As some of you may already know, my blogs will consist of my dissection of why a business has died. I will also study those who have been able to thrive and remain ahead of their competition. If you would like to learn more about this, read my short autobiography.
Whenever I research extinct companies, I always look for common mistakes they have all made. Most of these mistakes seem like a no brainer thing to watch out for, but you will be surprised of how many businesses actually fall prey to them.
- Expecting competitors to do nothing: No matter if a business is dominating a market or at the bottom of the chain. They should always be on their toes. Constantly innovating and improving their product or services. If your company isn’t doing this, you better start ASAP. What makes you think that your competitors are doing nothing? It’s a dog eats dog world and the first one to the bone takes home the bacon. This can give the smallest of businesses an edge over their biggest competitors. Those who sit around doing nothing have already lost and might as well start closing shop. It takes consistent work to get ahead or keep your spot in the market. Even companies that are dominating a market aren’t safe if they stop progressing.
- Keep reusing old ideas instead of inventing new ones: You may have invented something new today, but after a month its old news already. Just because it worked before, doesn’t mean it’s going to keep the fire burning. If you want people to remember your product, you have to keep up with the changes everyday. Falling back on an old idea can bring about a swift end to a company. There is an old saying, “In this world you’re either growing or you’re dying so get in motion and grow” – Lou Holtz. You should never encourage your colleagues to stick with the old. Instead encourage them to be in with the new, think differently, and question themselves, everyday.
- Falling for the “flavor of the week” trap: Yes, as a company you should be always keeping up with the times, constantly changing your product to better fit your customers. These types of changes are what can separate a good company from a great one. It can make your product stand out or even dominate its competitors. Nevertheless it can also be a trap. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean you have to change every single time or invest in it right away. You should always try to find or refine your expertise, rather than always trying to appeal to the masses. Those companies who are always in a constant change can potentially lose would be faithful customers.
- Make sure your short-term decisions align with your long-term goals: Sometimes when a company is fresh meat, you need to make quick rash decisions. You want to stay on your toes and find out the best way to make your product known. Many entrepreneurs will agree with this, but a more effective plan would to be creating a series of long-term goals or plans to abide by. When building put your business strategy you shouldn’t just be thinking about how many customers you will gain in the next few months or what you should improve upon in the next few weeks. Instead, you should think of what you want your company to be, stand for, and represent ten years form now. Then, you make sure every short-term decision align with your long-term goal.
- Failing to adapt: I know before I mentioned the flavor of the week trap, which can be dangerous in terms of masses, but to avoid feedback and reviews of your cliental that is already buying from you is very bad. Your cliental are like precious diamonds and should be treated as such. If many of them are saying you need to improve on your customer service, maybe you should look for flaws in your service and make changes. Even if they are asking for a small change you should still consider it. Because your customers are the one who are going out in the public advertising for you, you owe it to them to make accommodations. By doing so you will remain their favorite.
Thanks for reading my first blog. Check back here tomorrow for some more content.