In spite of there being a plethora of information out there on things to be aware of in business, business owners are still taking crazy risks. Some of these risks bring terrible consequences, and can be fatal to a business. You can’t avoid every failure or mistake in business, but taking senseless risks costs time, money, and energy that could have been saved and put to better use.
Here are 15 senseless risks that business owners still take:
Not Prioritizing Customer Service
Customer service is definitely there with one of the top 5 most important things in your business. In fact, it’s in the top 3 – some would argue that it’s the most important thing. Failure to prioritize customer service is a message to customers: we don’t really care about you. Studies have shown time and time again that the quality of a product matters, but only as much as the quality of customer service. Making the customer feel like they are important and going above and beyond to help them is going to help to grow your business and take it from strength to strength. Not putting a focus on customer service could mean damage to your reputation, especially when you look at how popular social media is, alongside bloggers, Yelp, Reddit, and so on.
You could have your shortcomings plastered all over the internet for all to see if you don’t ensure customer service training. You should be consistent in the way you speak to customers and resolve issues. You should make sure their issues are fixed as soon as humanly possible. You should make each one feel victorious. Don’t forget that customer service can be simply throwing in a few free samples, or offering a loyalty discount, or something else later down the line.
Attempting To Save Money By Taking On Multiple Big Tasks
Taking on multiple tasks can save you some money in the short term, but it could actually cost you even more money in the long term. If you’re spreading yourself thin and not doing each task properly, making mistakes, and wasting time, then you’re not going to be doing your business any favors. You need to do what you’re good at, and find people who can help to do the things you’re not so good at. When it comes to your staff, make sure you’re making their roles clear too. Wanting them to be a Jack of all trades could easily go wrong.
Failing To Properly Protect Customer Information
As a business, it’s easy to collect customer information over the years. You have email addresses, passwords, and other sensitive information that could cause a riot if it got out. If you don’t protect this information properly, you will not only get an instant bad reputation, you could get in legal trouble and lose the majority of your customers. The amount of businesses who fail to do this until something happens is shocking – don’t wait until it’s too late.
Failure To Have The Correct Insurance Policy
Every business needs to have the correct insurance policy, or multiple insurance policies to ensure their business is properly protected. Businesses need to be protected from fire, theft, hurricanes (and other natural disasters). You also need to consider things like what you’d do if your business partner fell ill. Insurance to protect your business, your staff, and your customers is crucial. Finding the correct insurance is one of the most effective risk management services, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses don’t have the right policy for them. Make sure you speak to a professional and figure out what you really need.
Avoiding taxes is a huge problem right from the get-go. Not only is the government becoming more strict, the penalties are becoming more fierce. Ensuring you have the correct numbers and money saved to pay your taxes from the beginning is so important. This is why it’s advised you get an accountant and other people to handle your finances from the beginning. If you’re serious about staying out of legal trouble, avoiding big fines, and keeping your reputation, then this is something you must do.
Hiring Too Quickly
You think you need to hire somebody – but do you really? Hiring too quickly can leave you with too many mouths to feed, which can be fatal to a business when times are quiet. You need to think about the pros and cons of hiring, and whether there are alternative options, such as outsourcing or temporary workers. When you hire a permanent worker, you take on a whole host of new responsibilities.
Not only should you avoid bringing on a new team member if it’s not really needed; you should take your time with the hiring process. Don’t rush and choose a candidate. Make sure you go through their resume properly, speaking to references and even performing background checks. Your employees should support you, share your vision, and bring something new to the table. Hold out for the right one and you could save time and money in the long run.
Treating Staff Like Another Number
When you have your staff onboard, you can’t simply treat them all like another number. You need to show your staff that they matter, just like you show your customers that they matter. You can treat your staff well by giving them constructive feedback, praising them for hard work, buying the coffee every so often…simply making the workplace a great place to be. Chances are, you had a few jobs when you didn’t own a business, so think about what your employers did wrong/right and how you could improve on that in your own business.
When you vow to treat your staff properly, you will improve staff retention, productivity, and satisfaction in the workplace. You may even find you reduce sick days!
Failure To Find The Right Work/Life Balance
Even though you’re a business owner and you need to be working hard, you still need to find the right work/life balance. If you don’t find the balance between both of these, you either run the risk of burning out or you run the risk of losing everything. You need to make sure you’re spending enough time on your business, while simultaneously spending time with your family and loved ones. That time to recuperate can make the world of difference in your business practices.
Looking At Purchases In Isolation
Keeping your eye on the budget as a business owner has never been more important. Knowing your numbers and exactly how much you can afford to pay yourself, pay your staff, spend on equipment/training courses etc is a must. However, occasionally looking at a purchase in isolation can mean convincing yourself that it won’t make a difference, and that it’ll all be fine. If you do this too often, you may find your budget draining on things you don’t really need. Make sure you think about purchases carefully – is a new computer really necessary right now? Do you really need to buy top of the range computer chairs for the whole office? These things can be nice, but you need a good reason for buying them and a steady stream of income. In fact, some of the most famous business owners in the world waited until they had millions before splurging on things like this for the business.
Not Asking For And Listening To Feedback
Feedback in business is one of the most valuable things you can get, whether from your staff, customers, or people who haven’t even bought from you yet. You need to find out what your business image is like to others, what’s stopping them from purchasing, what made them want to purchase, what they would improve on, and so on and so forth. Of course, it’s up to you whether you listen to feedback, but if something crops up a few times, it could be worth looking into. The best businesses can take constructive criticism and use it to their advantage.
Not Putting Security In Place Until Something Happens
Waiting until something happens before putting security in place is a costly mistake. You don’t want to come into work one day to find that the place has been ransacked. Putting cameras, alarms, and other measures in place to deter criminals is one of the best ways to protect your business. It’ll cost a little money upfront, but that will be nothing compared to what you’ll have to spend if something does happen and you have to recover machinery, data, and more.
These business risks are pretty big, and can easily be avoided. In some cases you don’t have to spend money; you just have to make sure you’re doing everything above board, treating your staff right, and making sensible decisions. In some cases you do need to spend a little, but you’ll buy peace of mind alongside this. Can you think of any other risks business owners still take? Leave a comment below.