Hindsight Lessons from Business Owners

By Brooke Tajer on
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 Starting a business is not the easiest thing to do. At least not without a few minor and major bumps along the way. Mistakes are bound to be made. The following are a few things that business owners, looking back, realized could have saved them a lot of grievance while starting out their companies.

1. Separate the Business from the Personal. Before even beginning, purposely choose to draw a line between your business and yourself. Business losses, turn-downs, and failures of any kind, or size, are not to be taken personally. Also, your business is a professional business; try not to mix in your personal life. Treating them as two separate entities will ensure the better health of both. 

2. Keep Records. The accounting strategies you set up early on will determine your practices throughout your company’s life. That being said, establish proper and thorough record-keeping practices right off the bat. The more organized and up to date you are, the easier your bookkeeping will be later on, and you will know where all of your documentation is should you ever need it.

3. You Will Always Need More Money. Young business owners tend to be extremely optimistic regarding their sales. They are normally so excited to begin that they do not accurately determine their actual needed amounts. Or they will simply go for it and hope that the money proves sufficient. However, according to the owners that have been there, this is rarely the case. A good measure to keep in mind is that however much money you think you may need, go ahead and double it right then.

4. Be Adaptable. While every business should have a detailed, fully thought-through business plan, the marketplace, in reality, is all over the place. A business needs to be able to hold onto its long-term goals while at the same time adjusting its short-term ones to match the flow of the market. The plan must be strong enough to withstand the constant shifts of the day-to-day world.

5. Micromanaging Doesn’t Work. While it is understandable that business owners want to be on top of everything at all times, in actuality, they simply can’t. Instead of wearing yourself thin by attempting to control every aspect of your upcoming company, choose to delegate. Not only will this strengthen your team with the increased doses of reliability and accountability, but it will also allow you to focus your efforts into matters that demand your full attention. Likewise, it must be understood that perfectionism is not welcome either. There will be times when rash decisions will need to be made without having the chance to weigh out the consequences for months. Constantly trying to make sure that every choice you make is the perfect one will no doubt stump your company’s growth. The sooner you get rid of your habits of perfectionism, the better.

6. Say “No” When Necessary. This applies to a few different things. The first being the friends and family aspect. Sometimes the hardest thing is to say no to a close friend who asks for a favor, or even a job. While these decisions are completely up to you, you must be open to the possibility that you will have to say no. You must put your business first and from there decide whatever is appropriate. The second part is one that most young entrepreneurs tend to look over. You do not need to accept every opportunity that comes along. Just because an offer is made does not mean you need to take it, especially if you would take it out of fear that it is your only chance. As your company grows and stabilizes, more and more opportunities will come your way. Hold out for the ones you actually think will benefit your company the most.