It doesn’t matter what type of job you have or the industry in which you operate; there are mistakes you absolutely don’t want to make as a small business owner.?

Some mistakes are common sense, while others have some gray area. Furthermore, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that you won’t get caught doing something wrong.

While there are hundreds upon hundreds of mistakes that can put your employment at risk, here are five of the worst. Don’t let any of these creep into your life.?

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol?

Driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, as it puts your employment, personal well-being, and future at risk.?

For example, a DUI will reflect poorly on your business while also harming your personal brand. And when that happens, you’ll find it difficult to maintain the same level of success that you’ve had.?

Every day, roughly 28 people in the United States die in a DUI-related accident. That alone should be enough to scare you from making this mistake.?

Committing Any Type of Crime

Committing a crime is a big deal. It can ruin your personal life, take a toll on your finances, and even land you in jail.?

Depending on the type of crime, there’s a good chance that a conviction could put unnecessary stress on your small business.?

Take for example theft, assault, or domestic violence. These are serious crimes that put you in a bad light with your employees, partners, customers, suppliers, and more.?

Note: don’t assume that you’ll be able to hide your charges and conviction from others. Even if you’re successful in doing so for a short period of time, it’ll eventually catch up with you.?

So, before you make a poor decision in violation of the law, think about the impact it’ll have on your business. Even something you consider a minor crime can have far-reaching implications on your future.?

Driving Without Insurance

Can your license be suspended for not having insurance? This is a common question, especially among those who have had trouble securing insurance coverage in the past.?

While it’s not the most serious violation, it can impact your future.?

To be clear, your license can be suspended for not having insurance. That’s a big deal if you rely on your vehicle to get to and from work. And it’s an even bigger deal should you drive for a living, such as a business owner who makes sales calls.?

Rather than take this risk, have a clear idea of the type of insurance you need to meet your state’s requirements.?

If for any reason you lose insurance coverage, don’t get behind the wheel until you find a remedy. It’s often as simple as calling around to obtain a few quotes.?

Stealing from the Office

This is no big deal, right? Wrong!

Too many employees assume that it’s okay to steal small items from work. This includes things such as paper clips, ink cartridges, pens and pencils, and paper. It may even hold true with snacks and beverages, such as those made available in the company kitchen

But you’re the business owner. Why does it matter?

Here’s why: you’re setting a bad example for your workforce. If they see you doing this, they may assume that they can follow in your footsteps.?

If there’s something you need, don’t bring it to the office and then take it back home with you.?

Sleeping on the Job

It’s something you may consider almost every day of the week, but don’t make this mistake. Sleeping on the job is looked at in the same manner as stealing. The only difference is that you’re stealing time as opposed to physical goods.

A break room is a place to take a break. It’s not a place to sleep. And the same holds true for every other part of your office.

Once again, there’s no one to tell you to stop, but as a business owner you must draw the line between right and wrong. If you make it a habit to nap on the clock, some of your workers may do the same.?

Note: if you’re willing to make exceptions, which is often the case with companies that have separate “relaxation rooms,” set clear rules.?

What to Do if You’re in Trouble

If you make one or more of the mistakes above — among any others — it’s critical that you do a few things.?

  • Find out what type of trouble you’re facing and the impact it’ll have on your small business
  • Obtain legal help, if necessary
  • Share your side of the story with anyone who needs to be informed
  • Start planning for the future, such as formulating a strategy for rebuilding your personal brand

It goes without saying that some types of trouble are more serious than others. But regardless of what situation you’ve put yourself in, it could put your small business at risk.

Everyone makes mistakes, so you’re not likely to be the first person in your position. In fact, your employees may have dealt with a similar situation in the past.

Your goal is to minimize the impact of your mistake on your small business, as well as the rest of your life. You may not get the outcome you’re searching for, but at least you can look back and realize that you’ve done everything you can.?

Final Thoughts

On the surface, it’s easy to believe that you’ll never make any of these mistakes. However, you never know what could happen. It only takes one moment when you’re not thinking clearly to bring trouble into your life.

If you want to protect your small business, don’t let any of these mistakes into your day-to-day life.?