Here are the rest of Louis Barajas’s “22 Temptations of a Small Business Owner” from his useful, easy-to-read, and right on target book, Small Business, Big Life: Five [a list again; I love that!] Steps to Creating a Great Life with Your Own Small Business. If you missed the first nine, take a look at my last post. Here we go:
10. Tempted not to spend money (invest) in your business until you make more money first. This is such a huge, huge mistake. I was tempted for way too long to hold off on replacing my old printer, which I had to baby-sit each time I printed since it used to jam, with a newer—and fully functioning—machine. Oh, did I pay! I won’t bore you with the details like my temporary breakdown and semi-catatonic state. But I will tell you I lost about 40 pages of original text.
11. Tempted to promote employees to levels of incompetence. Specifically, Barajas says, “Just because you have employees who know how to do something doesn’t mean that they should be promoted to supervisory or managerial roles if they can’t manage others.” That’s the truth, but it happens too often.
12. Tempted to grow your business without business systems. Okay, so how do you define a business system? It could be a progressive media report, something you add to every day or one that Barajas suggests: “ . . . creating written checklists of how you do things.” It’s pretty basic; so don’t get intimidated by a big word like “systems.”
13. Tempted to try to everything yourself. Some of us just have these personalities that have us better at doing things than everyone else.
14. Tempted to be overly optimistic when you are just starting out. Yes, those cloudless skies can be deceiving. Here, Barajas focuses on money. He says, “Avoid being overly optimistic, believing you will be profitable from the very first day and projecting very big profits for your first year.” Basically, he say, small companies fail because they run out of money. So do this: “Build your business from a realistic foundation by creating an accurate budget for your first three years of business.”
15. Tempted to buy the best equipment and hire more people than you need. It’s easier to return equipment than to send people walking. Hire and buy judiciously.
16. Tempted to start a business without determining your passion and focusing on ideas based solely on profit/greed instead. Barajas says wisely, “For a business to succeed, you must be in it for the long term, and that requires passion.” Well said.
17. Tempted to quit too early. Passion, says Barajas, is what will get you through. He’s right about that; passion must be the currency you’ll need to fuel your company through the highs AND lows.
18. Tempted to seek out people who will tell you what you want to hear, instead of the truth. These types of people aren’t easy to find, so when you do cross their paths welcome them with open arms.
19. Tempted not to spend money on yourself and/or appropriate counsel. Be sure to surround yourself with smart people who have your best interests at heart.
20. Tempted to start a business without painting the vision for your employees. How are your employees supposed to develop if they don’t know what you expect of them?
21. Tempted to give your employees more responsibilities than they can or should handle. This is a sure-fire way to infuse burnout through the ranks.
22. Tempted to start a business without an exit strategy (or succession plan). Barajas offers these thought-provoking questions: Will you sell it, or will you transfer it to a family member or key employee? Smart entrepreneurs start thinking about their exit strategy from the beginning.