6 WAYS TO SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT
Often small businesses have trouble growing or surviving. If they do manage, often they get stuck and look for the quick fix. In a video posted by Watch Me Franchise Amanda covers off the 10 top mistakes businesses's make but I'd like to focus on 6.
Recently I was contracted to work with a company to develop their business and help them grow. Now in their 11th year they have not cracked the 3 million dollar mark. When I started to dig I began to understand why and then began to understand that they really didn’t want to hear it. Just fix it. This was the mantra for the contract duration and impossible to satisfy without their collaboration, support and participation. With this learning, I want to share some tips for doing it wrong or six ways to shoot yourself in the foot.
1. DON'T HAVE A VISION
Having a vision for your business is one of the foundations that set’s the path for your future. Without it your brand will remain undefined and uninspiring to anyone who comes in contact with it.
Your vision statement is a clear articulation and declaration of where you want your company to be in the next 5 or 10 years and without it, it’s like being in a sailboat without a sail or rudder and hoping you’ll get “there” eventually. A vision statement aligns your team and keeps you on course. Without it you and your team get caught up in the day to day without having a clue what you are headed toward. Innovation which is critical is often non-existent because there is nothing for innovation to stick to.
2. FORGET THE BUSINESS PLAN. JUST USE A SPREADSHEET
Bottom line is important however if your business plan is only a spreadsheet you will find yourself being a bit myopic and reacting constantly. It is thinking small in a major way. Why? Because your focus will be on money and sort-fall not growth. A spread sheet may have targets attached to it but goals and strategy are missing. Should you have investors and a spreadsheet is all you have by way of a business plan then count on being hounded constantly and getting a big huge ulcer.
3. DON'T MARKET. JUST FOCUS ON SALES SALES SALES!
MarketingProfs Today talks about this and it’s worth the read, The company I was working with , while doing good work when they got it was flying under the radar therefore getting a sale was a long and often slow and expensive process even for an experienced sales person and especially one making cold calls. Let people know you are there and engage them. If you don’t have a large budget that’s OK you can create a sound strategy that connects with your audience all the same. Social Media is an important tool. Either invest in learning how to do it right or hire someone to do it for you. While this company does have a Twitter and Facebook presence they are not creating inbound marketing opportunity or engaging their community. They do have a decent website. Too bad no-one knows it’s there.
4). CHEAP OUT
5. TREAT YOUR PEOPLE BADLY AND FOSTER BAD POLITICS
Under-pay, over-work and threaten them, yell at them publically and threaten them with the loss of employment and see what that gets you. I can’t believe that the leaders of even the tiniest business thinks that fear is effective. It affects not only the quality of person you hire but it also affects the quality of work delivered. At the end of the day costs you money through attrition or lost business. Need I say more?
6. DON'T LISTEN AND PLAY THE BLAME GAME
This isn’t the only company I’ve seen struggle with these issues. There have been large ones as well as small ones and the thing is, something can be done about it. If any of the above hit’s home then maybe it’s time to explore the flip side.
Ellen Smith: Change Maker