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Top 5 business mistakes

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Navigating your business on the road to success can be quite the minefield. There are many pitfalls to avoid – some more obvious than others.

While sometimes the difference between a positive outcome and a negative one can be entirely out of your hands, it can’t hurt to know what to keep an eye out for to ensure you’re doing everything you can to remain on track.

With this in mind, here are our top five most commonly-encountered business mistakes:

Letting your ego get the better of you

Sometimes, having a bit of early success with your venture can be the worst thing to happen to it. With everything seemingly going right, the last thing you want to do is take your foot off the gas and think “job done”.

When this happens, you will undoubtedly lose focus and that’s when it can really go pear-shaped. Ultimately, if you do well in the first few months – or even years – don’t let it go to your head. It can cloud your judgement and encourage you to take unnecessary risks.

Taking too much on

While it’s understandable that you want to retain full control of everything that’s going on around you, sometimes the best thing to do is have faith in those around you – and delegate.

Trust is an important part of developing a business and once you learn to place yours in colleagues, partners or employees, you’ll soon find one mind is not better than two, three, four or more.

If you take too much on, you run the risk of not being able to give the important jobs the level of attention they deserve, which can lead to more mistakes being made later down the line.

Ignoring your research

Going off a ‘gut instinct’ is rarely a good move. If you take the time (and spend the money) doing market research and it goes against what you were expecting, then the last thing you should do is ignore it.

Instead, use your findings to improve your product or service – listen to what people have to say and don’t just carry on regardless.

Being too slow off the mark

Although it’s always good to think before acting, there are occasions when you can miss out on an opportunity because you’ve not acted quickly enough.

The key is striking a balance between ensuring a plan is well-thought out and still fresh enough to give you an edge over your competitors.

While each situation is always different, you should use your own personal judgement – possibly even based on past mistakes – to have faith in yourself when deciding you’ve spent enough time thinking about something.

Losing your identity

Yes, it’s important to aim high, but if you want to be the next Google or Amazon you should remember to play to your own strengths and not try to emulate others.

In the competitive world of business, you need to be able to offer something customers can’t get elsewhere, if you want to get ahead.

If anything, see where your rivals or role models are going wrong and do something about it to change your own enterprise – but never lose sight of your own values, brand image and identity.

Posted by Julie Tucker