Mistake-proof Your Small Business

Mistakes are costly. Your small business need to retain as much of your revenue you possibly can.

Here are three tips that may help:

Tip #1 – Practice Negative Thinking (not a typo!)

You are an entrepreneur, in part, because you have passion and a positive outlook. That’s a good thing, in context. Now is the time, when facing a decision, to ask, “What could go wrong?”  From personal experience, that’s hard to do when you think big picture, see the end result you want to achieve and are motivating a team.  All good, but often blinds us to the pitfalls we may face.  So look for potential “failure points” and plan accordingly.

Tip #2 – Slow Down

Running a business is often about multitasking. Making quick decisions. Moving quickly to take advantage of a market opportunity. All good things to do – in context.  The scientific research demonstrates that error rate goes up when our attention is divided between many tasks.  Slowing down, just a bit, to focus on one task at a time can reduce error rate, and probably increase efficiency in the long run. Use your quick-thinking skills to focus on an issue and dig deeper looking for the external and internal factors that could affect the outcomes.

Tip #3 – Use Mental Aids

Relieve your mind of the mundane. Color-code all that you can that must be repeated.  Using colored file folders can increase efficiency.

Anything you can do to help the brain focus on the things that need thinking will help.  Check lists for opening and closing the business help. However, although habits can save you time, they can also get in the way of your perception. Use mental aids when the rote helps you achieve effectiveness:  think differently in the doing of the task. For example, if you always audit your expenses on Thursday, develop a system whereby you do that audit once every 5 days but stagger the days.

Slowing down the accumulation of mistakes will help your business thrive and survive, especially in a down economy.  Now may be a good time to evaluate all policies and procedures you use to run your business.

Create traps to catch the mistakes!

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