I have been in business for many years now, in many various roles and capacities, I have managed 4 of my own companies, some have been successful and some haven’t. The important thing for me is that throughout this process, I have learned a great deal, I have learned about myself and I have learned about the industry and the World of business. I wanted to write this piece today to talk about  how and what I have learned from the failures in some of my business decisions with the hope of helping you avoiding the same mistakes that I made.

Risks Should Be Calculated

There is always risk in your business decisions, the key however is to ensure that these are not reckless risks that could endanger your reputation or the company. Whenever the time comes to make a business decision, don’t be belligerent or headstrong when deciding. It is important that you seek advice from those around you before making a choice and pay attention to what those people are saying, especially those who are not emotionally invested in the business.

Don’t Confuse Personal and Business Finance

A mistake that I made early on was combining my personal wealth with my business income, this was hard to manage and regularly became confusing. After a year or so of doing this, the time came to file my taxes, I was so confused and end p making an error which cost me a fine. If you are going to start your own business then separate your personal finances from that of the business.

Make and Keep Contacts

The old saying goes that you should be nice to people on the way up as they are the people that you will need when you fall down. I can testify that this is very true and I myself have fallen foul of this rule. Make sure that you make solid contacts in your industry and stay loyal to them, you never know when you might need them.

Don’t Run Before You Can Walk

It is always important to remember your scale, you may have the hottest new cola on the market but you are not yet Coca Cola or Pepsi and you shouldn’t act as such. Learn your trade and your industry, keep the clients happy and don’t think that you can act like a huge enterprise when you are only in year 2 of your business plan.

Always Look For Growth

Whilst understanding your scale is important, it is also vital that you are always on the look out for ways in which to grow the business. Many people in business reach a kind of terminal velocity and decide not to take the opportunity to grow, myself included. What happens when you don’t grow is that the competitors do and it won’t be long before the industry leaves you behind. You should always have a plan in your mind for growth and when the moment is right, act on it.