Troubleshooting for entrepreneurs: Identifying common problems and solutions

Posted On October 29, 2022

What are the secrets to starting and building a successful business? There are so many variables in entrepreneurship, it may not be possible to have an answer for every possible contingency.

Nikki and Buddy Cummings have a lot of them, however, and they have the resumes to prove it. They’ve built and sold several successful businesses in industries ranging from high school sports marketing to renewable energy. Now they’re sharing what they’ve learned with other entrepreneurs through their California-based consulting business, Cummings Camp Programs.

Our guests in the latest episode of “What’s Working With Cam Marston,” the Cummingses say entrepreneurs are essentially freedom fighters.

“I believe every entrepreneur that starts a business is seeking freedom,” Nikki said. “What often happens very quickly, whether the business is successful or not … is it just becomes all-consuming. … All the sudden, you get into business to be a business owner and then you realize your business owns you.”

Some of the strategies to avoid that pit include hiring a strong team, delegating responsibilities and developing an exit strategy – whether you plan on selling the company or not.

They shared some of the common mistakes made by budding entrepreneurs:

  • They’re scared of growth, too focused on just surviving. “That feeling of ‘I could lose everything’ is very heavy,” Buddy said. “Good is the enemy of great.”
  • They need to slow down in order to speed up. Take a step back from the day-to-day to plan for future.
  • They don’t have a strategy, or sometimes even a budget.

Diagnosing why a company isn’t as profitable as it should be is one of the Cummingses’ specialties. Often, in this era of “the Great Resignation,” they find that it’s a lack of accountability.

Setting defined expectations and goals and holding employees to them creates the freedom that entrepreneurs seek, they say, because it creates buy-in from the rest of the team. But it starts at the top.

“You have to have a vision that’s bigger than just making yourself rich,” Buddy said.

Categories: Blog, Entrepreneurship, Podcast, What's Working with Cam Marston