1. When short of cash – over charging on your invoicing and exaggerating your hours. This also includes overcharging expenses. This is fraud.
  2. Poor presentation skills – This includes proposals that are too long and are rife with bad spelling and grammar.
  3. Thinking you can beat the Receiver of Revenue [tax collectors] – and even worse not answering her emails/letters. Not answering lawyer’s letters does not help either.
  4. Using your company credit card for personal matters. This would include the company car for personal matters and then claiming the expenses as tax deduction. In addition, overseas trips on the company’s account are against the law unless genuinely on company business.
  5. Letting someone else prepare your business plan for a fee – but not understanding what is in the plan. It may convince the bank, but you must have a plan for your future which you understand.
  6. Taking too much leave and leaving people in charge who do not understand the business – Conversely not taking any leave, which causes stress and family problems.
  7. Procrastination – the Oxford dictionary sets out the following: indecisive, delay, dither, drag your feet, put things off etc. We all do it, but it is not the way to run a business.
  8. Hibernating and isolating yourself when your business struggles – depression gets worse when you isolate yourself. When you don’t have an accountability partner you will give up easy. It takes a village to raise a business. You can’t do it alone.
  9. Running your business from your head – there are no systems and processes documented, you basically run the business from your head. Should something happen to you, no one really knows how to run the business in your absence because the operations processes are not documented.
  10. A dangerous practice for SMEs is neglecting advertising and marketing when experiencing cash flow problems. Find efficient ways to continue marketing your business, especially when experiencing difficult cash flows.
  11. Not looking after your current clients – SMEs focus their energies on getting new clients, only to neglect them after the first sale. Avoid the hit and run approach when it comes to customers.
  12. Not keeping proper records – neglecting proper bookkeeping, not properly filing invoices and receipts and leaving it to the last minute when you have to submit your financial statements or company tax return. Putting all your invoices and receipts in a shoe-box is not adequate bookkeeping. Shoe-box is not a cash book.
  13. Everyone is not your customer – as a startup entrepreneur, clearly identify and know your potential customer well, you don’t have the budget to market to everyone. There is no customer called everyone. Aim to talk to people who want to listen to you and stop disturbing strangers with your message.
  14. Neglecting personal continuous learning – thinking that you know everything and not reading business books, magazines or industry journals or getting a mentor. You will be left behind as your industry moves ahead and you will not even realise it until it is too late.

Please kindly share some of the bad habits that SMEs must unlearn below. Let’s learn from each other.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s