After 14 plus years of Business Coaching and evaluating literally thousands of businesses, I have been witness to some of the most insane things that business owners have done that turn a business from a semi-successful enterprise into one that becomes nothing more than a smoldering afterthought of failure and despair. So if you have a burning desire to be a complete and utter business failure, here are the top 10 ways to destroy your business.
10. Ignore Social Media: Yep, all that Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and whatever else stuff is out there is just a fad. Ignore it and it’ll just fade away even though all your competition is all over it and getting business from it. You’ll just stick with what used to work, and hope for the best.
9. Have no clue where you want to take your business: Heck, you’re just happy if you’ll make payroll in two weeks. Why spend time envisioning your future and giving hope to your team when you can instead complain about how bad it all is and wonder if you’ll survive past Christmas.
8. Waste a whole boat-load of money on stupid advertising: You just had to know that TV/Radio/Magazine Ad sales rep who told you to sink ungodly amounts of money into their ad really only wanted a fat commission check courtesy of you, but since you’re desperate you’ll do just about anything. Now you have your face on a big, shiny ad, but have no idea if you got results because you forgot to do any kind of measuring.
7. Work your way into divorce: You keep telling your spouse that you just need to work harder and longer hours to keep the business going and that “Someday” it will get better. However, that day never comes and now you’ve got a divorce decree staring you in the face and no way to finance all that comes with it.
6. Become the cheapest solution for your customers: Since you know that you can only get and keep customers by being the cheapest, you’ll keep discounting your prices. Now that you have only bottom-of-the barrel customers that constantly complain, you’re stuck giving away the farm every time you do business. Sucks to be you.
5. Never fire that toxic employee: She’s the smartest and most adept employee you’ve got, but she has a nasty attitude, complains about everything, and has developed brilliant skills as throwing everybody else under the bus. You want to fire her but you’re to much of a wimp to make it happen. Now you have customers leaving and team members threatening to leave if she doesn’t go.
4. Never communicate with your customers: Customers come, and customers go, but you have never figured a way to reach out to them to keep them coming back. Yea, you’d like to send them a newsletter, but since you don’t have their address or email, how are you ever going to do that?
3. Fail to adequately train your employees: Your idea of training is to let them loose and hope they learn by osmosis. You figure it would cost you to much money to properly train them and besides, what if they quit and go to your competition. Then you realize you haven’t trained them, and they stayed. Ouch.
2. Save money by never buying new technology: Hey, that hand-crank calculator and leather-bound ledger has served your family business well over the past 60 years, so why change? Buying computers and learning how to use them would be to expensive and besides, you don’t mind spending 3 hours a day on the books when everybody else with their expensive ‘Toys’ does it in 10 minutes a day.
And the #1 way to destroy your business is, (drumroll please……)
1. Ignore your finances: All you know is that if money is in your checking account you’re happy, and if no money is in your checking account you’re sad. Besides, you know that if you ignore your financial problems long enough, maybe they will just go away. IRS notices? Pretend they don’t exist. Vendors calling to demand payment on overdue invoices? Don’t answer the phone. Why live in reality when you can live in “Denial Land” which is somewhere in Egypt.
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