There are many holes that entrepreneurs can fall into when starting up their budding new business. Venture capitalist Jeff Busgang offers some insight into these errors and further solutions to avoid them or tackle them.
1. Fighting fires rather than scaling up
Busgang says entrepreneurs focus on a lot of the problems that appear to be the ‘greatest’ challenge, such as: product, customer and investor issues, and losing money. Start-ups should allocate time weekly to interview potential employees, even if it’s only for 2 hours. The interviewees don’t have to be hired there and then but knowing you have a pool of potential recruits to pull from can be quite handy, he says.
2. Doing rather than coaching
Each team member should up-skill every 12 months in order for the star up to grow, according to Busgang. He attributes this to the owner being able to explain the new skill sets and behaviours they will need to grow when the company expands. Busgang recommends that coaching should be seen as an investment into time management. This will allow owners to focus on tasks which only they can do, once they have equipped their staff.
3. Failing to plan for setbacks
Always be prepared to deal with setbacks and delays no matter how well-run your company is, says Busgang. Further he says backup plans, that include input from the start-ups advisory board and investors, should be written down in the event of a delay. These can include anything from a product delay to key personnel leaving.
4. Focusing too much on setbacks
Busgang warns that error #3 is good but if the solution for it is focused on too much employees, and owners, can dishearten both. He suggests that once the back-up plan is set, to store it away and only come back to it in the event of a delay.
5. Not enough relationship building
Gatherings at the local restaurant can be a simple way to build relationships amongst owners and their management team members, employees and investors. Relationships built during these times can endure past times of crisis if entrepreneurs purposefully make time for it, according to Busgang. He says entrepreneurs cam go from crisis-to-crisis which neglects relationship building time within the company.
6. Neglecting your corporate culture
Busgang found that CEOs who created an environment where people enjoyed working were often recipients of ‘great place to work’ awards. As such, he suggests challenging staff, to equip them with the tools they need to achieve their task, and showing public appreciation of staff members’ success.
Taken from http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/6-avoidable-mistakes-entrepreneurs-make.html