3. Not caring enough
It’s common for an enterprise or an entrepreneurial team to be faced with the kind of challenges where one fundamental question emerges, and that is: ‘Do we care enough to do what we were in business for?’ This may seem so basic or simple, but it has caused many businesses to fail.
Of what use is a business that doesn’t care for its key stakeholders – customers, employees and shareholders? True business men and women care about the good of others – their stakeholders – and demonstrate it by their actions. They are not passionate about their solutions, they also care about them.
In other words, they care about what their customers care about. If you don’t care about your customers, they won’t care about you either, and someone will surely care for them. And that means that you will go out of business much sooner than you can imagine.
How much do you care about your customers and their success and happiness? I mean, how would you follow up to make sure your customers are happy after using your product or service? What have you done to improve your product or service in a manner that excites them?
When an enterprise doesn’t care, it will resort to running by ‘quick fixes’ and will also be armed with shortsightedness. Look back at the way you handled your last customer, and ask yourselves if you cared enough about them or just about their money. Your customers, partners, and the team will feel when you care or not, and will always be drawn to you when you truly care.
Your customers (and your team) deserve your best. Let everyone who comes in contact with you feel comfortable and at home with your business and what it stands for because of how you make them feel. When you hold this standard high, it will surely make all the difference in your enterprise.
4. Lack of focus
The entrepreneurs’ real obsessions are to pursue their sense of mission, driven by the solutions (products and services) that they created. Successful enterprises are laser-focused on providing value to their customers, who are the reason why they are in business in the first place.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners must be focused. Their focus must be on one thing, and that one thing is to focus on their mission and grow big.
FOCUS, it’s been said to be an acronym that means: Follow One Course Until Successful! Your mission is to stay focused on one thing at a time that would hugely benefit your target market, and master it.
Focus is one of the important skills entrepreneurs must possess. They focus on people’s needs rather than on their own needs. And like you know, money flows in the direction of needs. If you focus on solving other people’s needs, money will flow to you. But if you focus on your needs, money will be flowing out from you to the people who will meet those needs. And there is no way we would have our eyes focused on problems and solving them, without being rewarded for it.
Focus on what matters, and give it time to grow. Your first customer is your team and your second customer is the end-user of your product or service.
These two must take the central focus of your decision-making, and you must take care of both of them first and foremost if you truly want to succeed in business.
Just as I mentioned in my book, On Becoming An Entrepreneur, ‘Enterprises that fail to focus do so because they haven’t yet found their market sweet spot. We must learn to be ultra-focused on substance over the form that is borne from our sweet spots!’
The key to focus is to articulate succinctly what you’re trying to accomplish. You can’t focus until you eliminate the unnecessary.
As John C. Maxwell declared, ‘People lacking focus have trouble not because they’re too busy, but because their priorities are out of whack.’
Learning to prioritise makes you manage your time better. The better you manage your time, the easier it is for you to do more, and the more effective you will become.
Tony Ajah is a Business Growth Strategist, and the author of BUSINESS SENSE, and ON BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR. He maintains a personal blog, www.tonyajah.com where he shares proven business ideas and principles for SMEs.