No matter how much planning you’ve done in starting up your business, no matter how much money you may have to fund your entrepreneurial idea, if you practice bad business habits it can ruin any company.
Here are 10 bad business habits to break:
1) Not delegating: You will have to let go of the reigns at some time and give up some of the tasks. Trust the people you’ve hired. “If you aren’t sure if you fall into this category of ‘over-doing’ or taking on work that would be best handled by someone with more experience or at a lesser hourly rate, you can start by logging everything you do and how long you do it for two weeks,” suggests business coach Jennifer Martin, owner of Zest Business Consulting.
2) Failing to answer the “so what” question: You need to find out what makes your company or product unique in the marketplace, says Joel Swanson, president of Risdall Public Relations.
3) Ignoring branding: Branding doesn’t happen on its own. “Don’t assume that sales efforts alone are enough,” says Swanson.
4) Overspending: “Spending too much money/time getting a product to market usually means you’ve tried to do too much, too soon, instead of a smaller application to prove concept and revenue potential,” notes Swanson.
5) Omitting the obvious: You have a website to lure in clients, but how can they reach you if you leave off vital information? “Not having contact information on your site and forcing someone to complete contact forms to email you is very impersonal and appears that you’re hiding behind a computer,” explains DeKesha Williams, a business strategist and leadership development coach of Vizions Consulting.
6) Leaving potential clients hanging: If someone contacts you, respond. “A bad business habit is no acknowledgement of receiving an email from your website i.e. autoresponders. Not responding within a reasonable amount of time to incoming requests is not good,” says Williams.
7) Trying to be perfect: It’s good to want to do your best, but don’t let perfectionism get in the way of progress. “It’s bad being over-consumed with perfection to the point of paralysis,” explains Grant Cardone, president/CEO, Cardone Enterprises. “Sometimes small businesses are so afraid that their product packaging isn’t perfect or they don’t have the perfect office for meetings or any other hang up that gets in the way of forward momentum.”
8) Not making time for social media: Social media in today’s tech world is key to promoting your business. “Obscurity is the death of a business. What better way to get your name out there than to take advantage of social media? It’s free, convenient and easily done from your phone while on the move,” says Cardone. “If you don’t have a marketing budget, then you must take advantage of social media.”
9) Acting like a startup for too long: “Don’t behave and think like a ‘small business’ or a ‘startup’ for too long,” says Cardone. “There has to be clear goals. You’d be surprised at how many entrepreneurs don’t think about their goals daily, not to mention write them down. Without timelines and goals, small businesses will spin their wheels and remain small forever. Tap into the purpose of your organization, how it helps people, the world, etc., and you’ll start thinking bigger and that’s when new interesting opportunities will come your way.”
10) Treating your customers like customers: Remember your customers are people too–and no two are alike. As a small business, you have the luxury of personalizing your service.