image from hoboken411.com10.  You don’t have strong family connections at home.  This sounds weird but entrepreneurs with strong family support at home will do better than those who don’t have that support.  It’s just true.  I’ve heard other entrepreneurs say it in podcasts and articles, and it’s definitely been true in my case.  My business would not be thriving without the amazing support of my wife.  Work on these relationships.

9.  You aren’t leveraging technology to your advantage.  Do you still use a day timer?  Are you only able to get your email at your office?  Is your cell phone only a cell phone?  Do you use a formal accounting software to track your financial information or are you still using Excel?  Dude (or dudette), wake up!  You can be more efficient and profitable with the right technologies.

8.  You ignore your company’s internal processes.  Every company has an internal process… whether it be bad or good.  You may have excellent internal processes that were purposely designed to flow information properly through your company with efficiency and ease.  Or you may have a terrible process that nobody designed and which does no one any good.  Either way, you have a system, and to ignore it is to cripple your business to failure or doom your company to “c” status always tagging right behind your competition.  Get help identifying your processes and using them to your company’s advantage (coincidentally, we do this type of work).

7.  You don’t have a budget.  If you don’t know what you thought you were going to spend IF you made so much money, then how do you know if you spent too much when you didn’t make the money you swore you were going to make?  A budget simply gives you the knowledge of how well you think you did compared to what you thought you were capable of doing.  It’s not magic, it just gives you another tool to run your business (…that your competition doesn’t have, because NO ONE uses a budget).

6.  You started a business doing something you love.  Frankly, nobody cares what you love.  Start a business that meets a need currently not being met by anyone else.  And if you can combine the two, more power to you.

5.  You’re not doing what you love.  Life is too short to be stuck in a job you hate.  And it’s even worse when you are the owner.  Begin the education, new designations or certifications, training or whatever it takes to get you to a point to love what you do in your business.

4.  You don’t seek counsel from qualified professionals.  I’ve learned my lesson.  My attorney recently got me out of a big mistake.  Though they cost me $15,000, they saved me untold dollars, headaches and my reputation.  And my business coach continues to help me stay on track with my weekly time management schedule, and then there’s my marketing Guild I attend each month, the Strategic Coach seminars, etc.

3.  You haven’t checked into the possibility of leveraging social media as a new way to build relationships and market yourself and your products.  Think about this – people can begin an immediate relationship with people they trust in the same market they are in with the same interests in about 5 seconds flat.  They can do this online through social media.  So when they need a referral, a new computer or a doo-dad for their broken dish washer, do you think they are going to go to the yellow pages or look for a billboard?  Most of the new generations won’t.  So you need to be there to push your content to them through social media right when they are there looking for it.

2.  You’re not committed to self-education.  The iPhone (yes, it’s worth the $150 breakage fee you’ll have to pay Verizon to move over to AT&T) has allowed me to continually synch my podcasts in areas I want to learn about, and actually work on my MBA without working on my MBA.

1.  You’re scared to charge what you’re worth.  Now, this is a process.  First you have to understand what you are worth in the market you currently serve.  Then you have to have the guts to play in that market at those prices.  Those without self-confidence as to their abilities (without having a big fat head) often fail in this key area.  And it’s possible to get there, and then lose the confidence all over again.  You probably need a business coach to get you on track, and keep you there (hey, we offer that too).

Thanks, Jason M. Blumer