There are two sources of potential business failures: the ones you foresaw and the ones you overlooked. The former, the likes of economic downturn or the rise of a giant competitor, is more manageable because for sure, you’ve set up safeguards to cushion its blow or to counteract it. The latter, however, is more traumatic, especially because it’s often just right under your nose. Blind spots, as business coaches would call them.
If you’re a new entrepreneur, it’s important to know potential blind spots that can hurt your business, so you can bring them into the “foreseen” category and prepare for them better. Here are some of the common blind spots new entrepreneurs share.
New entrepreneurs are idea-making or seeking machines. They’re always on the lookout for the next big thing. It’s an admirable trait, especially because businesses thrive in ideas. But if creativity goes unrestrained, there’s a possibility of it doing more harm than good. How?
If you’re always chasing one Eureka moment or market trend after another, you’d end up not accomplishing anything. In the end, you’re tired and confused as to what exactly you’re aiming for. So tame your creativity. Ideas can be distractions, so try to limit them. Pursue one business at a time. If you’re weighing in on that healthy food franchise opportunity, focus on it first and follow through it. Once you see how it performs on the ground, that’s when you entertain other ideas for its expansion or other business endeavors.
Starting a business is a lot of work. There’s too much to do, just with accomplishing paperwork, permits and licenses, not to mention developing products and services. Entrepreneurs then tend to get fixated on the project, neglecting the people around them, isolating themselves. They pass up on networking events, missing meeting colleagues in the industry. They forget checking up on their employees. They skip family gatherings and kids’ recitals.
Over time, this kills relationships, relationships that are crucial in keeping your business afloat. Colleagues are sources of valuable insights into the industry. Employees are money-makers. Your family is a solid rock of support. Don’t take people for granted. Spend time growing relationships with these key people in your business.
If there’s a blind spot of all blind spots, this is it. This obscures everything from your view. Risks, mistakes, competitors, money troubles, management gaps, etc. It’s good to have a positive outlook of your venture—you’d need that in times of crisis—but if you’re too positive, you might underestimate issues that could cause your downfall.
How do you check yourself if you’re too confident? Ask the people around you. Get feedback from your employees and mentors. Of course, this is under the assumption that you’ve created a culture of openness and transparency in your organization. If you haven’t done that yet, you might only be getting feedback from people you want to hear. That culture should start with you.
Again, blind spots are notorious for making businesses fail. Don’t be blinded. Put on a fresh new perspective in dealing with these issues to guard yourself against business failure.