When you set up in business, you are probably never going to be short of plenty of advice from numerous different sources, but some of these pearls of wisdom actually turn out to be tips that are best avoided rather than followed.
Getting good advice, would be what you might expect from someone like m-n-law.com in Rhode Island, but when it comes to tips on how to run your business successfully, here are some suggestions that you might not want to heed.
Is the customer always right?
There is no question that good customer service and keeping your promises are two key requisites for building a successful and profitable business, but abiding by the “customer is always right” mantra at all costs, is not always going to work out well.
It would be madness to suggest that you don’t treat your customer well of course, but while good feedback and regular orders are going to breathe life into your order book, there are times when you have to draw a line.
If you are constantly giving in to requests for discounts and changing your terms to satisfy a customer’s demands, this could easily end up damaging your bottom line and even your brand. By all means, adopt a “customer is always right” frame of mind, but don’t follow the mantra blindly, as it could prove costly.
The art of delegation
You are no doubt familiar with the saying “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself”, but unless you learn the art of delegation, it could prove detrimental to your business and maybe your health too.
There are limits to what you can do and while you are going to put in some serious hours as you work to get your business established, you will have to learn to trust others within the business to take on certain tasks.
Someone else might not do something as well as you do in the beginning, but they will learn and this will allow them to fulfil their potential, plus it will give you the space to work on growing your business.
Experience over innovation
You may well be given advice that it will help your business to gain credibility and build a team more efficiently when you add some gray hair to the team, and opt for experienced recruits.
There is definitely some merit in that argument, but it doesn’t always turn out to be the best advice.
Adding experience to your team can provide some assurance for stakeholders, but a young and dynamic business might actually be hampered by someone who has the experience but who doesn’t share the same appetite for risk as you, because of their past experience.
If you have an innovative culture within your business, this is going to involve an element of risk-taking, so you might want to consider recruiting like-minded people, who might not have the experience but think the same way as the rest of your team.
It never hurts to hear someone else’s take on what your business needs, but it also pays to remember that not all the advice you receive will be worth following.
Toby Randall has been in business for many, many years. He feels like he has seen and heard it all! Now taking a back seat in the day-to-day tasks he shares his knowledge with those who are just starting out.