Running a Business was never easy; but in today’s world of large players venturing into markets previously reserved for local businesses, declining employee loyalties and volatile markets, it has become more difficult than ever before.
There are innumerable mistakes and little things that can go wrong for Business Owners and it is almost impossible to avoid them all. However, there are a few really serious things that can and probably will force you to close down shop.
These are the ones you really, really, really have to avoid.
Bad Business Plan
You are falling asleep one night when it strikes you like a bolt of lightning from the sky – The Idea! It is the best idea anyone has ever had a business and you cannot see why it would not work. It is something people will love. It is something people will buy. It is something people will pay a lot of money for.
You cannot go wrong with an idea like that, right?
Well, not exactly.
Running a business is more than just an idea put to reality. Running a business involves starting a company, registering this company, spending money on all kinds of expenses even before the first product of yours comes off the line. Then, you have to ensure people hear about your idea. Then, you have to pay taxes. Then, you have to pay employees, their benefits.
And so it goes.
The good thing is that you can put most of this on paper and come up with a business plan that will make sense in actual reality. Unfortunately, many people do not know how to do it or even choose not to do it, which is insanity.
Behind every (or at least a vast majority) business is a decent business plan. It is not just a term businesspeople like to throw around.
Poor Customer Service
There are certain industries where customer service is everything and where no sane business owner considers customer service to be an afterthought. For example, if you run a restaurant, you know that your customer service is as important as the quality of the food you serve, at least.
In some other industries, however, business owners and managers focus on other things and customer service sort of gets done half-heartedly. Sure, no one is going to be rude to the customers, but it is not like that anyone will break their backs for the paying customers.
This is one of the direst mistakes you could make, especially in the 21st century where everyone expects stellar customer service.
Nowadays, you cannot afford to lose a single customer and one of the best ways to ensure this does not happen is to take good care of them. Everyone in your company has to be aware of the fact that subpar customer service will not be tolerated. If you have clients who need 24-hour support, you might even consider around-the-clock virtual receptionist service. Many B2B companies nowadays start customer success teams that ensure their customers are having success with their products, taking B2B customer service to a whole new level.
Making Gut Decisions
Among businesspeople, especially those who have reached a certain age, making gut decisions is almost a matter of pride. Many business owners feel they have been around for long enough to be able to make decisions based solely on their opinions and hunches.
This can backfire when you have decades upon decades of experience in the industry, let alone if you are still a newbie who has to hone his or her skills in the business arena.
Making gut-based decisions can backfire so catastrophically that you will have to close down shop and that is the last thing you want to do.
The good news is that we live in the age of data and that business owners now have many more tools at their disposal, tools that will help them make decisions based on factual, observable trends and patterns that are far better at predicting outcomes than any businessperson’s stomach.
Thanks to improved computational powers of new computers and cloud computing, as well as SaaS models of selling business intelligence software, even smaller companies can nowadays get access to analytics tools that used to be too expensive and reserved only for the biggest corporations.
It is a new age of business and there is no place for guesswork in making crucial business decisions.
Running a business often comes down to common sense and not cutting corners. Keep an eye on possible negative outcomes, learn about the art of running a business and let your employees help you. You should be alright.
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