The Mistakes You Should Avoid
The Seven Deadly Signs
- You don’t know
where your next sale is coming from .
Having a consistent and reliable flow of customers and sales is essential for
the health and growth of any business. Marketing and lead generation must be
effective and ongoing in order to provide the flow of sales, current and
future, needed for planning and for implementing strategy.
- Your employees are
unhappy or demoralized.
The culture, environment and atmosphere of your business will have a direct
impact on your customers by way of client fulfillment, customer service, and
overall productivity and quality. Unhappy and demoralized staff will not
perform to the standards you want and this will have a tangible effect.
- You feel like you
can never be away or take a vacation.
If the functioning of your business is wholly dependent on you and your
presence, it will never grow further than that. You must have an effective
management component in place to free you from your business enough to have a
life outside of the business.
- You are losing more
customers than you are gaining.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine that if you are consistently
losing more customers than you are making it is simply a matter of time before
you have less customers than you need to break even. And if that trend
continues you will be taking on water – or red ink!
- The company’s
objectives are not clearly defined to your employees.
This is a bit more insidious but still critical sign of trouble. Imagine a
soccer team where none of the players know what the team was trying to
accomplish. It’s not enough to simply “do your job” – everyone needs to know
the vision, the strategy for getting there, and how they fit in with it all.
- Your business is
constantly in a “survival” mode.
This can actually be a combination of signs and symptoms, but the general sense
of it is easily recognized and can be deadly for a business owner. The daily
onslaught of unpaid vendors, outstanding receivables and lack of sales can
grind away at you and take the wind out of your sails.
- The passion is gone
and you dread going to work every day.
A loss of passion can be attributed to any number of things, but is usually a
result of the combined toll of many of the signs listed above. It could be
argued that a business owner who has no passion for what he or she is doing is
on a fast-track to “jumping ship,” to keep to our metaphors.
Despite economic and other conditions, the reality is that most any
business can not only survive, but thrive and grow while avoiding taking on
water or losing direction. How do you avoid these pitfalls?
- Be at the helm at all times
- Have a map and a destination
- Keep both hands on the wheel
- Maintain a diligent watch for warning signs
As the business owner this is part of your primary accountability to
yourself and to your employees, customers and vendors. It has been said that
although the destination is important, it is the journey that makes the venture
worthwhile in the end.