It’s Halloween when the veil between being in business and being in business trouble is at its thinnest. At this time of year, we stand between the fading, lazy days of autumn bounty and the coming of the winter holiday rush. Desperate shoppers are shambling like zombies in search of brains—I mean, great bargains.
You want to run—not ruin—your business. Operating a business and being solely responsible for the business expenses, salary, and future of the business is scary. Making mistakes in business is genuinely terrifying!
So, here’s a horror show of bad decisions you should steer clear of when running your business.
If you’re a struggling business owner willing to do everything you can to keep your grandmother’s traditional Italian restaurant open, don’t encourage her to haunt you by adulterating and devaluing her recipe just to save on costs.
If your grandmother’s prized lasagna is getting increasingly expensive to make, and instead of removing the item or increasing the menu cost proportionately, you substitute fresh ingredients for cheaper options from cans, that’s kind of psycho. Now your grandmother’s beloved recipe is unrecognizable by customers, and no one is buying it. Worse, no one is coming to your restaurant because the food is no longer good. It’s like a graveyard!
The thing to remember is that had you just slightly raised the price, reevaluated the portion size, and made it a specialty item that’s only available on certain days, you might’ve been able to keep your customers happy while still making a profit.
Or maybe when starting your business, you decided to save money on branding by having your cousin design your logo. He’s not a designer, but he took an art class in high school. While he didn’t mean to stab you in the back, you still got a logo that is poorly constructed, sloppy, irrelevant, and just straight up unattractive. Now customers aren’t interacting with your brand in the way they should. They assume your business is unprofessional, are confused about what you’re selling, and definitely don’t buy merchandise with your logo on it. They avoid it like the plague.
Pinching pennies may have seemed like a good option, but cutting corners is just misery and bad for business. This business mistake can lead your customers to perceive you as cheap and uncaring. It could even cause your business to be in jeopardy if the right measures aren’t taken
Half-Baking Your Digital Presence
You want your business to have a strong presence both online and off. Maybe you already have a strong following from word-of-mouth, but you don’t even have a Facebook, let alone a website. In order to garner a solid following, you need to make sure you don’t make half-baked decisions.
For instance, you decide you don’t want to deal with building a website yourself, or hiring someone else to build it, so you decide to just use a Facebook page that your granddaughter set up for you. While it may be less of a hassle for you, you’ve created a much larger hassle for any potential customers.
Without a website, you’ve made it hard for your customers to find important information about your merchandise, location, or hours. For instance, say you run a restaurant where you offer half-priced entrees on Tuesdays. While this information should be child’s play for your customers to find, it isn’t anywhere under the basic info on your page. Customers may forget what days you offer the specials and grow frustrated when they can’t find the answer. You don’t want your potential customers to give up and just look somewhere else.
Bottom line: A half-baked digital presence won’t increase traffic to your store. You’re not only letting them get away, you’re actively driving them away. What a nightmare!
Slacking on Training
Failing to fully train your new hires because you don’t want to spend your time on it could also drive potential customers away.
You might think it makes sense for your employees to learn by experience, but if you haven’t taught your employees how a payment process works, for example, your regular customers may grow frustrated and impatient. Your once-loyal customers may very well decide to go somewhere else from now on based on the negative experience.
Instead, have a seasoned employee train your new hire for all daily tasks. Have your employees prepared for any possible problems that could arise, and how to provide excellent customer service. Research shows that businesses that train their employees experience an increased profit margin by 24%. If you think training your employees is for the birds, you’re missing out on additional potential income you could be earning.
Not Valuing Employees
It’s so important to value your employees. Neglecting them is one of the most frightening mistakes in business. You never want to make your employees feel underappreciated or like they’re being treated unfairly. Be a shining example of a good employer, and your employees will be thrilled to death to go above and beyond for your company.
For instance, if you own a museum but hire only half the staff you need so you can cut costs and pay yourself more: this is not a good business decision, even though it’s temporarily filling your pockets. You’re asking your employees to do things they’re not getting paid for. If they don’t do those things, that’s not “quiet quitting.” It’s doing what they were hired to do. If you don’t treat your employees well—if you refuse to pay them what they’re worth—that’s a very costly decision that you could regret 28 days later when they decide to just get out.
Statistics show that high turnover can be very costly. For instance, the cost of replacing an employee can range from half their salary to double their salary. If you lose an employee, you’re paying $25K/year, which could cost you as much as $50K in the end. If that’s not enough to make you scream, I don’t know what is.
Making employees serve multiple roles without upgrading their titles and salary to match that workload is a big business mistake and unfair to your staff.
In all, you don’t want to cut corners, use half-baked ideas, undervalue your employees, or skimp on training. Making what can seem like pennywise decisions at the time can actually have a very sinister impact on your customers, staff, and the longevity of your business. Contact us for a business consultation for advertising strategies!