The 5 things every entrepreneur should stop doing
23 October 2014
Posted by: Author: Sujan Patel
Patel ( Entrepreneur Magazine)
"hero status” that many successful entrepreneurs get, it’s important to realise
that most made the wrong choices, spent time on the wrong projects, and
possibly worked with the wrong people before they eventually became successful.
As a new
entrepreneur, you can and should learn from the mistakes of others.
If you want
to become a successful entrepreneur, stop doing these five things:
scheduling team meetings.
In his TED
talk titled "Why work doesn’t happen at work,” Basecamp founder and CEO Jason
Fried said the following about meetings: "Meetings are just toxic, terrible, poisonous
things during the day at work.”
right. You might be fooling yourself into thinking that your weekly 10-person
meeting is a good use of everyone’s time, but you’re wrong. Meeting often make
teams less productive and are time wasters. Think about it: When you have a
10-person meeting that lasts 60 minutes long, you’re not just taking an hour
from everyone’s day, you’re taking ten hours of work away from your team as a
whole. Each person is wasting an hour that they each could have been spent
getting quality work done — work that makes you money and work that makes your
business better in the long run.
Cancel all the meetings you have scheduled for this week. Instead of talking
about everything that needs to get done, just spend the time actually getting
involving yourself in every project.
business is still small, it might make sense for you to be involved in every
project and decision that needs to be made, but as it grows, you need to be
able to let go of the reins every so often. If you’re unwilling to step aside
or delegate tasks, it’s usually a pretty good sign that you don’t fully trust
the people that you’ve hired to work for you.
entrepreneur, you need to be able to delegate. Once you begin to trust your
team and give them the freedom to test new ideas and strategies, it won’t take
long for you to start seeing positive results.
Hire people that know more than you. Pay them well, keep them happy, and
they’ll help you become a more successful business owner.
too far ahead.
things change fast. Your job as an entrepreneur and a leader is to put your
company in the position where you and everyone working for you is comfortable
with and able to quickly adapt or pivot if necessary.
you can’t spend too much time looking far ahead into the future. I’m not saying
you shouldn’t set long-term goals for yourself and your team — you definitely
should. Just don’t spend all your time thinking about what things will be like
in the future.
focus on the present. Set goals that you and your team can reach by the end of
the week, month and quarter. Find wins and recognise success milestones along
the way — it’s an important part of growing your business and creating loyalty
throughout your team.
Write down three goals you want to reach by the end of the week. Review them at
the end of the week and see how you did.
assumptions about customers.
It’s easy to
make assumptions about your customers, but it’s not at all helpful when it
comes to growing your business.
Bain & Company survey of 362 companies found that 80 percent of companies
believe they deliver a "superior experience” to their customers. When surveyors
asked customers about their own perceptions, however, they rated only 8 percent
of companies as truly delivering a superior experience.
entrepreneur, you can’t afford to make assumptions about how your customers
feel, what they want, what they need help with or what will make them buy
again. You need to spend time gathering data — quantitative and qualitative —
that can help you understand your customers better. This means putting out
customer surveys, analysing and learning from analytics and becoming an all-around
better listener. When you stop making assumptions and start learning from
actual data, you become a better, more successful business owner.
Talk one-on-one with one of your customers every quarter. Come with questions
but be ready to listen too.
sweating the competition.
the competition. Pay attention to them and learn from them, but don’t waste
time worrying about them. If you’ve got a good product or service, a good
brand, team and processes; you will find success.
entrepreneurs get caught up in battles with competition. They waste time and
money launching smear campaigns and other "dirty” tactics that are intended to
hurt their competitors. Don’t fall into that trap. Instead of spending all your
time and energy worrying about the competition, focus instead on building
customer loyalty, better products, and a strong team.
Pro tip: If
one of your competitors is doing particularly well, run some online and offline
competitive analyses to try to learn from them. Take what you learn and see if
you can apply it to your business. Don’t lift or copy from them. Learn and do
article first appeared on entrepreneurmag.co.za.