I’m not really one for all the “New Year, New You” hype, but I am a fan of making resolutions that make sense. One thing I’ve learned from writing for and speaking to entrepreneurs is that we’re all hungry for new ways to improve our companies and our efficiency. But another thing I’ve learned is that it’s not always about what new thing you should do. Sometimes your emphasis should be on what you need to stop doing.
Bad Business Habits to Break
Here are eight business habits you should commit to breaking.
1. Competing on price. If your major claim to fame is being the cheapest, you’re destined to burn yourself out. To be honest, most small and medium-sized businesses simply won’t ever be able to compete with the big guys based on the economies of scale huge companies can leverage. Your better bet is to be unique and to specialize in a niche, which allows you to charge more for your services.
2. Trying to appeal to everyone. Instead of casting a huge net designed to catch every fish in your area, try a more focused approach. If you lure in the customers who are the best fit for you, you stand to reel in much larger fish. Be a standout in your industry and work on appealing to your ideal, more lucrative clients.
3. Working ‘round the clock. It’s a common trap: We feel like we have to pour all our energy and time into nurturing our companies. But the trouble is that it’s too easy to neglect things that are – in the big picture – far more important. We must make time for ourselves, our partners, our families, and our friends. Take a little time off to recharge your batteries.
4. Being buddies with your employees. Friendly? Yes. Buddies? No. You’re in charge, and that means you need to keep a professional distance between you and your staff. You’re not the office therapist. You’re the company owner.
5. DIY Marketing. You don’t have to hire the most expensive, slickest marketing company to manage every little detail, but branding and marketing really matter. Take it seriously and hire a pro to help you ensure you’re connecting with your ideal customers.
6. Perpetually pivoting. If you find yourself constantly adjusting your offerings, stop! Since you’ve already resolved to stop trying to appeal to everyone, stop tweaking what has brought you the customers you have and love. Don’t change so much that you lose the core of what makes you unique.
7. Taking customers for granted. Without your customers, you have no revenue, no raison d’être. Stop running on autopilot, and start taking the time to genuinely thank your customers for their valuable business. Make it a habit to spend a little time getting to know your clients better.
8. Hiring the wrong people. It’s such a temptation to hire the candidate with the most experience, but it may not always be the right choice. It’s far better to hire the applicant who will be the best fit for your company’s values and culture. Skills you can teach. Mindset is much, much harder.
Committing to eliminating bad habits can be one of the best resolutions you make all year long.
Republished by permission. Original here.