Most bad decisions won't ruin your business, but these seven can be deadly.
Over the course of your time as an entrepreneur, you're going to make some bad decisions. It's inevitable. Fortunately, most of those bad decisions are fleeting, with short-term consequences but no real lasting damage to the integrity of your business. However, there are some major decisions that can potentially spell the end of your enterprise--even if you attempt recovery after the fact.
In your business, make sure you steer clear of these seven terrible decisions:
1. Ignoring Cash Flow. Cash flow is your business's pulse--without positive cash flow, your business literally cannot operate, so keep a close eye on it, especially in the first few months and years of your business's development.
2. Choosing Expansion Over Profitability. It's natural to want to grow your business as quickly as possible by investing in new technologies, new resources, and new hires. But sacrificing your profitability entirely is the wrong way to go about it. Your first goal is to build a sustainable business, and grow it from there.
3. Hiring the Wrong People. Your staff will make or break your business. Hiring the wrong group of people could leave your business in tatters. Be sure to evaluate them based on talent, experience, and culture fit.
4. Expanding Too Quickly. When you do choose to start growing your business, it's critical to expand at a suitable pace. Expanding too quickly can exhaust your resources and leave your core business stretched too thin to operate normally.
5. Expanding Too Slowly. On the other hand, expanding too slowly can also be a problem. If you wait too long to grow, you could miss out on some real good opportunities.
6. Riding on One Client. It's a classic case of putting all your eggs in one basket. Relying on one client for the bulk of your incoming revenue is always a bad decision. Be sure to hedge your bets in case the worst happens.
7. Overhauling the Brand. It's good to change your brand over time to respond to consumer needs and modern trends, but radical changes are not well-tolerated. Completely overhauling your brand is essentially a way of starting a completely new business, which means the death of your old one.
If you can avoid these seven bad decisions, you'll keep your business in a far better position. You'll make bad decisions from time to time, but as long as you don't pull anything catastrophic, there will always be room for correction and recovery.
Jose Vasquez is a serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast dedicated to helping startup technology companies get the direction and momentum they need to succeed. As the founder of Build. Brand. Blast., Jose has established a collective resource for tech entrepreneurs to consult when brainstorming, creating, launching, or expanding a new business. Jose is also the founder and CEO of Quez Media Marketing, a marketing firm that combines technology and creativity to help new and growing companies get the results they need.