Image by: David Martyn Hunt
By: George Lamb
As an entrepreneur, you would probably love to believe that your business is untouchable, invincible–the product of perfection. But in reality, perfection is nearly impossible to come by, especially in the business world. There will always be some aspect of your company that needs improving, whether it be customer communication, management, or perhaps even janitorial duties. Yea, a clean workplace is indeed a productive one.
Before I digress too far, it would be my duty to express the critical importance in sacrificing your time and peace of mind to dissect any inconsistencies your business may be experiencing. The only way anything–whether a business, a person, or product–can advance is to acknowledge any weaknesses that may be present within. And to give you a lucky start, I’m going to generously share below 5 signs of weaknesses your business may be exhibiting that you are completely oblivious to.
#1) Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket
Taking risks is essential to the progress of any product, but just because your entire team has got a handful of golden eggs, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to drop them all off in one wicker basket. Doing so will leave your business rather dependent, and if whatever you’re dependent on–one or two big customers, perhaps–doesn’t follow through, then you might find your business losing the level ground in which it has the right to uphold itself as a legit business.
Mergers, an up-rise in competition, or even just one bad customer interaction by a naive colleague can send that one major customer packing for good, and if this does occur, you would undoubtedly regret the complacently you displayed while previously handling your business. Yes maintaining the customers with the big accounts is important, but just as well making sure your business doesn’t grow to lax with finding new customers, outplaying the competition, and searching for new advancements in your product is important, too. Doing this will increase your customer base, which means more revenue and long term success.
#2) Bad Employees
Often times others are in charge of dictating how successful your business will become. Employees, vendors, colleagues and subcontractors all play a key role in the development of your organization, so it goes without saying that you want to set up an elaborate system which screens improper candidates from the ideal. The people you choose to work along side should be upbeat and positive with the necessary credentials to fulfill the tasks designated to them.
In short, they need to be the best of the best. As commander-in-chief, it is your job to keep a keen eye capable of distinguishing the good from the bad, amongst the delicate interview process. Look out for positive traits in the people you interview like a firm posture, strong voice and the proper mix of jovial earnestness–all these traits indicate someone who is confident enough in their own abilities to execute the tasks you assign to them.
#3) Lack Of Differentiation
We all know for every fast food restaurant, barber shop, or car wash, there are at least a million others floating around, so what are you doing in order to ensure your business stands out from the crowd? It’s not enough to just emulate or copy a successful product or idea, you have to do what it takes to enhance the product enough to catch the eye of your potential consumers. And if that means coming out with a corny little gimmick that offers various discounts or ad-ons, then so be it. As long as the customer distinguishes some rare benefit that you offer and nobody else, they will have at least some level of interest in your product.
#4) Too Dependent On the Guy in Charge
A business is often compared to a sports team, and in most cases, functions like one as well. You may be the Lebron of your business (CEO or senior manager) but without the assists from the point guard position (lower level management) the production of your team is decidedly limited.
No man is an island. Utilizing your confident, intellectual staff–in which you spent so much time collecting, if you followed step 2–to the best of their abilities and allowing them room to complete tasks without you looking over their shoulder will save you tons of stress. Not to mention add a certain level of trust to your organization that will likely lead to better production.
#5) Nothing Documented Formulas
Documenting the routine tasks you and your colleagues gruel your way through may seem like a daunting task–especially considering you probably have many more important tasks that need to be urgently fulfilled–but sacrificing the time and energy to jot down you you handle these routine tasks will lead to time and money saved, as well as making training a lot easier for any on-boarding employees.
Upon scrutinizing this article have you found yourself guilty of any of these weaknesses above? Don’t worry, all entrepreneurs have at least one thing they can improve. Feel free to share your inconsistencies with us below!