4 Terrible Habits That Entrepreneurs Need to Break

Hard truth: we all have bad habits. Whether that means we have some chemical crutches such as nicotine or caffeine or we just maintain some less-than-desirable personality traits, as they say, nobody’s perfect. The same is definitely true of entrepreneurs, with the only difference being that their habits can actually hurt their businesses.

Thankfully the first step to fixing the problem is admitting you have one. If you’re guilty of one of these four bad habits, here are some tips to help make the change.

Doing everything yourself

“If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.” Sometimes when you’re running a business, this old trope can seem especially true. However, in order for your business to meet its full potential, you’ll need to learn to not only trust others but to also train them properly.

Growing an employee is a process and a delicate one at that. While you may be anxious to turn your new hire into a clone of yourself, keep in mind that it will take time and, no matter how great they are, they will make mistakes. This is all a necessary part of the learning process and is something you should prepare for. Also you should be open to listening to your employees’ feedback instead of towing strict policies — they may have superior ideas and suggestions you may not have even considered.  

Being stubborn about customer service

Speaking of learning, one of the hardest things to teach anyone is customer service. Depending on your personality you too may have the instinct to prove that you’re right instead of actually taking care of the customer. Tampering down this impulse is essential for all entrepreneurs, especially with how easy it is for customers to share their negative experiences with others. In these cases being right can actually be very wrong.

Not paying attention to your spending (or selling)

There’s a lot more that goes into running a business than opening and closing the doors each day. Perhaps the largest example of this is the need to keep up on your numbers to understand how much you’re selling and how much you’re spending. Even if you’re no accountant, there are some basics you should still know off the top of your head, including how much you pay for each of your products, what your profit margin is on each item, and how much your business is making (or losing) in a given month. Furthermore looking at more detailed information such as when you’re making the most sales and what you’re selling the most of will help inform other decisions ranging from employee scheduling to determining what items to carry.

Making short-sighted decisions

For many entrepreneurs, every day is filled with dozens of decisions that need to be made on the fly. While the ability to make these calls is an important part of running a business, other choices you make could have major implications for your business and need to be considered much more carefully. For example there are now many places small business owners can turn to when they’re short on capital including merchant advance lenders, peer to peer lenders, and even collaborative lenders. Unfortunately not all of these options are created equally and taking on a loan you can’t afford could sink your business. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to slow things down and take your time on big decisions — your business could depend on it.

Got some bad habits? You’re certainly not alone. It also doesn’t mean that you can’t change your ways and become a better business owner with some work. Ultimately being a great entrepreneur and business owner requires patience, consideration, thoughtfulness, and know-how. As long as you strive for those qualities, you’re sure to go far.


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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