Although being self-employed or running your own business can be extremely rewarding, some of the practicalities that entrepreneurs have to deal with can be daunting at the best of times.
For the most part, running a business is a never ending learning curve.
However, there are ways in which we can optimise the success and smooth running of our businesses, just by applying a few simple strategies.
Accordingly, here is a list of what not to do.
1 Annoy people.
Sounds obvious right? But you would be surprised at how easy it is to rub someone up the wrong way.
To avoid doing this you don’t have to enrol yourself in a course at Charm School; it’s mostly just common sense. In other words, don’t be rude or unfriendly, and never say or do things in the heat of the moment; even if a client or prospect is acting unreasonably.
Always ensure your response to anything is considered and professional. Remember; the majority of new business comes from word of mouth – so try to make sure the things people are saying about you is positive.
2 Don’t return favours (and never provide them).
It’s all about cooperation, and if you are not cooperating with others how exactly are you moving forward?
If someone does you a good turn, it is only polite to return the favour in some way. It’s not about accepting bribes or doing anything illegal (although this is something you need to watch out for). Furthermore, you don’t have to wait for others to make the first move; you can provide favours off your own bat too.
In any event, if you can help someone out, then hey, why not? It doesn’t have to be some massive thing either, just a show of support or a mention here or there.
Good deeds come back to you and this is true in all aspects of life, not just business.
3 Don’t network.
This doesn’t mean you have to turn up at every networking event and stick your business card under someone’s nose; that’s not what it’s about. It’s not about stalking people on social media or shamelessly promoting your business at every available opportunity either; people are not stupid.
Networking means connecting with people; it’s an old fashioned practice that has been around since the year dot. No one is an island; you have to connect with others to ensure your business thrives; it’s about sharing ideas, talking, communicating via social media; whatever – but if you aren’t doing it then how are you going to know what is going on? How are you learning?
Get in there….! You never know, you might also make some new friends.
4 Don’t explore all your options.
Always stay open to new ideas and possibilities.
This doesn’t mean you have to jump on the band wagon of every new idea or trend going, just don’t turn your nose up at everything either. It’s the same old adage about being adaptable rather than set in your ways.
The world today is a rapidly changing place; some things are here to stay and some things are just a flash in the pan. For this reason, in business, it is good to have an open mind so you don’t miss out on any real opportunities to improve and prosper.
5 Rip people off.
And this includes over charging!
Not only will ripping people off ruin your reputation; but bearing in mind that 80% of most business is return business, it goes without saying that when you adopt sharp practices you are shooting yourself in the foot.
Always charge a fair price for both parties, even if you think you can get away with charging more.
It’s not rocket science and let’s faces it; you know when you are doing it.
6 Over promise and under deliver.
When pitching for business it can be easy to fall into the trap of promising prospective clients the world, especially if work is thin on the ground.
Never bite off more than you can chew. Be honest and upfront with clients on time frames and abilities. It isn’t a crime to tell a client you are unable to deliver by a certain timescale or perform a certain task because it is not within your skill set.
Nobody can do everything, and one thing that you must be in all business dealings is honest and upfront.
7 Be ‘in it’ just for the money.
It might seem counter-intuitive; after all, the whole point of running a business is all about making money isn’t it?
Actually no, it isn’t, or it shouldn’t be.
It should also be about providing a service or product which serves a purpose or is of use to others in some way, it should also be something you enjoy doing. If you are not aligned with your core values and principles in business then you will not thrive on all levels.
You might make a fast buck; sure… but is this what you really want out of life?
‘Selling’ something you don’t believe in or which you know isn’t of any value to anyone just to make money will come back to you in some way. Being in business just for the money is never good karma.
So there you have it!