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Being a business owner can be both tough and rewarding. You want your business to succeed. Unfortunately the reality is that most start-ups will close down within two years. There are many reasons for this including the market and the economy. Another is do with leadership mistakes.

In order to become a good leader, there are some bad habits that you need to avoid:



You may be the one in charge but that doesn’t mean you should take charge of everything. That’s why you hire people. If you’re constantly stepping in with the “if you want it done right” mentality, you’re just going to alienate your employees and foster an atmosphere of distrust.


Trying to do too much at once

This is related to the previous point. If you try to do everything all at once you’ll just stretch yourself too thin and burn out. This also goes for your business plans. If you’re thinking of trying something new, go for it, but don’t change everything all at once. Be patient and focus on one thing at a time if possible. It’ll be easier to see what works then if you isolate changes and judge them individually.


Not taking breaks

Are you glued to your desk? Take a break. Make sure you’re taking regular breaks away from the office, even if it’s just a short walk on lunch.

Also remember that you need to take time off. If you’ve hired the right people, then you should be able to step away and take a holiday, knowing that your business is in good hands.

Taking breaks is important to manage your stress and overall mental health which are important for keeping your business running well and making sound decisions.



In the early days of your business it’s tempting to promise new customers the moon. However, you have to be careful of overpromising as this will affect your reputation if you regularly fail to deliver. You don’t want your first few online reviews to be negative. It’s much better to under-promise and over-deliver because then your customers will be pleasantly surprised.


Being risk averse

Being cautious can be good, you don’t want to jump into something without thinking of the consequences. However, there’s an element of risk with all successful business ventures and sometimes you just have to take it. Starting a business is a risk in itself so why stop there? As long as you’ve thought it through and have a plan, taking risks can work well.


Underestimating cyber security risks

A lot of business owners fall into the trap of thinking they’re too small to be targeted by hackers. Well this very thought is one of the reasons why cyber criminals target smaller firms because you’re less likely to have solid defences in place. Make sure you educate your workforce on good cyber security measures such as good password practice and phishing avoidance.


Being stubborn

Being stubborn on some things can be a good thing. However, if you’re stubborn about your business model or offerings, without being willing to adapt to changes, then you’re going to get left behind.

A good business watches the trends in their industry, keeps an eye on what the competition is doing and monitors customer behaviour so that they’re prepared to adapt in any way they can that will benefit their business.


Are you guilty of any of these habits? What else would you add to the list? Let us know your thoughts!

About The Author

Kara Copple

An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.

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