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How To Run Your Business Into The Ground
A brief list of what not to do if you want your business to succeed!
I have done quite a bit of networking with other business owners. I love to share ideas and not have to reinvent the wheel on my own every day. Most of the time I meet business owners who are doing many things well and have great information to share.
Unfortunately, I also see business owners every day who are doing things that can only lead to running their business into the ground. Sometimes I think we just don’t see how seemingly small actions lead to big results.
I have personally seen or experienced everything on the list below. If you see yourself in these examples, please don’t beat yourself up or feel bad. Just make a change!
Six ways to run your business into the ground:
- Don’t listen to your customers – when they tell you what they like or don’t like, just ignore them and do what you want.
- Make it difficult for your customers to contact you – make sure you don’t have a phone number or email address anywhere on your website, business card, etc. And by all means, don't have it above the fold on your website.
- Bring your personal difficulties into your business – tell your customers all about the difficulties you’re having with your spouse. Better yet, when they come into your place of business, be on the phone having a shouting match.
- Be flaky – don’t do what you committed to doing, be late, or don’t show up at all and then make excuses for why. Preferably, use the excuse of how busy you are.
- Do the opposite of what you tell your clients to do – don't follow your own advice or service.
- Complain about how lousy business is right now – make sure you tell them about how you aren’t making enough money and don’t have enough clients. Then tell them to send you referrals.
I could go on and on but you get the idea. These things ARE a big deal. Your customers DO notice and it DOES have an impact on your bottom line. You are leaving money on the table by doing these things.
The business that inspired #3 above is now closed. I wonder why.
Instead of the above examples, try these:
- Pay attention to what your customers (and potential customers) are telling you. Both in what they say and what they do not say. You don't have to implement every idea or try to please everyone. Just pay attention and let them know you're listening and value their opinons.
- Please, please, please make it easy for someone to contact you. Your contact information should be clearly visible at the top of your website, not way down at the bottom or only on a contact page. On business cards always have a phone number and an email address.
- There is really no way to separate your personal life from your business. However, you can avoid talking about it with or in front of customers. If you are going through a particularly emotional time, take a break!
- If you are going to commit to something, make sure you can follow through. Under promise and over deliver.If you absolutely cannot avoid being late or going back on what you promised, do not launch into a big explanation (excuses). Apologize sincerely and do what you can to make it right.
- If you are in a position to give advice to clients or customers, make sure you are doing the same. Nothing makes you look worse than being a hypocrite.
- No matter what your bottom line looks like, always speak positively about your business. Talking negatively about your business (or lack thereof) does not instill a feeling of confidence in your customers.
I hope this helps keep your ship afloat!
Learn more about the author, Vicki Garcia.
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