Common Business Excuses…Busted!

Common Business Excuses…Busted!

When it comes to established business owners, sometimes they can experience a little complacency. It’s not that they have stopped working hard, it’s just that they have learned a thing or two and don’t want to change what they’re doing if it’s been working well so far. Unfortunately this spells D O O M for a plethora of business owners and operators, so, to avoid these mistakes, don’t find yourselves falling into any of the following excuses commonly proclaimed by the biz “greats:”

“If it works, then leave it be.”

Or in other words if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it. This is a common misconception in the realm of business, where we are lead to believe that just because business seems to be going pretty good right now, we should just let it continue without exerting ourselves by looking for further avenues for improvement. This is incredibly misguided, as business is exactly the opposite: it’s important to always look for new ideas, ways of improving yourself and ways to increase profitability and productivity. Of all the research I’ve done, there are a lot of great books, articles and blogs about the reasons as to why businesses fail. The one that relates to leaving things be is that most businesses look to build short term profits rather than long term value.

“Make something better than the other guys and you’ll be flooded with customers.”

This may well be true for a small minority, but in a world of instant copycats and discounted fakes, you as the great inventor must be cautious when believing this statement. Just because you make something that you personally find amazing doesn’t mean it actually is, nor does it mean that it will automatically overwhelm you with new customers. I may think that I’m a really great coach, but there are a lot of great coaches out there beside myself. What is unique about me is my life experiences, who I am as a person and how I coach my clients is personal to me. But it doesn’t serve me to think that I am the best coach out there and that I could be the best coach for everyone. Like the product or service you are offering, it may indeed be better than what’s available on the marketplace today, but if it’s more expensive or not well advertised (amongst dozens of other potential problems), then it may be time to rethink your business approach or the types of customers you are trying to attract. There is definitely a time/value trade off, as well as a risk factor involved, so make your decisions wisely.

“Do whatever you can to get the business.”

When you’re first starting out in business, it may be tempting to take every job offer that comes your way, no matter how little it may pay you. Why? Because work is work and making money is all that matters. Well, not exactly. The sign of a true business-savvy individual is that he or she is able to turn down assignments or projects they find not worth their time when comparing time spent and income earned.

I made this mistake for many months when I first started out as a coach. I undercharged for the value I was providing, and even though I kept raising my prices, I still kept hearing from mentors and other successful coaches that I wasn’t charging enough. I wasn’t new to coaching as I’ve been doing this technically since I was in seventh grade. But I was new as a coach who was trying to make a living at it. So over time as potential clients would negotiate me down in price, regardless of how much or little I was charging, it felt good to just start saying something in the realm of “when you’re ready I’ll be here to support you.” I didn’t know I could do that.What I finally got was that it wasn’t always about price, sometimes they are just not ready. So just because the ball may be in your court doesn’t mean you have to swing every time. It’s okay to let it pass you if it’s not worth the effort.

“Details, details, details!”

As a business owner, you’re going to drive yourself insane if you’re so focused on the minute details that you barely have enough time for the day-to-day operations. That’s the beauty of owning a business or being an entrepreneur; you can outsource some things and focus on the overall picture: keeping your company in business. Details are certainly important, but it’s too easy to get caught up in them and fail to see the big picture (which is what the owner should be focusing on in order to pursue success in the most productive, least time-consuming way).

As the visionary and the creator of a product or service, it’s important to keep site on the long term vision so you always see where you’re going. And believe me, now that I have an incredible team that includes a VA (virtual assistant), a graphic designer, a website developer, a ghost writer to help me with Marketing, a bookkeeper, and a coach to hold me accountable to what I say I’m going to do, then the fun part for me is I get to do what I do best – Coach, be an idea machine, write, and of course talk about how much I love to do what I do.

So, when you hear all of these sayings from fellow business owners, don’t forget to take a step back and truly examine them for what they’re worth. Just because it’s a common saying doesn’t make it mean it’s true for you, or for the next entrepreneur you talk to. So be flexible and have an open-minded approach to business. Only this will bring success and your success is really up to you.