image from hoboken411.comThere are reasons why your business is tanking…


10.  You suck out all of the profit and spend it on your toys.  Your business is a long-term investment.  It’s not designed to meet your every whim and satisfy your desire to always have the latest and greatest toy.  Stop sucking your company dry of all of it’s profits, and maybe it will survive through the next downturn.

9.  Though you are a business owner, you act like an employee.  Business owners have to do things employees don’t have to do: stay late, make sure all of the customers are happy, stay innovative, stay ahead of their competition, negotiate the lease on a new copier, etc.  Employees only have to work, do a good job, get a paycheck and NOT get fired.  That’s not bad, it’s just the difference between employees and owners.  You better start acting like everything falls on your shoulders (because it does), and remember that the customers will always blame you when something goes wrong (because they will)… starting acting like you own the place!

8.  You watch too much TV.  A little TV is relaxing but too much becomes a waste of time.  Spend time with your family, enhancing your skills through listening to podcasts or reading relevant blogs through the Google Reader aggregator.  

7.  You read People magazine instead of Inc. Magazine.  Fame and celebrity is something created in our own minds and pushed by media.  Following your favorite celeb won’t do you any good in your business.  To make your business successful requires learning and study, not “people watching.”

6.  You won’t delegate the small stuff.  “I love doing what I started this business to do,” you say.  But as your business grows, you will be required to let go of the details or they will consume you, your time and your ability to grow the business and make exponential profits.  And even though you think no one will do it as good as you, you are wrong.

5.  You won’t tell your employees the long-term vision for the company.  I’m a serious advocate of business owners taking their employees aside and telling them what the vision is, how to “speak” the vision, and what innovative things your company is doing.  I call it “brainwashing” and it is very effective.

4.  You don’t have a business coach, a marketing coach or a general business adviser.  “without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22.  The more counselors you let in to your life, the more opportunities you have to catch what you are doing wrong before it gets out of hand.

3.  You don’t realize your industry is changing right before your eyes.  I’m also a big proponent of questioning your industry’s methods, processes and future.  If your industry is changing and you don’t notice, then you are already getting left behind by your competition.  Study your industry, and duly note it’s course!

2.  You don’t have the guts to fire your clients.  It’s all about the value you offer, and what your clients actually find valuable.

1.  Your business, frankly, is a bad idea.  Entrepreneurs start businesses that solve a problem currently unmet in the market place.  If you have a “brilliant” idea that doesn’t do anyone any good, then your idea is, frankly, a bad idea.  No one is going to pay you a dime for something that offers them no relief.