If there’s one mistake that even the most experienced businesses tend to make, it’s refusing to listen to criticism. Far too often business owners shut out anyone who might try to tell them something that they don’t want to here. There’s a degree to which this is kind of understandable. After all, no one wants to hear that something they’ve poured blood, sweat, and tears into isn’t working. But the issue with this is that, unless you’re willing to pay attention to what you’re doing wrong, you’re never going to be able to improve. By hiding your head in the sand and only listening to people who tell you exactly what you want to hear, you’re just going to end up making the same mistakes over and over until they start to put your business in serious jeopardy. To make sure that doesn’t happen, it’s time to face up to some harsh truths about you and your business.
You don’t know your customers
Pretty much all businesses have an image of their ideal customer. The key demographic for whom their product is absolutely perfect. Companies spend enormous amounts of money trying to figure out who this elusive perfect customer is without ever considering one extremely important point: your perfect customer might not exist. There is, of course, some value in figuring out what types of people will be most receptive to your product and marketing, but that’s not the same thing as constantly chasing after some extremely specific demographic. What you need to do is figure out what your “ideal customer” looks for in your business and then go out and find customers in the real world who are looking for the same thing. They might not fit your profile exactly, but if you’ve done your research correctly, you’re far more likely to draw them to your business than waiting around for some imaginary perfect customer.
You don’t know how to lead
Just because you’re the business owner, doesn’t mean that you’re automatically going to be exactly the kind of person that your business needs to lead it in the right direction. If this is the case, then you have two options. On the one hand, you can hire someone to manage the business, allowing you to take a more passive approach. You’ll still have final say over what happens, but you can leave it up to someone else to make those decisions happen. Alternatively, you can bring in a consultant to help you steer your business in a better, more productive direction. Check out LinkedIn.com/in/jimtsokanos for the kind of person who can help your mold your business into what you really want.
Your employees don’t care
The biggest drain on productivity is hiding in plain sight. Your employees make all the difference between a productive business and one that will inevitably fall behind the competition. The most common reason that this happens is that business owners simply don’t give them enough of a reason to care about what they’re doing. Don’t assume that just because you’re paying them that they’ll automatically want to put the maximum amount of effort it. If you’re not engaging directly with your employees on a human level and making them care, they’re never going to give you one-hundred-percent effort and commitment.
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