Business Sins? What Are They?

Are there really business sins? Well, I don't mean sin in a "Heaven and Hell" kind-of way. I'm talking about how you can cause your business to fail. These "sins" are the opposite traits of a successful entrepreneur. If you recognize any of them, you'd better get to work... or get lucky!

7 Ways To Kill Your Business

  1. Don't Plan or Prepare. “The devil's in the details!” What an interesting quote to use for one of the seven deadly business sins, huh? This sin is about the zillion little things that can't be skipped if you want to be a successful entrepreneur. If you skimp here, you're building a weak foundation for your business.

    Do the research you need now. Get answers to make good decisions. Plan-plan-plan! Careful planning now lets you avoid this particular business sin. It's much easier to make adjustments now instead of after your business is started. I like what Dwight David Eisenhower said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

    So do your market studies and choose your niche now. Know and watch your competition. Without doing these things, you'll always be playing 'catch-up' until you and/or the business collapses in a heap. Remember the saying you've heard before, (mostly used by life insurance salesmen)? It''s “Most people don't plan to fail, they fail to plan.”

  2. Don't Have A Clear Vision of What You Want. This is important... write a business plan! If you think it's too hard, I've made an easy way for you do write one. Your business plan will keep you on track to reach your goal. Continue to consult your plan regularly to keep from wandering away and getting lost. It's way too easy to become distracted. Be on your guard against this business sin! Otherwise you're likely to “dither” your way right out of business!
  3. Procrastinate. Procrastination keeps you from focusing on what needs to be done today. It's a subtle but deadly business sin! Thomas Jefferson said "Never put off until tomorrow what can be done today". It was true 200 years ago when he said it, and it's still true.
  4. Be A Perfectionist. This 'sin' keeps you at the starting gate, forever getting ready but never moving anywhere. It prevents you from beginning unless everything is 'just so'! It's the twin to procrastination. In fact, it's the real cause of many, if not most, problems with procrastination.

    This business sin will keep you from making progress towards your goals unless it's overcome. As my brother says, "perfect is the opposite of done." No, that sentence doesn't flow well but it's very true. Sometimes 'good enough' is good enough, and then you move on!

  5. Have A Negative Attitude Henry Ford said "whether you think you can or can't, you're right". Your attitude affects everything you do. Sometimes your attitude is the only thing in a situation that you CAN control. And it's really contagious whether it's positive or negative! Better make your attitude a positive one.
  6. Be Lazy You want to start that business you've been dreaming about but it sounds like so much work... and work is hard! Well, yeah, that's right. If you're lazy, and don't want to succeed bad enough to make yourself change, you have a tough business road ahead. You'd better do some thinking about whether you really want to do this entreprenuer thing. Remember... "No Pain, No Gain".
  7. Have Poor Money Skills You may think this isn't a business sin. But when you're starting a business you don't always have much money to work with. Your first job will be to find whatever funding that you need.

    And second, you'll need to be frugal (yes, even cheap) to stretch that money as much as far as you can. Many a business is sunk because of bad judgement or habits about money and credit. When money is tight it's especially true! But even if things are going well and you have lots of money, you still need to have good money habits.

    One other thing. When you're just starting your business, you'd probably better wait before you give yourself those 'rewards' that you're taking the 'risks' for. Remember that saying by Benjamin Franklin, that "a penny saved is a penny earned”? Smart guy, that Ben.

    Investing in your business is what you do at first. This is where having a budget and sticking to it helps. Do this and you'll get your reward later.

If you've owned a business and it failed, you're probably nodding your head and saying “Yeah, that was one of my problems!” A good way to ensure your success is to learn what those business sins are. If you know the causes of business failure, you are more likely to recognize problems you may have. Then you can take steps to prevent them from causing your business any harm.

If you've got your hands full with business problems, it may be time to read about some tell-tale signs of a failing business. If you recognize those signs, it may be time to call it quits. Here's the first steps to take when closing a business. I've suffered from one or all of these from time to time. (Luckily not all at the same time!)

Most of these problems can be overcome with education and/or self-discipline. There is help available. You can find lots of different small business resources online or off. Learn more by reading some of the business books on my book list.

Everybody has bad habits to fix, or areas they can do better in. Today is a great day to get started! And, like Nike says, “Just Do It".

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