Eight Important Lessons Learned From ‘Wrong’ Business Decisions

Business owners in any industry can confirm that managing a company is a lifelong lesson. Although many entrepreneurs have strong feelings and a long history of success when it comes to decision making, there are times when they make bad business decisions as well.

In these situations, your entire view of your business can change. You may feel frustrated about making important decisions in the future. To help entrepreneurs learn from their unsuccessful decisions, a panel of Young Entrepreneurs Council members shared some of the lessons they learned from times they were proven wrong in business and how those lessons influenced their decision making now.

1. You have to think about the repercussions

Early on, I hired loan officers with no experience, believing, “If I can do it, I can teach everyone else to do it, and they can be successful.” My failure was not to think of the implications of that mindset, no matter how true it may be. Ultimately, the time needed to help them manage technology, take calls together, group together with them, and actually be available to train them comprehensively simply wasn’t the best use of my time for the company. To allow my ego to interfere, I hired people I thought would probably be great, but without experience; In fact, what I needed were people with strong foundations in the industry on which we could build. Getting rid of my ego now allows me to make more realistic choices for the company. – Liam Leonard, DML Capital

2. Do it well, make it better and make it simple

I remember a mentor telling me I needed a dashboard for leads and conversion rates, so I decided to hire a contractor that a colleague referred to. I ended up letting this contractor take the lead on what I needed, only to end up with money and time spent on something that didn’t work for me. To make matters worse, I made the same mistake twice and it cost me more time and money. I learned that a simple project board did the trick, and my personal assistant created it at a fraction of the cost and with minimal headache and involvement on my part. Lesson learned: Do it well, make it better and keep it simple. Now I identify which projects we can jump into and make mistakes along the way and which projects need more planning before taking action. – Jevel Lamano, Lamano Law Firm

3. You shouldn’t try too hard to make something work

For some time, we have used a business model based on a very complex market. It didn’t work at scale, but we tried really hard to make it work. We have struggled over a long period of time with this business model. I’ve learned that you don’t have to try too hard to make something work. It just wastes time and effort. Instead, experiment until you find something that works well at first. Next, put all your efforts into scaling what works. You’ll know you’re in the right zone when you feel like you’re accelerating a boulder rolling down the hill versus grinding to push it up the hill. — Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com

4. Having a team can be better than working alone

After I left a big agency and went on my own, traveling the world talking and working with top brands, I was hesitant to enter the agency world again. I was self-reliant and really busy, but didn’t feel like team building was in my best interest. I was so wrong. Building a team and turning it into an agency was a very rewarding experience. It is difficult and takes a lot of work. You must be willing to admit your mistake and make mistakes, as well as receive feedback. The rewards are worth it. Plus, in the team building process, I’ve been able to craft a culture that is resilient and thrives on balance and reflexes and my business has grown more than I could have as a solo entrepreneur. – Matthew Kabbalah, Alphabet

5. Focus and specialization can take you far

Years ago, in a previous business I had started from the ground up, I got to the point where I thought I needed to expand operations into new business sectors to keep growing. After trying to get into new lines of service, I realized that it would be more operationally advantageous to instead look for harder-to-sell customers and bigger cards in order to increase revenue. The main takeaway for me was the importance of a highly trained staff specialized in a key area of ​​expertise, rather than a staff of generalists. Now, I always strive to build teams that focus on very specific skill sets, rather than trying to train people to be able to do a variety of tasks. — Richard Fong, SecurityForward.com

6. Be patient and work hard to achieve success

I wanted to give up on my project too soon. Fortunately, I didn’t. I know today that you need patience along with hard work to witness success in life. There is no successful business overnight. Success takes months, sometimes years. Wait your time before giving up. Track your quarterly progress to see how your business is doing. If it’s consistently running poorly, that’s a different matter. But other than that, you have to give him the time he needs. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

7. It’s okay to say “no”

Early on, I had a hard time saying no to potential clients. I knew we could do just about any type of translation, even if we didn’t have a team at the moment, so I’d like to have us take on projects that require a significant amount of time and professional staff to get them done. Oftentimes, we spend more to accomplish these tasks than we do in return. After doing this several times, I realized that without the proper infrastructure to handle these tasks, it is an undue burden on me and the team. Instead, we scaled back our services and slowly grew our offerings. Now we have the people and systems in place to properly handle just about any task, but it has taken me patience and learning to say, “Sorry, we can’t help you with that just yet.” Salvador Urdurica, Spanish Group LLC

8. Your gut is wrong sometimes

One of the business decisions I made was wrong interviewing and hiring. Sometimes listening to your intuition during the hiring process isn’t always the best way forward, no matter what you’ve been told. It is also important that more than one key player sits in interviews with you. There were times when my intuition would tell me one thing during an interview, but after talking about it with my interview partners, we came to a different decision – and it turned out I was simply wrong. Hiring the right people is challenging, so it is important to take all possible steps by involving the key players in your business in interviews to provide a more diverse perspective when hiring. – Emily Stallings Casely, Inc.

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