Being Attracted By The Illusion of Progress Rather Than Progress Itself:
Did you ever notice that when you start a new business you work extremely hard on logos, business cards, naming, slogans, and the rest of the “cool stuff”?
Cover images, profile pictures, catalogs…
…why does this happen?
Well, these are things that reward you with a lot of dopamine with relatively low effort because they seem like progress!
Did they get you a sale though?
There are tons of things that give you the illusion of progress but don’t actually do much — and these are usually the cool things to do.
You are often more concerned about the company looking cool or your business card giving you status and less concerned about getting your first sales.
A lot of people fall into this trap, and this is definitely a habit you don’t want to keep in order to be successful.
Thinking Too Much About Expenses Rather Than Sales:
Alot of people focus too much on cutting expenses and fail to see that they’ll get the same result if they increase sales.
As the old adage goes, you need to spend money to make money.
Maybe the ads you’re permanently running are worth the expense and you should find a way to sell more instead, ads are most of the time a marathon… not a sprint!
On the other hand, there’s another habit of sitting at the other end of the spectrum — the guys who invest, invest and invest and don’t even stop to sell stuff.
Of course, you need to invest, but don’t go overboard at the start!
Failing to Think Ahead: Planning Ahead
Another crazy habit people have is going with the flow!
They just “wing it” and hope for the best.
This isn’t a sustainable business practice, as most people with common sense may know, but it is hugely common!
How do you think ahead?
Well, let me give you an example…
My dad was the owner of a pharmaceutical company, and whenever he would start getting an abnormal order of antibiotics (sometimes, it happens) he would call his suppliers and order a huge batch of gastric protectors.
He knew antibiotics would destroy a lot of stomach linings, and he planned ahead.
Sometime after the antibiotics went out, the requests would start pouring in for gastric protectors, and he would already have them stocked!
Be a planner.
What’s the impact of what you’re doing right now in the short term?
How can you maximize the impact you or external factors will have in your customers’ lives?
Think about it… it’s worth it.
Focusing On The Business Rather Than On Customers:
“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”!
This is a quote that could be applied to the business if you switch “country” for “client”.
Clients should always be your number one priority.
Only by keeping your clients happy will you enjoy long-term success — not only because they’ll stick around and keep buying, but also because a satisfied customer is your best salesman… promoting you to his friends and social circles.
So, don’t focus on what you want to sell and what you want to do as a business — focus on what your clients want to buy, and what they need your business to be.
Don’t be stubborn if your business isn’t really selling — chances are you need to pivot and consider your customers more.
Having Your Friends Hanging Out On-Site:
Now, this final one is my pet peeve and really grinds my gears.
You know when you enter a business and the people on the other side of the counter are just leaning and chatting up with their friends, interrupt to get you what you want, and then go, right up to chatting up with them again?
Or in those coffee shops where the same friends of the owner are sitting there every day?
Well, apparently there are a lot of people who like to have company in the “boring” day-to-day experience of running their business.
Don’t do this.
Actively work to make your business succeed, there’s always something to do, and you don’t want people to notice you just hang out there and do business as a side thought.
Focus on your business and on the job at hand.
Hang out off-hours!
…and that’s it.
What other common habit do you think has the possibility of destroying businesses and what would you warn other businessmen not to do?
Focus on the stuff you see being done all the time and leave me your answer in the comments section.