Hey small-business owners, the world has a message for you: “Stop being that person!” You know the one—that business owner who’s doing everything right, except one thing. They’ve got one bad habit, and that habit is killing their company.
Small-business owners are human. They have bad habits. But, the thing of it is, the habits called out below could put that business you built out of business.
Not to worry. I’ve collected the top five habits that turn off small-business employees, force employees to scratch their heads, and can cost you business.
Acting Like the Customer Isn’t Always Right
We’ve all seen that famous show about nothing. There’s a guy making a product so good that everyone has to have it, but you have to tiptoe around him to get it. Puh-lease. You serve your customers. Not the other way around. So your product/service/whatever may be great, but it doesn’t mean customers can’t find it elsewhere—and get it with a smile. Abusing your customers really isn’t the way to keep them.
Being Penny Wise (and Pound Foolish)
No matter how tempting it is, don’t step over a dollar to pick up a dime. If you’re all about the long game (and you have to be), the money you save today, whether it’s on an x-ray machine, a nail gun, or a blender, will cost you tomorrow. If it’s cheap, it’s not built to last. So if you find yourself thinking about getting caviar at the dollar store, stop! You’re being that person. If it’s integral to your company, you have to spend the dough.
Now, don’t misunderstand. I don’t mean that you always have to pay full price. Find things on sale, haggle, and barter. Do whatever you have to do to get what you need at a good price—just don’t sacrifice quality to get there.
I’m Just Gonna Watch Over Your Shoulder for a Minute…
Everyone, and that means everyone, hates a micromanager. So, if you’re a boss who tells your employees how to do their jobs over and over again, or if you’re one of those managers who does their worker’s job for them when you should be doing your own, or if you’re an owner constantly watching your team work, monitoring every detail, I have three words for you: Knock it off!
Hey, we’ve all got bad habits, and if this is yours, it’s time to stop. It’s that simple. Micromanagement is a prescription for failure.
Forgetting that No Man Is an Island. No Woman Is Either
This person is akin to the micromanager, but not quite the same. Let’s call them “The Me-manager.”
If you’re a Me-Manager, you opened the place, and worked 24 hours a day for weeks straight, and the foundation is bathed in your blood, sweat, and tears. You’re heavily invested. But now it’s time to hand over the reins and let the employees do their jobs. You are not your business, and vice versa. The truth is, if you’re building a strong company, one day it should be able to successfully run without you.
But until that day, you have to trust your employees to do what they do. It’s going to be okay. It really is.
Failing to Keep Up
Ever go into a business and ask what you think is a pretty simple question like, “Is the tuna canned or fresh?” and you get a shrug in response? As a business owner, you have to know your stuff. That doesn’t mean you need to study 24/7—you’ve got a business to run, after all. But you and your employees need to be the experts and be able to answer your customers’ questions. We all benefit when we keep up with learning.
And One Habit You Need to Have: Be Findable
One of the best habits a business owner can have is dedication to helping customers find them. It’s one of those things that’s hard to find time to do, but it’s more than important. It’s imperative. So ask yourself, how findable is my business? Will new customers find me online when they are looking? If you want to know, take this simple assessment.