We all like to think our ideas are the best. We all like to think we run our businesses in the best way. However, it is too easy to slip into automaton mode and miss the wood for the trees when you go about your daily business.

Particularly in the current economic climate, too many people lose their focus and end up struggling to survive instead of enjoying their business and the benefits that should bring. In almost each and every one of those cases the business owners, entrepreneurs, or whatever they want to be called, have fallen into one of the three biggest traps. If you know what they are, hopefully you can avoid falling into the same traps.

  1.  Your product today is more important that tomorrow’s

Research and development is important, it is the best way to progress and grow your business. Improving your product will help give your business longevity but if you don’t focus on what your product and business needs now, you won’t get to have any business longevity anyway. So what your business needs today is the most important factor. Give it attention, make sure you know what it needs to sustain it. Then you can look at giving it the correct resources from elsewhere so you can possibly then look at addressing the longer-term plans when you have freed up some time.

  1.  Detail is a killer, you need strategy too

Yes, the detail of how your business runs day to day work is important, but so is your overall direction. You need a longer term strategy too. Getting lost or too entwined in the day to day running risks you missing new trends or what your competitors are doing and that can be fatal. You also need to think about where you want your business to head. Are you planning on bringing family in to carry on your good work, or are you looking to build up your company to sell to A N Other to fund your early retirement? What you do today, could have a massive impact on how your business works – or doesn’t – in the future, so planning with that future in mind will give you an advantage over just looking day to day.

  1.  D-I-Y doesn’t get the best results

Too many small businesses and large businesses that started out smaller, fall foul of this one. As a one-man band you have to learn to do everything yourself. As a fully fledged company you need to learn that there are others better qualified to do most things. While experts can cost money, they can also be far more efficient and save you much money in the long-run. Yes, you could probably learn how to do something new yourself but do you really have time? Do you really have the inclination to learn it properly to a professional standard and is your time and effort actually better spent on behalf of the company on something you already know and understand?

It may sound obvious but too often, too many businesses fall foul of these same business traps. Running a business should be fun and rewarding, not full of dread and drudgery. Stay focused, stay on your toes and stay ahead of the competition.