We all have bad personal habits but what about bad business habits? Here are the ones you need to shed as an entrepreneur if you want your business to succeed.
Better to Underpromise than Underdeliver
Concerns about profit margins can lead business owners to instill a ‘get the sale at any cost’ ethos when it comes to their marketing strategy. Whether it’s promising your customer a product or service which isn’t fully developed, cannot be delivered on time, or is not going to be able to match the quality promised, operating on this principle is guaranteed to come back to bite you.
Customers who get exactly what they paid for or whose expectations are exceeded are more likely to frequent or recommend your business than the ones you duped into a sale with promises you weren’t sure you were going to be able to fulfill.
Another reason being dishonest with customers in this way is ill-advised is that it creates unnecessary workplace pressure on you, your partners, and your employees. This can lead to the creation of more bad habits, lead to burnout, and result in high turnover rates. What's more is that after all of this in-house chaos, the customers are still not likely to be satisfied with the rushed product or ill-prepared service provision. So who really wins? And was it worth the one-time sale?
If you want to pull in more sales and make your business more appealing to customers, focus on product and service development, not the empty promise of their results.
Micromanaging and Improper Delegation
If you struggle to delegate tasks and feel the need to do everything yourself or you micromanage your team when you do decide to delegate tasks, you may have control issues. It may feel like this is the only way to get things done right but the chances that you’re helping instead of hurting your business are slim to none.
What you do when you micromanage is communicate to your team that you do not trust them, do not think they are competent, and deny them the space to contribute substantially. The last item is particularly important. There is a saying that goes, “If you stand too close to an elephant, you can’t see the elephant.” A staff member may have a vision or the beginnings of an idea that could transform the way the business operates for the better but by micromanaging you’re effectively chipping away at the foundations of what could be a beneficial contribution because you cannot yet see their vision. What you accomplish by not delegating tasks is giving yourself a headache and watching the quality of your work decline as your workload continues to mount.
Hiring qualified professionals to assist and giving your team a chance to prove themselves are two necessary workplace investments.
Having Poor Interpersonal Skills
When interacting with Customers, Employees, or Partners
Being curt, crass, ill-tempered, uncertain, unresponsive, or unclear when interacting with customers who have issues, employees who are overwhelmed, or partners who have concerns is a business killer. A bad reputation for customer service can eclipse all else where consumers are concerned and a tarnished brand means depleted sales. Another useful saying is, “Employees don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses.” If your goal is to spend extra money every month on recruitment and training due to high turnover rates when you could be benefitting from a stable workforce, no need to change. Communicating poorly with partners puts your continued partnership at risk which can cost both sales and a good professional reputation.
The good thing about this issue is that it's easily identifiable. When people have poor interpersonal skills, they tend to be aware of where they fall short due to others' behavior or comments in response. The real challenge is accepting that this is something that needs to change and making real efforts to change it which may require the help of behavioral professionals.
Breaking bad business habits can help you save your business, inspire confidence in your staff and partners, and gain the trust of your customer base.