The Australian Small Business Blog

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Seven Deadly Sins of Business

While running a successful business is not easy, there are rules that you can follow that will almost certainly increase your success. And there are also sins that will guarantee your failure. Here are the Seven Deadly Sins of Business.

1. Inexplicitness

If you are not explicit in what you want to achieve for your business, you are highly unlikely to be successful. Setting out clear goals for your business allows you to develop strategies to achieve your goals and to create plans which will ultimately drive your business to success. Without goals, strategies and plans, you are just depending on luck- and how has that worked for you so far?

2. Apathy

Running a business is a major personal commitment- 24/7. And if you are apathetic about your business, it means that you will be unable to make the commitment that you need for success. Commitment requires passion. You are the closest person to your business, and if you are not passionate about it, why would your employees or customers be? If you aren’t passionate about what you are doing, find something that you are passionate about and do that instead.

3. Pride

Pride in your business is a good thing, but being so proud that you don’t ask for advice or help will seriously limit your ability to grow. No-one knows it all. Successful business owners surround themselves with smart people.

4. Inactivity

If you are waiting for others to recognise your brilliance, you may be waiting a long time. Business is generated through taking action. And the best idea in the world just remains an idea until someone takes action on it. There is no return from inactivity.

5. Non-perseverance

Giving up at the first hurdle will never result in success. Businesses seldom get it right the first time. Thomas Edison tried 10,000 different filaments before he invented the light bulb. Perseverance is essential for success.

6. Guessing

If you do not measure the response of each action and tactic of your business, from marketing to service delivery, you are just guessing about what is working and what is not. This means that you will be making bad decisions on what you should stop doing, what you try, and what you should change to improve. And while you are guessing, your competitors are improving through measuring their activities, and leaving you behind.

7. Disorganisation

If you do not organise your business, your costs will rise, your productivity will decline, and you will lose customers as your service will be inconsistent and unreliable. Systems ensure that your services are provided consistently following your best practice, no matter who is providing your service. They eliminate the cost of non-compliance, and ultimately create a saleable asset of your business. Without systems, your business will always depend on you being there and you will forever be reacting to events and fighting fires. Such a business has no long term future.

Of course there are other lesser sins that will effect your business, but if you avoid these seven, your chances of success will be greatly enhanced.

If you would like to post a comment on this article, please click on the Comments link below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club and is a Business Coach and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems.

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