What You’re Doing Wrong With Your Business

What You're Doing Wrong With Your BusinessOccasionally, I receive an e-mail asking for any business tips that I may have. I haven’t been working on my business full-time for very long, but I do think I know a good amount about different types of businesses.

Before I switched to full-time self-employment, I worked as a business analyst and dealt with many different types of businesses. I saw many businesses that were thriving, and I also saw many that were making mistakes and not doing quite as well.

This post isn’t meant to scare anyone, it’s meant to be more informative. Not all of the mistakes below will lead to total business failure, but they could lead to something that you don’t want such as lost revenue, net losses, losing employees, losing customers and more.

Here are mistakes that you may be making with your business.

Not trying new ideas.

If you have your own business, it may be hard to listen to others. You may have always done things yourself so you may think that you know what is best.

However, you should always consider new ideas or take tips from others. You don’t have to apply everything to your business, just take in the knowledge at least!

You never know when someone will have an incredible tip that will turn your business from “okay” to AMAZING!

Letting costs get out of control.

No matter how great your business is doing, you still want to watch your budget and watch your expenses. Costs can easily get out of control, and once that happens it is usually hard to get back to normal.

And, if your costs have been out of control for a while, it can be hard to get employees back on track as well. If your costs are uncontrollable, you eventually may find yourself in the negative profit territory even if at one point your business was doing great.

Not looking at new markets ever.

It can be easy to get into a static state with your business. However, if your business isn’t doing the greatest, you may have to look into ways to revive your business. You may have to look into new markets for your product.

An example would be if you are a freelance designer. Maybe you only do designs for lifestyle blogs. This market may not be enough to sustain your business right now. In this case, it may be a good idea to look into other areas such as finance websites, online stores, and so on.

Some like to stay focused on one group, while others like to be more diversified. I would rather be more diversified. If you know that what you are currently doing is not working, then diversifying may be your next step.

Having horrible customer service. 

Bad customer service is all over the place. I really do not know how companies with horrible customer service stay in business, but somehow they do.

No, the customer is not always right, but you should be trying your best to provide great customer service at least most of the time.

What business mistakes have you seen?


This post was originally published on February 5, 2014.

4 Things You Should Do When You Are About To Leave Your Job

4 Things You Should Do When You Are About To Leave Your JobIf you are reading this post, you might be thinking about leaving your job. If you’ve already decided to leave your job, there are things you still need to do though. Some like to completely give up at the job they are quitting, but that is not the wise thing to do.

It’s always best to leave a job on good terms if you are able to. I realize there are reasons for why you might not be able to leave on the best of terms, but if you can control it, it’s usually best to do so.

This is because you never know when you might cross paths with someone at your old company again in the future. If you leave on bad terms, it might prevent you from getting a good job reference, you might get a bad reputation at a new company if someone from your old company starts working there, and you may harm your chances at networking opportunities in the future.

Below are four things you should do when you are about to leave your job:

1. Give notice.

If you haven’t yet, you should give your employer notice that you are going to leave and write a resignation letter.

You should remember that some places will ask you leave immediately (such as companies where sensitive information is handled), whereas others will try to get every last-minute that they can out of you. You should give notice when you are ready, but also keep in mind what your company and industry tends to do when someone turns in their notice.

2. Be a responsible employee.

If you are still getting paid to work, then you should still be working.

This means completing your normal job duties, arriving to work on time, and more. I’ve seen quite a few people turn in their notice and act like their remaining days were just a vacation. That is not something you want to do.

3. Train your replacement, if possible.

If your employer asks if you can train your replacement, you should say yes if you are able to. Some employees will even go the extra step and offer their time after their last day just in case the employer runs into any problems.

While this may not apply to every industry and company out there, it can go a long way and help you in the future if you need a reference, a job, etc. in the future.

4. Be positive.

For your remaining days or weeks (or even months), you should try to be as positive as you can. While I am sure you are excited to leave your job (you are leaving your job after all for a reason I am assuming), being friendly to your coworkers is always a good thing to do. Be polite to everyone, try not to say negative things about the company or your boss, and so on.

Do you always try to leave on good terms? Why or why not?