Building a business is hard. It’s hard to make your way through all the little decisions you need to make to pump out a minimum viable product, launch, and then grow. It can be hard to get and then keep people’s attention. It can even be tough to figure out what makes your ideal customers tick.
Well, I should clarify just a little bit. It’s not inherently hard, it’s a ton of work and for the most part people just make it hard on themselves. I’m not saying that there isn’t learning curve or an investment you have to make in yourself, what I am saying is that it takes dedicated attention.
It takes focus and dedication to not only get a business up and running but to keep it running. As you grow your business you will be adding even more variables to the mix. All the while you have to maintain your position as a credible resource. More than providing value at each transaction (social or monetary) your customers and clients will keep using you because they like you and can trust you.
One of the cores of building a successful business is establishing yourself as a credible resource. A person (or business) that people can trust to deliver on the promises you make.
If finding success is NOT what you are looking for then I have 5 ways you can destroy your credibility.
My honest and humble opinion is that you do the opposite of these.
NOTE: There is going to be a lot of sarcasm going forward. I really hope you do the opposite of these 5 Tips :)
1. Don’t follow up.
Following up is time consuming. It’s easier to just “yes” your way through conversations, networking events, and professional/social interactions. Eventually people will just stop putting any value on you and your ability to deliver if you don’t follow up. Developing relationships takes time and empathy and if you treat them like a commodity you can potentially free up your time for other things.
2. Be inconsistent.
Customers, clients, family, and friends stress too much on reliability and consistency. If you are bringing a product or service to market it’s always easier to wing it. Being inconsistent will help lower your stress on the quality and value of your delivery and it will generally lower everyone’s expectations. You only really need that first sale from every customer right?!
3. Always do everything yourself.
It’s challenging sometimes to try to trust people with the really important stuff. It’s easier to just leave everything up to you and try to cram as much of it into any one working period as possible. You already have all the resources you need. Plus getting others to help you in the decision making process only slows your business down. If you do it yourself you know it will be done right. The first time...probably the second...at the very least the third time.
4. Lots of excuses and blame everything on externalities.
Everyone knows that building a business means you have to wear a lot of hats. Because of that there are going to be a lot of variables that you won’t have control over. Can you really be expected to predict what the entire economy is going to do? In dealing with problems and trying to get your business to grow be sure to make yourself look as positive and without responsibility as possible by framing that you are doing your very best and everything that goes wrong is out of your hands.
5. Be unbending in your business's policies.
If you are a solopreneur that means sticking to the rules you created in dealing with all of the stakeholders you interact with. If you are a manager or a business owner with employees it means being unyielding in policy enforcement. The rules are there to keep order right?! If a business is to grow it has to be as strict as possible when dealing with customers, vendors, end users - they don’t know any better. Plus like I said already the economy is volatile and unpredictable so if you have an ironclad policy the business will always know the exact parameters of who it can interact with and how those interactions go down. Just because the culture of business is changing around us doesn’t mean you have to. If a party couldn’t abide by your policy then it probably wasn’t going to be a lucrative interaction.
So there you have it!
The 5 Ways To Ruin Your Credibility. If you are guilty of any of these I would encourage a hard look into what you are doing and how you are interacting with the communities around you. If you are indeed trying to ruin your business or reputation then I suggest you exercise these 5 tips every day. I hope you’re not though. It makes me sad to think that you might be. I’m even sad now even knowing that this is a bit of a parody, I'm sad thinking that out there right now are some businesses and people doing these things and thinking it's ok.