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Eight Mistakes That Could Be Costing Your Business Big Money

Updated on July 24, 2017
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In my research of small business owners, I have found eight common thinking mistakes that small business owners make that cost them big money.

Mistake #1 – I don’t have time to learn new ways of marketing and selling.

While it is true, you may not have the time to learn the most current and profitable ways of marketing and selling, if you don’t find the time you will be letting some of the most lucrative streams of income go to waste – or even worse, go to your competition. The best marketing is authentic, relevant and written in the language of your ideal client.

As a business owner, no one knows or cares more about your business than you do. So take the time to see how authentic marketing can work for you. Then, when you are confident that your marketing is successful and authentic to your brand, you can delegate it to someone else with confidence and watch those clients roll in.

Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.

Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

Mistake #2 – I’m an introvert and introverts can’t do sales and marketing.

When your marketing and sales aren’t working, your business suffers financially. There is still a stereotype around the idea that, to be effective in sales, you need a big personality and loads of confidence. Blaming your personality type is a convenient way of excusing you for your failure in this area. Introverts actually make excellent marketing and sales people because they LISTEN first and SPEAK second.

The most important gift you can give people is to HEAR them, to truly understand their needs, wants and desires. So by getting out of your own way and offering excellent listening and problem solving skills you are putting your best self forward and engendering trust in all your potential clients.

“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you

if you realized how seldom they do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Mistake #3 – I can’t get noticed because my niche is a noisy space.

This is a problem when business owners don’t set themselves up as the expert in their field. Business owners often site this as a problem. However it really isn’t. The thing to remember is that you need to be newsworthy for the world to talk about you. What are you doing that is newsworthy? Are you sharing that with your clients or expecting them to read your mind? Unfortunately, if you don’t tell your clients all about your wins, they will never know, and there is a really lucrative marketing stream going to waste.

In a world full of competition, remember that you are unique. No one does what you do in the way that you do it. Bring your own life experience to what you do. When you can get really clear about who you are and why you do what you do, then you have a chance of being noticed by the people that really matter – your ideal clients.

“There is only one way to avoid criticism:

Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” – Aristotle

Mistake #4 – I don’t have enough money to grow my business.

This is a common thinking mistake of small business owners. If you are really struggling to pay yourself, your staff and the bills, how can you possibly have money to invest in growing your business? It just seems unreal.


When business owners think like this, they avoid making any changes and their stress levels gradually increase until they are forced to do something. Often times, that something, is a reactive, knee-jerk response that costs a lot more money than it might have if they’d addressed the issue earlier.

Before you spend any money, do your research. If you are going to hire a coach or consultant to help you, ask them how their services really apply to you and your business. Make sure that every dollar you invest in your business is going to give you a real return.

“Tough times never last, but tough people do.” – Dr Robert Schuller

Mistake #5 – I don’t have enough TIME to grow my business.

This is often the “Catch 22” in business, and relates directly to one of the major benefits of starting a business coaching program. Many business owners are too busy working IN their business to work ON their business. So who’s in charge? Are you running your business or is your business running you? This really hurts your business because it keeps you in the status quo. As the cost of doing business rises and compliance becomes more time consuming – unless you can free up some time, not only will your business not grow, but it will go backwards.

Time is a finite resource. You can’t get it back when it’s gone. What you can do is learn how to manage your time effectively so that you and your business run smoothly. It is not about getting more stuff done! That is just unsustainable. It’s about getting the right stuff done at the right time.

“Someday is not a day of the week.” – Denise Brennan-Nelson

Mistake #6 – No one in my business understands everything like I do, so I just have to do it all myself.

When small businesses start up, the owner generally does everything to get it off the ground. As a start-up it is too expensive to hire the right staff and also a bit financially irresponsible. However, there comes a time when the business has grown to a certain point and it needs more people to support it. This can be a terrifying time for business owners as the cost of hiring more people may be greater than the potential profits earned – at least in the short term. Yet the cost of ‘doing it all yourself’ is far greater than that. Everyone hates a bottle-neck, so don’t let it be you. Look at your business with fresh eyes and talk to your staff to find out where the delays are occurring. They often aren’t where you they are.

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things.

He is the one that gets people to do the greatest things.” – Ronald Reagan


Mistake #7 – Feelings of overwhelm and burnout are “just business.”

Small business owners who think like this are unfortunately quite common. I have even been to networking events where people almost claim this statement as a badge of honour!?! This kind of thinking leads to business owners leading a miserable life because they think they have to. It might have even been a story handed down to them by their parents or grand parents.

Stress is a killer. By learning how stress affects you, you can develop strategies to deal with it more effectively. Don’t wear your stress as a badge of honour. Be the business owner that loves doing business, leads an awesome life and truly thrives.

“Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start,

anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.” – Carl Bard

Mistake #8 – I work long hours so I don’t have any time to look after myself.

My apologies if this seems a little harsh, but I find this statement to be a very convenient excuse for failing to look after yourself. Due to the nature of owning a business and the feelings of responsibility that it engenders, sometimes business owners can engage in avoidance behaviour. They avoid:

  • Fixing problems in a timely manner;
  • Spending time or money on their health; and
  • Dealing with stress.

Better the devil you know, right? Wrong!

It is not selfish to look after yourself. It is essential. You are the most important person in your world, and there is nothing more important than that you feel good. This is not at the expense of others. To feel truly good means that you are in a place of harmony with all living things. As the Buddha says,

“There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path.” – Buddha

Look after yourself. Choose to be happy.

Unfortunately these thinking mistakes are common in small businesses. But with awareness comes opportunity. You have the opportunity to re-write the book on small business ownership; live a brilliant life and contribute to the global community is a meaningful way.

“With the right thinking and the right action,

you get the right results.” – Susanna Wailes

So, go get ‘em! You’ve got this.

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    • profile image

      emilineanderson 6 days ago

      I really love your article! It was spot on!

    • Susanna Wailes profile image
      Author

      Susanna Wailes 2 weeks ago from Australia

      Hey Cinderella14, YES! Take time to breathe. There is nothing more important in your life than that you look after yourself and feel good. Trust that everything will happen in the right time. The harder you push yourself the further away your goals will seem. When you take the time to look after yourself, you operate from a space of joy which means that you can be much more effective in your chosen field. I wish you the best of luck on your journey.

    • cinderella14 profile image

      Sharon 2 weeks ago from Philippines

      I consider number 8 as an eye opener for me. I have a full-time job and I am trying to learn everything about online business that could probably help me earn some decent amount. Since I could not give up my full-time job and I want to at least get some extra, I would work for long hours causing me to have a really short amount of rest. In my desire to be successful in this field, I didn't notice that I already took myself for granted. I was too focused on my goal. Sometimes, I feel so stressed. Perhaps I need to reconsider my priorities. I need some time for myself. Thank you for a very nice article.