5 Risks to Eliminate When Starting a New Business as Outlined by Ron Bauer
Being an entrepreneur is a high risk, high reward endeavour. With no one telling you when, how long and how hard to work, the freedom of entrepreneurship is extremely alluring. However, the risks can outweigh the rewards if you’re not careful. Thousands of entrepreneurs have blazed the trail before you and many of them have made mistakes that the rest of us can learn from.
Pretending You Know It All
If you are new to running a business, there is no need to pretend like you know it all. Entrepreneurship is all about learning, gaining new knowledge, and making mistakes. It is not possible to keep up with dynamically evolving markets and industries, so don’t pretend to.
Ron Bauer suggests keeping an open mind, being unafraid to ask questions, and being able to admit to your mistakes. There are hundreds of resources available to budding entrepreneurs no matter what city you live in, so take advantage of them wherever or whenever you can. The Internet is an amazing resource that can help you navigate uncertainty or connect you with people who can help you do just that.
Getting Ahead of Yourself
As an entrepreneur, you are acutely focused on growth and profit — as you should be. However, becoming laser focused on turning your investments into returns right away might cost you in the long run. When you are making decisions, you need to be thinking in multiple directions, and this means ensuring sustainability as well as growth.
Ron Bauer suggests focusing on why you started the business in the first place, returning to your initial motivation, and focusing on impact. When your goal is to maximize profits, you may make short-term decisions that showcase quick growth, but can cost you in the near future. Be careful to re-evaluate your decisions through this lens, making sure you stick to your initial motivations to ensure sustainable growth.
Fostering a Hostile Work Environment
It is important to develop the culture of your company from the outset, communicating properly with employees and leading from the back. What is often called ‘servant leadership’ is being of service to your employees, not the other way around. Ron Bauer explains that serving your staff means allowing them to make mistakes, being supportive of their growth, and investing in them through meaningful training.
While many companies claim to have an “open door policy,” in reality, very few actually do — be the very few. When honesty and communication is met with reward and encouragement, your employees will feel more comfortable coming to you with any problems or issues they encounter. You want to be able to foster this type of environment to ensure that no one is ever hiding their mistakes, as that can cost you in the long run.
Not Listening to Criticism
We all need to be weary of the old adage, “the customer is always right.” However, the feedback you garner during the launch of your company is extremely valuable. As passionate and creative individuals, entrepreneurs can be very protective of their ideas, but being open to criticism can help you resolve issues before you start scaling your business, says Ron Bauer. Consider inviting this type of feedback through incentivized surveys and product trials, as it will help you resolve any major issues that the user faces with your product, service, or through your online presence. Being an entrepreneur is about being able to stick to your guns, but it is also about being able to change direction or admit when something has gone wrong.
Ron Bauer on Hiring the Wrong Team
Lastly, who you hire to work on your team can make or break a new company. Most companies will hire based on skillset—and you should too, but individuals who show initiative, work ethic, and a desire to learn will be your best assets for sustainable growth.
Do not think of your employees as being stagnant, or as occupying a role for more than five years. It is in our nature to evolve and this desire means that we need to be challenged by our employer to keep us engaged, motivated, and outperforming at work. Hiring ambitious “go-getters” is a great way to keep ideas flowing and allows you to instill a deep sense of trust within your employees. As Ron Bauer explains, trust starts with the employer, which is then reciprocated by the employee.
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