Are You Mental? 5 Crazy Mistakes Made by Small Businesses

Going into business for the first time is an amazing feeling, it’s a high really. You have this ideal image in your brain about how you will run a flawless workflow, all your employees will applaud your business savvy, and your profits will be through the roof…. Right? Well, while any business has the potential to grow and evolve into a successful company, it is not without those tricky little things we call, “obstacles”. Granted, some new businesses have fewer hurdles to jump than others, but there is navigating to be learned, no matter your industry.

After you have made your business plan, applied for your Small Business Loan or Start-Up Loan, you have to map out what expectations you have for your employees and even come up with a plan to address some of the most common issues among staff. Anticipating any problems and the solution before it happens is a great way to deal with an issue from a non-emotional standpoint, which commonly happens in the heat of a moment. Anticipation is your best friend.

Some of the greatest decisions and most detrimental mistakes start and end with your employees. From the hiring to the handling, this is a place where many businesses find themselves reaching for a resource to guide them through the process of dealing with the many situations (both good and bad) regarding their personnel. So let’s dive in and take a better look at what mistakes you can avoid, so you can set your business up for success.

5 Small Business Mistakes

Going into business for the first time is an amazing feeling, it’s a high really. You have this ideal image in your brain about how you will run a flawless workflow, all your employees will applaud your business savvy, and your profits will be through the roof…. Right? Well, while any business has the potential to grow and evolve into a successful company, it is not without those tricky little things we call, “obstacles”. Granted, some new businesses have fewer hurdles to jump than others, but there is navigating to be learned, no matter your industry.

After you have made your business plan, applied for your Small Business Loan or Start-Up Loan, you have to map out what expectations you have for your employees and even come up with a plan to address some of the most common issues among staff. Anticipating any problems and the solution before it happens is a great way to deal with an issue from a non-emotional standpoint, which commonly happens in the heat of a moment. Anticipation is your best friend.

Some of the greatest decisions and most detrimental mistakes start and end with your employees. From the hiring to the handling, this is a place where many businesses find themselves reaching for a resource to guide them through the process of dealing with the many situations (both good and bad) regarding their personnel. So let’s dive in and take a better look at what mistakes you can avoid, so you can set your business up for success.

  1. Treating Everyone Like Family

    It’s one thing to be polite and kind to your employees, it’s another thing to let them get away with anything because of this strange notion that you are all some sort of dysfunctional family. That’s really cute in sitcoms, but in real life you need to be able to maintain your stance as an authority figure and be a fair judge or circumstances. When it comes to business, no emotion should be factoring into decisions. It just complicates things, not to mention being accused of having favorites or letting personal relationships factor into your business decisions. This does not translate by any means into being cruel, it just means keeping business relationships strictly business – Especially when you are the boss.  

  2. Firing the Baby

    Cut-backs happen sometimes. Especially in new businesses. Sometimes you have to curate your staff down to the necessary nuts and bolts. Many times in these types of circumstances, bosses will “make it easier on themselves” by getting rid of the newest member of the team – you know, so that it makes sense to everyone else and less feelings are hurt. Here’s a tip, your hiring and firing decisions shouldn’t depend one iota on the emotional responses of your staff. Your decisions should be solely based on skill and being the right fit for the job. If that “best fit” happens to be the young man who started two weeks ago, keep him on. Don’t keep people around just because they’ve put in a certain amount of years. In the end, you have to make decisions that will be in the best interest of the business. Not everyone will agree with you, but that’s okay, because you are doing what you think is best for the company… and because you’re the boss.

  3. Forgetting to Learn the Law

    A huge, GIANT mistake that a lot of small businesses make is thinking that because the business is “small” and because they know their employees so well, they don’t have to worry about breaking any Human Resources rules. Well, let me tell you from personal experience that having that kind of attitude can be the killshot. Business is business and you shouldn’t let your guard down, no matter how well you know a person on your staff, or despite how small your business is. This is not to sound cynical, but just as a precaution. Know your employment laws and make sure you are always doing right by your employees, no matter the size of your business.

  4. Giving Your Cousin a Job

    It’s an unavoidable thing, as soon as you start your own business, people that you know will be coming out of the woodwork for a job. It makes it difficult for most people to turn these friends and family down, and you don’t necessarily have to turn them down. However, if they are not the right fit for the position, it should be a no-go. Pity and handouts don’t keep a business going. It’s the hard truth, but you have to make decisions based on what is best for your business. If Cousin Ned doesn’t know a darned thing about marketing, there is no reason why you should make him the head of your Marketing Department.

  5. Letting Bad Eggs Stink Up the Office

    Sometimes there is an individual in the office who is so defiantly against the entire environment that you want for your staff. They may have some redeeming qualities, but overall they are lacking in work ethic, and interpersonal savvy. When someone is exuding toxic vibes to the work environment, it is time to decide whether to work with them to improve and how long you should do so. There is only so long that you can help someone work on their behavior before you realize that they are a lost cause and it is causing more harm to keep them around. Hurting feelings may be a concern, but there is always a diplomatic and professional way to let anyone go. Don’t hang onto toxic people for too long, make your decisions quickly before they begin to bring down the entire morale.

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