Tuesday, December 10, 2013

10 Ways to Kill Your Business in 2014

By Ashlei Jackson, Qlixite

The New Year is right around the corner and as a business owner, you might be reflecting on what you want to do differently next year. If you want to send your business into a downward spiral - follow these 10 surefire ways to kill your success. *Insert sarcasm*
#1 - Stop Advertising - Getting new customers to patronize your business is expensive. That’s the cold hard truth so instead of quitting your marketing - try something different or change your message. Find out what makes people RESPOND.
#2 - Stop Focusing on Customer Service - You and your staff are the face of your business. If you get lazy with how you treat your clients, it shows. The customer doesn’t have to always be “right” but they should always feel like buying from you was the “right” choice.
#3 - Stop Emailing Your Database - Email marketing is where the magic happens when it comes to developing and solidifying buying decisions. If you aren’t collecting emails and sending a note to clients at least once a month, you’re on the right track to killing your business.
#4 - Stop Looking Professional - Between the graphic design and your website and that pretty stationary...the dollars add up but before you decide to cancel, ask yourself if it’s helping your brand. If it is - like your website does - you might want to re-think letting it crash and burn.
#5 - Stop Planning 2-3 Months in Advance - A business that doesn’t think about the road ahead can get sidetracked at every pothole. Start thinking about promotions, events and marketing well ahead of schedule so you can properly plan and execute your strategy.
#6 - Stop Looking at the Competition - Knowing what “the other guys” are doing is important. If everyone else is charging $50 for something and you’re charging $30 and struggling to make ends meet...there’s a problem. It’s also good to see what type of customer they go after and the messages they use so you can make yourself stand out.
#7 - Stop Listening to Feedback - One or two unhappy clients or staff members is one thing but when a pattern starts to develop, you better take notice. Bad energy in your office can spread quickly so fix the problem fast. If you notice that your clients are unhappy or looking for something different than what you typically offer - LISTEN - and put actions in place to deliver what people want.
#8 - Stop Learning - If you went to school or studied for your profession, you were at the cutting edge of what was happening in your industry THEN. What are you still doing to stay the expert? Embrace extended education and personal learning to keep advancing your knowledge.
#9 - Stop Changing Your Mindset - What made your business successful last year or this year may not work in 2014. If you don’t stay on your toes and get with the times, they could leave you behind.
#10 - Stop Setting Goals - You’ll never know how successful or unsuccessful your strategy is if you don’t set a goal and track you progress. Once you have your strategy, be realistic with the time frame needed to achieve success.
As you might have noticed, this article was written with a tongue in cheek idea. No one wants to kill their business success but too many times we fall into bad habits and actually implement one of these 10 ways. So if you find that you aren’t emailing your clients and you stopped asking for feedback and you shut down your website - maybe 2014 is the perfect time to revive your business. Happy New Year!  

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