Differences Between Small Business Success and Failure

Small Business SuccessWe’ve all heard the statistic that over 80% of small businesses fail in their first five years of existence. We’ve also heard the heroic success stories about entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and others.

But we don’t hear much about how and why those entrepreneurs were so much more successful than the many failures that occur each year. Some might say it’s luck, but there are distinct differences between those that achieve consistent small business growth and those that fail.

Here are eight things that make entrepreneurs more successful than those that ultimately fail: (more…)

Five Things To Remember When Managing Small Business Employees

Small Business EmployeesManaging employees is a stressful part of managing a small business. In fact, our ongoing survey of small business owners reveals that hiring, firing, and managing employees is one of the hardest parts of managing your small business growth.

When you stop to think about it, though, it’s no surprise that employees can introduce a great deal of unpredictability and stress into a small business – especially those first few employees that are hired. After all, when an entrepreneur starts a business, he or she is typically the one that does it all. They perfect the way they want to see things done over time. Hiring employees, on the other hand, often means more inconsistency in how work is done, misaligned expectations and goals, and in some extreme cases, downright neglect and damage to the business as you are trying to manage small business growth.

With this backdrop in mind, it’s no wonder that so many entrepreneurs elect to remain on-man “solopreneur” shops without employees. While this may help alleviate some of the concerns outlined above, however, this approach is less likely to deliver long-term wealth and earnings when compared to companies that grow beyond their owner and founder. The good news is that there are other answers to help navigate these pitfalls.

Below are five things that will help you more effectively manage the various nuances of hiring and managing employees: (more…)

Small Business Lessons From The Hunger Games

Small Business LessonsStarting and managing a successful small business can feel a lot like the Hunger Games movies and books. It seems that, like in the movie, the odds are ever in your favor – in other words, not in your favor since most small businesses fail within the first two years of operation.

Having just seen the most recent Mockingjay movie installment of the franchise, it occurred to me that there are plenty of small business lessons to be learned from the movie. Everything from the gruesome battles to the ridiculously stacked odds closely parallel the life of a small business owner, and there are plenty of lessons to be drawn from those parallels.

Below are just a few of the key lessons from the movie and storyline that can be applied to help us achieve small business success: (more…)

Rising From the Ashes: Lessons From a Small Business Failure

Small Business Failures, small business training, small business consultingAs the optimistic, positive-thinking entrepreneur types, we typically like to think about the upside of being small business owners. However, there are often struggles and landmines along the way – and plenty of small business failures – that often get overlooked in our culture of glorifying the seemingly “nothing but success” stories of the Mark Zuckerbergs and Bill Gates of the world.

What many don’t realize, though, is that most entrepreneurs struggle immensely at some point along the way. Even for those that are fortunate enough to become successful, the entire journey can be a long grind. Despite this fact, most popular business publications, training courses, and Small Business Administration recommendations don’t prepare entrepreneurs and small business owners for the difficult scenarios to expect.

Based on my own challenges and failures – combined with what I’ve seen countless other entrepreneurs struggle with – small business owners make a number of common mistakes along the way. I certainly have, having unintentionally run one of my companies into the ground, only to recover and grow the company to heights that I had never seen before.

Below are several things that I learned in my rise, fall, and rise again cycle as an entrepreneur: (more…)