As an entrepreneur, there are thought patterns and habits that set you apart from others. According to Stephen Covey, in his bestselling book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he listed out the attitudes and lifestyle of successful people in all they do. In like manner, there are also habits and thought patterns of unsuccessful people — not just individually, but even as entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship requires more than just a viable business and capital to be successful. Behind those, there are core traits that every business owner needs to understand.
An excellent way to understand what makes entrepreneurs successful is by watching out for successful businesses and learning from them. Without developing these habits, it will be hard for any entrepreneur to attain success, no matter the number of resources at their disposal. If you are an entrepreneur, here are nine habits that you want to avoid.
1. Avoiding risks
Life alone involves taking risks every day. It is practically impossible to achieve great results without trying something that you’re not used to.
There are times when failure is inevitable, and there are also times when taking calculated risks makes you a better person or entrepreneur for that matter.
Learning to embrace change and the risks that come with it is a major hack for successful businesses. They don’t just step out into the sea when all is calm; they do so when there’s an opportunity ahead. In fact, the higher the risk in some cases, the greater your chances of winning.
2. Failing to plan
No doubt, planning is an essential part of life. And as the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. The importance of planning and strategizing cannot be overemphasized when it comes to building a successful business.
Accounting, marketing, hiring, logistics, and rent are just some of the areas of any business that require planning and structure. The temptation to not sit down and draw up a proper business plan is higher when it is a startup run by just one individual. Managing risks successfully requires planning.
3. Underestimating the importance of delegating tasks
As an individual, there’s only so much that you can do before you wear yourself out. You can’t wear too many hats at the same time. Aside from having your health impacted negatively, the business will suffer. It’s essential to do just the things you can do, then outsource the rest.
You don’t necessarily have to hire staff if you can’t afford one yet. But there are better ways of achieving great work. You may engage the services of freelancers or ad-hoc staff to reduce your workload and get more jobs done. Whichever works for you, ensure to stick to it.
4. They are bad at building relationships
Relationships are like life ladders. You will need them to climb out of tight situations. Entrepreneurs that downplay the importance of good relationships in business may be setting themselves up for eventual failure.
One trait that you’re bound to find in every successful business person is the ability to get outside of their comfort zones to build an incredible network. These could be past clients or colleagues in the same Industry. When the time for help arises, it is effortless to tap into such a network’s strength to get a solution.
5. Not having a structure for your business
This is another habit of unsuccessful entrepreneurs. Every business needs a stable structure to ensure that there are controls in place, so you can limit the waste of resources. Having a system in place ensures that things are done in an orderly and organized manner. Your clients are also able to see if you are disorganized or not.
Running your empire will be a lot easier if there are rules, policies, and systems that guide every activity. This also includes your work schedule. When is the best time to draw the curtain on the day’s activities? Do you have to take work home or not?
6. Over-promising and under-delivering
Sometimes, as a startup company, you have the benefit of the doubt from your clients. Some clients are even willing to cut you some slack by not expecting too much. However, you will be doing your business a disservice by not meeting and exceeding your clients’ and business associates’ expectations.
Missing deadlines, for one, is a sure recipe for failure. Nobody enjoys being delayed. It is best to be completely honest about your ability to do the job than promising and failing to deliver when the date is due.
7. Taking out too many loans
While it’s okay for you to borrow and get things done now, it’s imperative not to stretch it beyond what’s necessary. If your business is starting, borrowing too much may not be a good idea unless you want to execute a contract or expand your business.
The weight of loans can crush a thriving business faster than you can imagine. In fact, debt is one of the reasons many companies pack up.
The habit of putting things off until later is sure to send any enterprise down the drain. The truth is that delayed tasks mean delayed progress, and if clients cannot trust your ability to fulfill your promise, then there’s a problem.
Entrepreneurs who procrastinate have a slim chance of actually doing business in the real sense of the word business. They’re lazy, laid back, and incapable of providing leadership to their team.
9. Not staying focused on one thing
Unsuccessful entrepreneurs are not stable. They’re habitually moving from one thing to another. They are not in the habit of generating an idea and nurturing that idea to grow it into something big before leaving it behind.
It’s not a bad idea to invest in more than one thing. But it’s a bad idea when you’re unable to create a direction for the business, stick to it, and build the company from the ground up. Unsuccessful entrepreneurs are in the habit of moving from venture to venture without taking the time to invest in any fully.