Business: Avoiding Common, Costly Errors

COLLABORATIVE POST


There’s no such thing as guaranteed business success. Even some big-budget businesses have failed, which really shows that even if you appear to have all the correct pieces in place, there’s always something that can drive the operation towards failure.

The precariousness of the business world means that entrepreneurs can do with all the help they can get. And often, the best way for business owners to help themselves is to simply avoid the costly errors that can put their business in jeopardy. In this post, we’ll run through some of the common issues that businesses accidentally fall into and offer advice on how to avoid them. 

Hiring The Wrong Employee

Not all employees are created equal. That often comes as news to new business owners, who hire team members fully expecting that they’ll have the skills and desire to push the business forward. In the best-case scenario, hiring the wrong employee will have a neutral effect. In the worst-case scenario, it can affect team cohesion and impact productivity. It can also result in lost customers and internal crime.

There’s no way to guarantee that you’ll hire a great person, but you can certainly increase the odds. Working to improve your hiring process will make it much more difficult for low-quality workers to slip through the net. 


Departing Staff

It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to hire a great employee. Once they’re on board, you’ll hope that they stay there. But of course, employees are their own people and have the right to move on. If your best employees are leaving after six months, then you’ll find it difficult to build momentum, and it’s inevitable that your bottom line will be affected. 

You can decrease the chance that your team will look elsewhere by simply making your business a brilliant place to work. Do you pay well? Do you offer benefits, and give your employees the chance to choose where and when they work? If you do, then it’s unlikely that they’ll be looking elsewhere anytime soon. 


Productivity Issues

It’s not the amount of time that you spend in the office that counts. It’s how much valuable work you do while you’re there that matters. It’s better to be in the office for five hours and produce four hours of quality work than to spend nine hours in the office and spend most of the day walking around. 

The odd unproductive day doesn’t matter. If it’s a recurring issue, then your business will eventually run into problems. You can avoid this by creating a clear to-do list and minimizing any distractions that could put you off your work. Once you’re fully up and running, this is unlikely to be a problem, but it can be an issue in the early days when you’re still finding your feet, especially if it’s your first time running a business. 


Product Recalls

Most people assume that once a product has been shipped, then that’s the end of the transaction. But that’s not always the case. If the product is substandard, then you’ll likely have many people sending the product back. In the case of a product recall, which can happen with food products, you will be obliged to recall damaged goods and return your customers’ money. This doesn’t just impact the businesses’ bottom line immediately, but can also damage brand perception, which makes it more difficult to win sales in the future.

You can’t always ensure that products will be returned or recalled, but you can greatly increase the chances by taking a few preventative steps. If you work with food products, then following the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) in the food industry is essential. For other products, having stringent quality control testing protocols will ensure that your customers receive an excellent product, minimizing the risk of it being returned. 


Falling Behind the Times

Just because your business is popular with customers today, that doesn’t mean that it’ll be just as popular some years down the line. Customers want to see that they’re giving their hard-earned money to relevant businesses that form part of the modern world. If you haven’t updated your business in years, then all it’ll take is a new, more modern competitor to pop up for your customers to move on. 

So, how do you prevent your business from being viewed as one that’s “past its sell-by date?’ Having a forward-thinking, innovative mindset can ensure that you’re always looking to the future. On an individual level, it’s best not to take your customers or success for granted. You should have the same level of enthusiasm for success as you did when you first started your business. 


Customer Complaints

We live in an age when reviews are more important than ever. It’s not an exaggeration to say that a few bad reviews really can be the difference between long-term success and failure. After all, you’re unlikely to give your money to a business that has a Google rating of 1.5/5, are you?   

You can’t stop negative reviews. Even the best businesses in the world receive the occasional one-star review. You can’t please everyone! But it’s still important to treat those negative reviews seriously. The best way is to respond directly, putting across your point in a kind manner. Many potential customers will ignore a one-star review if the business has taken the time to respond. It’s when businesses don’t respond that alarm bells go off. 


Failing to Work With Experts 

There are many reasons why businesses end up failing, but some reasons are more common than others. The number one cause is poor cash management, which is frustrating to deal with because it doesn’t necessarily mean that the business was a bad idea. It just meant that not enough attention was paid to the financial aspect of the operation. The easiest way to avoid this issue is to work with financial professionals, such as accountants. They’ll give you a heads-up well in advance of any potential financial issues that could spell trouble. 

— End of collaborative post —


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