As you may know, I’m writing a new book to help entrepreneurs-in-the-making get a huge jump-start on taking their entrepreneurial leap. It’s called Entrepreneurial Leap: Do You Have What It Takes to Become an Entrepreneur? and comes out on October 15.
While writing the book, I had an a-ha moment that may help you. In one of the chapters, I teach future entrepreneurs how to avoid the eight mistakes that most entrepreneurs make during the start-up phase of their businesses.
These eight mistakes were discovered through my 20 years of experience helping entrepreneurs. EOS® was created to solve the eight mistakes. When a potential client comes to us at EOS Worldwide, they’re typically suffering from having made some or all of these eight mistakes while starting and building their company. By fully implementing EOS, they tend to solve them all.
While writing the book, my thoughts turned to you. The question that came to me was, “Have you really, permanently solved all eight mistakes? Are there still some lingering, or have you reverted back to any old ways?” Here are the eight mistakes:
- Not having a clear vision
- Hiring the wrong people
- Not spending time with your people
- Not knowing who your customer is
- Not charging enough
- Not staying true to your core
- Not knowing your numbers
- Not crystallizing roles and responsibilities
Let’s take them one at a time and do a little check-up to make sure you’re firing on all cylinders.
1. Not Having a Clear Vision
Mistake: Most business owners and leaders have their vision in their head but not documented or shared by all.
Solution: Is your V/TO™ 100 percent complete? Are you and your leadership team 100 percent on the same page with every word? Do you share it with all of your people in a quarterly state-of-the-company meeting every 90 days?
2. Hiring the Wrong People
Mistake: Many companies suffer from the bad hiring mistakes made early on in the starting of the business. The entrepreneur throws bodies at their problems with good intention, and years later, you have the wrong people in the wrong seats and are afraid to make the tough changes.
Solution: Are 100 percent of the people in your organization the right people in the right seats? Is everyone at or above the bar in your People Analyzer™?
3. Not Spending Time with Your People
Mistake: Most companies suffer from poor communication only talking and meeting when there is a problem or crisis.
Solution: Is everyone in your organization in a weekly Level 10 Meeting™? Is your leadership team doing quarterly and annual planning sessions? Is every manager having a quarterly conversation with their direct reports?
4. Not Knowing Who Your Customer Is
Mistake: Most companies are unclear on who their ideal target market is and, as a result, unfortunately take a buckshot approach to their marketing, trying to market to everyone with a scattered message.
Solution: Do you clearly know the demographic, geographic, and psychographic of your ideal target market? Are your Three Uniques crystal clear? Are all of your marketing and sales resources laser focused?
5. Not Charging Enough
Mistake: Most companies aren’t generating enough profit.
Solution: Are you clearly communicating your value to your customers and clients? Do you obsess about their needs and consistently provide them high value? Can they live without you? Are you charging enough? As Dan Sullivan says, “When choosing your pricing, choose the price that scares you and add 20 percent.”
6. Not Staying True to Your Core
Mistake: Most companies have strayed from their sweet spot and find themselves in multiple businesses or scattered.
Solution: Are you staying true to your Core Focus™, and are all of your systems, people, and processes designed and aligned to drive that Core Focus with absolute consistency and not getting distracted by any shiny stuff?
7. Not Knowing Your Numbers
Mistake: Most companies are flying by the seat of their pants, managing the business based on gut feel.
Solution: Is your Company Scorecard rock solid? Do you know your five to 15 most important activity-based numbers that will give you a pulse on future results? Are you reviewing them and reacting every week? Are you monitoring profit and loss statements and budgets regularly?
8. Not Crystallizing Roles and Responsibilities
Mistake: Most people take an all for one and one for all approach to starting and building a company. As a result in the future, your people are tripping all over each other to get the job done.
Solution: Is your Accountability Chart correct, constantly updated and crystal clear? Are all of the seats in the organization clearly identified? Does everyone know their five major roles? Is everyone staying in their lane?
Please take time in your next Clarity Break™ to do a little check-up and put any Issues on your Level 10 or your V/TO issues list. If things are a little “shaky” on any of the above, or any of the terminology is unclear, it might be a great time to read or reread Traction®.
- Download a free chapter of How to Be a Great Boss to learn how to lead, manage, and create accountability on your team.
- Watch EOS Founder Gino Wickman describe the 8 Questions Your Leadership Team Should Answer to help you clarify your company vision.
- Take the Organizational Checkup® to get a picture of your company’s strengths and weaknesses, along with a roadmap for improvement.
Written by Gino Wickman
This post originally appeared on the EOS Worldwide Blog.