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13 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Business If You Don’t Fix Them Now


I once worked with small company conducting a workshop on interviewing skills for their managers. When I asked about their interviewing process, they told me that they looked at a resume, interviewed the candidate, and then hired them if “they looked good.”

I asked how that was working for them. They grimaced and said, “Well, that’s why you’re here today.” Not having a robust hiring process is one mistake many of us make that can ruin your business.

That just one example of many. Here are 13 more mistakes that will destroy your business if you don’t fix them now:

1. Terrible customer service

You can have the greatest product in the world, but if you have terrible customer service, you will be out of business. You need to continuously monitor and review the level of service that you’re providing to your clients.

One way of making sure this happens is to create written behavioral standards of customer service.

2. Not having a robust hiring process

Many business owners take this task too lightly. I believe that your company is only as good as your last hire. You need to focus time, effort and energy to interview and hire well.

The core foundation of any company are the people who work there.

3. Not having a mission and vision

Many people cannot accurately tell me their mission and vision statement for their company. Knowing and having one affects everything that you do in your business, and if you do not have one, it is like going on a trip without your GPS.

4. Not rewarding or giving incentives to employees for superior performance

For the company to perform at the highest levels, you must reward employees. When people feel appreciated, the morale is high.

Don’t make the classic mistake of giving everyone the same raise. That is not rewarding for performance. That is rewarding people for showing up.

5. Not training leaders how to lead

Many companies promote someone because they are technically competent–but it doesn’t mean they know how to be a leader.

Give them training on leadership skills. Skillful leaders affect everyone positively.

6. Not knowing the business you are in

I saw a LinkedIn profile this week. They said they were an executive coach, piano tuner, an antique furniture restorer, and a realtor. Really? Please–you have to pick a lane.

Don’t confuse the customers about what you do.

7. Technology that doesn’t work

My wife was recently trying to log onto a company’s website and despite the fact she was typing in the correct password–it didn’t work.

It then locked her out and asked her to create a new password. If you aggravate a customer too often, the customer will just leave you.

8. Not changing your way of doing business

A company I was trying to do business with asked me to submit a form. It could not be an attachment to an email – it had to be a fax. When I asked them why they said “that is the way they have always done it”.

That is not being customer centric! Think about how the customer wants it.

9. Being Arrogant

Many companies that get comfortable when they are the “only game in town.” This arrogance leads to terrible customer service and loss of business.

When competition finally arrives, they are out of business quickly.

10. Not communicating with employees

Many leaders tell me they are great communicators, but employees say they are not “in the loop”. You need to consistently communicate with employees all the time, and the more often the better.

Team meetings and an open door policy can make a big difference.

11. Not being a continuous learner

Many people who are busy don’t have time to learn. Make lifelong learning for yourself and your team a priority.

Make lifelong learning an essential part of your culture and model it yourself.

12. Not training front line employees

I once had a CEO tell me that if he had to train people, he hired the wrong ones. The reality is in today’s fast-paced world, we need to train people continuously.

13. Not knowing your numbers

What are your sales, profit, cash flow and debt? You or someone in your organization has to know the numbers inside and out. Otherwise, there may be some ugly surprises.

My challenge to you is to look at this list and honestly think about where you can improve.


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