In business, it’s the unexamined things that often get you, the problems or practices that you may have overlooked or were in denial about. Here are two potential pitfalls to think about.
The first: dishonesty. Watch out for lies, both big and little and intentional and unintentional. Don’t promise something and then not follow through, for example. If you do mess up, don’t pretend it didn’t happen; admit the mistake and explain how you’ll correct it. Integrity counts for everything in business, whether you’re dealing with customers, partners or employees. Every interaction is a chance to leave a lasting impression.
The second: failing to understand your finances. You’d be surprised how many startups don’t pay attention to critical details like cash burn. Instead, they bury their heads in the sand and hope for the big product or deal that will put them on Easy Street. So be reasonable about product features. Know where your money is going and determine if something is sucking away enormous resources without providing an acceptable return. Keep an emergency cushion too. If you have an accountant, ask him or her to help determine what that amount should be. If you don’t have an accountant, then start by getting accounting help.
Adapted from 2 Mistakes Small Business Owners Need to Avoid by Maryalene LaPonsie at Small Business Computing.