When we think about what makes a successful business, or what makes an organization great, there are often several common factors. Creating and maintaining a high performing corporate culture is often on the the list, as is treating employees well, and offering unique benefits. When it comes to products or services, common answers include solving problems for clients or customers, or making simple to use, beautiful products. It is why companies like Apple and Google consistently top the annual list of the most valuable brands in the world.

If those are the common things that help make businesses successful, then perhaps it is also helpful to look at the top 10 common mistakes that businesses make that can cause them problems, and even lead to them being out of business.

To compile this list, we reached out to business leaders, consultants, and executives from our client list, as well as past and current partners, colleagues and industry peers. Here are their top 10 mistakes:

  • Failing to Show Up – this was in relation to failing to be consistent for clients, and customers. As a business and as a brand, consumers are looking for consistency so they know what to expect from you, and if you disappoint them regularly by failing to show up, or meet their expectations, they will move on from you.
  • Becoming Complacent – this is a common issue for businesses, particularly once the business has had some success. It is easy and tempting even to want to take your foot off the gas and enjoy your success, but if you aren’t pushing forward as an organization, you could be moving backwards.
  • Negativity – if you have a negative corporate culture, or leaders who are consistently negative they can diminish your chances of success.
  • Waiting Too Long to Make a Decision – indecision can absolutely kill businesses, not to mention stall progress, stifle innovation, and cost you customers and employees.
  • Create a Welcoming Environment – whether it is a retail space, a restaurant, or an office, clients and customers want to feel welcomed when they come visit you. They can sense if the environment is negative or if there is tension.
  • Focusing on Too Many Things at Once – companies that try to be everything to everyone, end up not being successful because they lack focus. The most successful organizations are crystal clear on what their focus is, what their customers need and expect from them, and that focus helps set them apart from their competitors.
  • Copying What Another Business is Doing – imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but when it comes to business it is a disaster. What makes another business successful may not work for you, and trying to emulate their culture, or copy their products is just a waste of time. Clients and customers want your original ideas, and they want something authentic.
  • Manage Your Time – as an organization there are only so many hours in a day. Working to priortize tasks, streamline processes, and be more efficient will help you stay ahead of the curve.
  • Trying to Control Everything – experience tells us that the more we try to control things the more out of control things can feel. The same is true in business, so it is important to prioritize the things that need to be done.
  • Be “All In” – no one ever “half-assed” their way to success, and the same is true in business. If you want to create a high performing team, you need employees who are all in, customers who are all in, and the stronger you believe in what you are doing, the more likely you are able to build a following that supports what you are doing and helps you get where you want to go.

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