It does not matter how much you pay them, give them mentorship, opportunities etc. Life changes and so do people. Plan for their exit and always have a 2nd in place who is capable.
Consider your business as a glass half empty situation. By focusing on what could go wrong, and fixing it and planning for it, you will improve your outcomes dramatically, by being ready for objections and other sure to occur challenges.
My biggest mistake was spending the money when I earned it. If I could do it all over again, I would keep three months of overhead in the bank. Trust me you’ll need it eventually.
I wish someone told me to get a line of credit when I DIDN’T need it. Banks won’t give you one when you do need it.
A P.I.T.A. client is not worth it. You end up spending your time working on someone who is never happy and disregard the better clients who don’t complain.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Owning a business is a lot of work – probably more than you thought, particularly when first starting out.
Just like marriages, having a business partner is not always easy. When times are fruitful and money is plentiful everyone get a long. In tough business climates and when moneys run short that is the real test.
My biggest mistake is I let my ego get in the way of the most important aspect of a business, teamwork.
First we would not hire friends and family. Second, we would be more demanding of employees and not treat them as friends. We would have been more productive if we were somewhat sterner.
I would pay the extra money for auditing (we did audits every three years, reviews on the other two) and then have a systematic way to insure that the recommendations in the management letter were followed.
I would maintain personal control and accounting of corporate cash on a daily basis.
I would have a “no jerks” rule and use the probationary period to fire jerks, no matter how talented and skillful they may be.
I would not do an ESOP – there are simpler and more effective ways to share ownership with employees.
Pick an acronym common in your industry and ask your accountant if (s)he knows what it means. If they do not, then you are using the wrong accountant.
I kept employees too long after the downturn. Should have laid people off early 2009 and did not do so until 15 mos. later.
Don’t hire part-time employees thinking you’ll save money over a full-time employee. Part timers have somewhere else to be and are less productive than the person trying to impress you to move up the ladder.
Don’t undercut your price. You work harder, have less money and the client thinks you are only worth that much. If you are not confident in yourself enough to raise your fees, then you should not be in business.
I thought employee management would be easy – it’s not. Take extra HR classes and be prepared for tons of employee drama.
Working from home means you’re always working and you never turn off.
Don’t have too many junior employees or trainees at one time.