You’re a young business professional – eager to serve people and earn handsome amounts of money.
But there’s a challenge:
The hard work you have been putting in growing your business is not repaying the way you’d imagined. Yes, the company is profitable but not as you’d expected. And you’re wondering what’s wrong?
Well, are you sure you’re not making any business mistakes?
You see, we all make mistakes. The point, however, is to learn from them and not repeat them in the future.
Here are 14 business mistakes that may be costing you money, clients and repeat business.
As they say – charity begins at home. Before you analyse the mistakes related to your clients, you need to figure out if you’ve been doing things wrong within your organisation.
1. Never Appreciating Your Employees
You pay your employees to get things done. They are not doing any favour to you. If you had not hired them, they would have starved to death. So, where does this appreciation part came from? Give them stress, new and useless work to handle, but never appreciate them. Make them feel like robots driven by a battery called salary.
2. Staying Closed to Suggestions
Another effective way to ruin your company is to adopt the policy “Boss is always right.” You should make your employees realise that you are the boss, and you are always right, no matter what.
Don’t even listen to their suggestions. Who the hell are they to suggest you anything?
Do they think you are stupid?
You know everything!
How to run your business
How to handle situations even when you are clueless about what’s happening.
You don’t need suggestions. If somebody approaches you with one, discard that then and there.
3. Being a ‘Fault-finder’
If you keep on finding positive points in your employees work, it’ll get into their heads, and they might start feeling a part of the organisation and even feel good about being an employee of your company. That’s dangerous. To counter this, you should always find faults, even if nobody agrees with you. It will keep your employees de-motivated and dull.
4. Practising ‘Use and Throw’
There have been many misconceptions in the corporate world. One of them is -employees are an asset to any company. That’s a lie. Never treat your employees as assets.
Always believe in ‘use and throw’ philosophy. Don’t ever help your employees become an asset to the company. As a boss, you must use them as much as you can and when they complain, kick them out.
5. Keep Sending Stupid Emails About ‘Recession’
Recessions come and go, but in your organisation, it should be a permanent thing. It is something that happened and never went away. It is still there and will always be. Your employees should get at least three emails about recession per week.
Remind them that times are bad, there are no jobs in sight, and you are doing them a favour by keeping them employed. Ask them to get toilet paper and tissues from home; they can’t expect the company to pay for ‘luxuries’. These strategies will keep them grounded and timid.
6. Hoping Employees to Take All the Stress
As a boss, you should never experience stress. If you will take the pressure, then what are your employees for? You pay them money; they are your slaves.
They must take all the stress while you enjoy month long vacations abroad. One more thing. You should never stay available by phone or email while vacationing. What’s the fun of vacationing if you still need to answer your employees’ queries? You should keep this burden reserves for the employees.
7. Never Giving them Time to Relax
Employees are like sugar cane, the more pressure you apply, the more juice you can get. Don’t ever make a mistake of giving them time to relax and rejuvenate.
An employee should never have this privilege. Only bosses can find the time to relax.
Ask them to come on Saturdays, even if there is no work. They should never get time to do anything that makes them happy. They are not only supposed to reach office on time but also pick their phones after office hours and even on holidays. After all, you’re paying them ‘handsome‘ salaries.
8. Always Playing ‘Mail-Mail’
Even if your employees are sitting next to you, don’t talk to them. Speaking honestly and openly might open a healthy dialogue.
If you keep on talking to your employees and clarify everything, which of course is more natural and builds trust between them and you, then what the hell are computer and internet for? Ask each and everything by mail, even if you need to send ten emails to clarify one trivial thing.
There you go. Apply these rules, and you are sure to ruin any organisation, no matter how big or small it is. Good luck!
9. Not Paying Attention to What the Client Had to Say
Want to make more money by attracting new business and clients?
Then you must listen to your clients because if you don’t, your competitors will.
Many young entrepreneurs start taking their clients for granted. It’s a blunder.
Make sure you understand what’s your client looking for – regarding products and services. The better you’re at listening, the more business will come to you.
10. Not Paying Attention to the Details
Take care of the details when you create a customised product or service. Not doing so can annoy your client and you might lose him forever.
Let me give you my example:
I hired a web designing company to built this blog. I explained what I wanted concerning design, but they didn’t pay attention.
Despite clearly stating what I wanted, they did what they thought I wanted.
Result? A pathetic website and an unsatisfied customer – who soon hired another web designer.
They lost a customer and repeated business.
11. Not Communicating Promptly
You’ve been busy all day long. So much so that you couldn’t take a phone call from that loyal client of yours.
Letting him know that you’ll call him back will be just fine – and do remember to call back.
Forgetting to call back your clients multiple times leaves an impression that you are not interested in answering their queries.
If you care about your clients, they’ll return the favour in the form of repeat business.
Ignore them, and they’ll ignore you faster than you can blink.
And don’t ever tell any of your clients that you were too busy to call him back. Hello! He’s your client, and he doesn’t expect such unprofessional answers.
12. Over-Promising and Under-Delivering
Under-promising and over-delivering is a proven strategy to increase your business manifolds.
Give your clients more than they expect.
Giving your client something extra he wasn’t expecting will make him smile and will create a positive impression. You’re sure to get repeat business and referrals from your happy and satisfied customers.
Over-promising, and under-delivering? Never do that.
13. Not Following Up
Delivered the project?
Closed that sales deal?
Helped launched that new app?
It’s time to follow up.
Do call the client after some days to find out if everything is OK.
Ask if he’s facing any problem using the product(s) or service(s) you provided and if you can be of any assistance.
Following up with the clients make them feel good about doing business with you. It shows that you genuinely care about them.
Not following up is a disaster. It shows you were interested in getting the money only.
Do whatever you can to earn your client’s trust. The money will follow in the form of repeat business and word of mouth advertising.
14. Not Asking for Feedback
Just the other day, I was on my way to Meerut for delivering a personality development class. On Delhi-Meerut-Partapur bypass, I felt like taking a break.
So, I stopped at a famous food chain outlet, (won’t give the name) and decided to try their aaloo pyaz parantha (potato and onion stuffed bread) with curd. I was a little hesitant though because the charges were a little too much – 70 rupees for a piece.
But since they’re one of the best food chains in North India, I went forward.
The place was neat and clean. The staff was friendly, and the complex had positive vibes.
I waited eagerly for my order but got disappointed when I looked at my plate. There was one regular parantha with a little bit of pickle, along with a pathetic amount of curd in a small bowl. I was expecting something good, but what I received was way below my expectations.
Anyways, (sigh) I ate it because I had to. And to my surprise, those guys had no system in place to take feedback from their customers.
They thought they were the best, and could charge anything. (I paid a whopping 79 rupees for that ordinary parantha – 70 rupees+tax)
I had not visited the restaurant to see how good their air conditioner was, or how clean their toilet was (though, that also matters) – I went there to see how good their food was.
Nobody enquired me about the quality of the meal.
Customers can tell you if you are doing a great, excellent or pathetic job. And for that to happen, you need to initiate the conversation. You can’t expect the customers to come to you and share their views.
Feedback is the backbone of any successful business, and for that, you need to have a feedback mechanism in place. Approach the customers to find out how they feel about your business (not what you think they think). That way you can improve, or change your business strategy accordingly.