When it comes to the world of business, it is an unfortunate fact that there is generally more bad advice than good advice. Even so-called experts may be giving false information for their own personal gain, and this can mean some major issues in the future for small to medium-sized businesses. Here is a closer look at some of the worst business advice we have heard and exactly what it may be doing to your company.
Keep Full Ownership
Almost everyone that has ever attempted to start a business has heard a horror story about a company falling apart between two or more owners. While watching business come between anyone that is so close can be devastating, maintaining full ownership may be even more risky. A partnership isn’t about just eating up some of those initial costs, but is about growing. When the right opportunity presents itself it will take a company to the next level.
Budgets Must Be Rigid
Budgets tend to become an obsessions for most new business owners. They begin tracking their budget down to the cent and see where they can shave off some of the waste. While maintaining a budget is of the utmost importance, it is vital for all business owners to realize that their circumstances can and will change. When new opportunities present themselves or an unexpected expense pops up, freaking out is the last thing to do. Budgets should be rigid on about 95 percent of all expenses and lenient with 5 percent.
If You Aren’t Growing You Are Shrinking
Growth is going to be absolutely essential when it comes to building a successful company, but actually quantifying and qualifying “growth” is nearly impossible. In some months, growth will be nothing more than maintaining a few key accounts, and this is one of the most difficult lessons for business owners to learn. It is all too often that business owners pick one metric to measure growth by instead of thinking of the larger picture. When it comes to measuring changes from one week to the next, the bottom line isn’t always the best indicator.
The Customer Is Always Right
This is one of the trickiest subjects for business owners and a phrase that can often lead to some hard feelings, lost business, and other unfortunate events. It is important to make every attempt to make customers feel content, satisfied, and happy, but owners must also know when to draw the line. If a customer “being right” drives off new employees and is costing you major business, is their loyalty worth your time? Be careful about knowing the difference between when the customer is always right and knowing when it is a valued customer that is always right.
Business Shouldn’t Be Personal
Long gone are the days in which any business is not personal on some level. Companies interact with their employees, customers, vendors, and business partners on a level unlike ever before, and this means that there is some level of business that will be personal. You may not want to determine all of your happiness based on your weekly profits, but you should realize that modern successful businesses connect on a much deeper level.
Work Hard and You’ll Grow
It is not hard work that matters, but smart work. Many businesses will attempt to keep putting in the time and energy and eventually feel like it will pay off, but this is not always true. Owners and management should be looking at ways to adapt and work more efficiently, not simply stick with an outdated motto or mantra.
Not every tip streaming from family members, friends, coworkers, co-owners, or even industry titans will be correct. Every business owner needs to learn how to filter out which advice is worth their while and which can be left by the wayside.