SupportBiz lists six actions of yours that might be acting as slow poison for your business.
1. Ignoring your competitors completely
Ignoring your competitors totally is not a prudent thing to do at all. This will only render you ignorant of your competitors’ strategies and their position in the market. You will be out of touch with your competition, which is a sure-shot path towards downfall.
It is important to be constantly in touch with what your competitors are doing. Use social media, customer feedback, market research and other tools to determine the strategies being used by your competitors at different points in time. Ensure that your operations are in tune with the times and with the actions of your competitors.
2. Having no exit strategy
Like it or not, you are not going to be able to work forever. If you have no exit strategy or succession plan in place, your business will crumble behind you. This is a mistake that you should avoid at all costs.
Have a plan for your business after you are no longer in the picture. Determine who will inherit it from you, if you plan to pass on your business to your family. Alternatively, you should determine a succession plan for your business, if you do not intend a family member to take it up after you. Ensure that your firm can successfully run even without you.
3. Not paying your best staff members enough
You might think you are cutting costs by not paying your best staff members enough, but that is a highly imprudent thing to do. By doing so, you will only cause dissatisfaction among them, bringing down their morale and productivity. You will be increasing your risk of a high employee turnover, ultimately putting your business in jeopardy.
Try to avoid this situation at all costs. Pay your best employees a little extra over the current market rates. This will not only keep them loyal, but also motivate them to give their best to work.
4. Not talking to your customers
It is not a great idea to not talk to your customers at all. This will only put you in a compromising situation, unable to understand what your customers really want from you. You will fail to understand what your customers like and hate about dealing with you, which is not good for your business in the long run.
You should keep in constant touch with your customers, and regularly solicit their feedback. Use the valuable first-hand data you obtain in this manner to take various business decisions. This will help you meet competition more effectively and build a loyal and happy clientele.
5. Not reviewing your accounts
Many SMEs do not undertake a regular review of their P&L account, balance sheet, cash flow statement, and other accounting documents. They run their business based on their gut feeling, not basing their decisions on sound facts and figures. This is not at all advisable.
Review all of your accounts documents at least on a monthly basis. You will be able to take much better business decisions that way.
6. Waiting for the phone to ring
Another grave sin that SMEs usually commit is waiting for the phone to ring, and for opportunities to come to them. This is not a great idea.
The most successful businessmen do not wait for the phone to ring. They are pro-active in hunting for business opportunities. They are constantly on the look-out for opportunities to spread awareness about their business and to improve their sales and profitability. They are quick to react to market changes, sometimes even anticipating them well in advance. That is how you should operate too, if you wish to put your SME on the growth path.