Entrepreneurship is a risky business. All it takes is a chain of bad habits and decisions to cause a business to find itself in a pinch. Good habits create a systematic way of doing things, resulting in repeatable successful results that drive the business forward.
Forming good habits is imperative to how you run your business as it will define how you react to situations and make important decisions.
5 Bad Habits
1. Being a Workaholic
Entrepreneurs are notorious for being workaholics, working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year. Work never stops. This kind of working hours is simply not sustainable for you. It will only produce a mentally and physically exhausted boss in you, potentially affecting your health in a much more severe manner.
Identify tasks that have higher values and prioritise your time. Intentionally find ways to cut away work that is not essential and spread your work across your time. Manage your time well and find ways to improve your efficiency in performing these high-valued tasks, cutting down the time you will spend on each task.
A boss who cannot manage himself well, will not be able to manage his employees well to make the business perform.
Micromanaging is a problem many managers and bosses face. The root of this issue is the lack of trust to delegate work to employees. Micromanaging the tasks assigned to employees results in a lack of time and capacity to perform your own tasks well. While you can do the work of your employees, they cannot do yours. This will lead either to huge gaps in the workflow of your company or you becoming a workaholic.
Being able to determine how much to delegate and guide employees to perform up to standard is the hallmark of a good manager. Understand the limitations of your employees and let them perform to those limits. Train them to become better and give them the opportunity to earn your trust. If the tasks are high in risk, make them comprehend the importance of their roles and step back slowly.
There is never a valid reason to micromanage. It is inefficient, wasting effort, time and resources. If the task is too big for the employee, you may consider doing it yourself and assigning other tasks to that employee.
3. Overlooking Company Fit
In order to have a team to trust, you must hire the right people. Many companies often look at the experience of a candidate and how much it would require to train him to perform well. Yet what is more important will be the culture fit and capability of the candidate. Regardless of their experience, company policies and procedures must be taught to new hires. Having experience does not imply that these candidates can fit in or learn the procedures faster.
Be clear on what you want to hire that person to do, choosing the right candidate to perform the specific role. This includes how they collaborate with the team to complete the projects. A cultural misfit will not only lead to poor performance from the new hire, but it slows down the overall performance of the team.
Choose your candidate wisely.
4. Failing to Negotiate
Negotiation is a key that opens many doors. Deals often have a main focus with the product/service for a set amount of money. When the two parties are unable to reach a conclusion, it usually results in a failed deal. This could leave many things on the table, including money that could have saved the business in a crisis, long-term contracts that could have convinced various stakeholders, partnerships that would have supported a new product line.
Consider all the benefits of these potential deals can bring to you before you turn them down just because they did not meet your bottom line. Then think about what you can offer besides your product/service or money, what else can you provide that is considered valuable to the counterpart.
This is how to negotiate, by giving and taking something that you deem valuable. Negotiation gives the opportunity to create value for all parties. Do not walk away from the table before trying it out.
5. Staying in Denial
Policies and work processes are often laid out in most companies. Company values and culture are pasted on the walls to remind employees daily of how they are expected to behave. However, reality and expectations can have a gaping hole between them, taking meanings away from the initial plan. Companies that claim to prioritise employee welfare may overwork their employees to the bone and provide poor benefits to them.
Facing reality can be extremely difficult. It means somewhere along the way, you have made a mistake, and rectifying this error can be complicated and time consuming. As an entrepreneur, you must decide if such current state is how and what you want your company to be – the words no longer hold weight.
Changing the culture and normal practices is even more challenging than implementing them. It requires consistency, intentionality and supervision. As the leader, change starts from you, show your employees how you want the culture to be and be an example to them. Admit the past mistakes and get them onboard with you. Create actionable steps to motivate and monitor changes.
Ideals set the destination of the ship. As the captain, you have to accept current conditions and steer the ship towards that destination to make ideals a reality. Be a leader and make it happen.
Building a business is more than having a good idea and the funding to execute it. It requires strong strategies, a high functioning team and good practices to be successful in the cutthroat market we are in.
Entrepreneurs must reflect on how they act and make decisions, removing the bad habits they have that will implicate the business success.
About BlackStorm Consulting
BlackStorm Consulting is a boutique growth consultancy firm that specialises in corporate strategy, profit management and investment management. We mainly serve clients in four sectors: FinTech, Gaming, Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT), and manufacturing.
Our clients and connections are internationally present and range from small and medium sized businesses, MNCs, to government agencies.