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Acumen Connections » Blog » The Fastest Way to Destroy Your Business: What NOT to Do as a Small Business Owner

The Fastest Way to Destroy Your Business: What NOT to Do as a Small Business Owner

Building on fire

If your goal is to drive your business into the ground, then you should follow these steps! Here are seven pieces of advice to help destroy your business. You could decrease productivity, motivation, and profit at the same time. Alternatively, you could also read this list and learn what pitfalls to avoid…

1. Blame Everyone Else When Bad Things Happen

“No one in the office noticed this error! Now we have 5 orders that were sent out wrong! I cannot believe that this happened. Effective immediately, there will be new regulations for all employees.”

For starters, that behavior is rude and inappropriate in the workplace. Sometimes life happens, and there was an issue that was no one’s fault. Sometimes a person makes a genuine mistake and learns from it. Getting upset with employees does not create a positive work environment. It can lead to jealousy and aggression in the workplace. It can make you feel stressed. In addition, no one likes group punishment. Instead of blaming others, identify what the problem is and work on finding a solution. When you focus on the opportunities, your team will likely respond in kind.

2. Do Things That You Are Bad At

“I have zero design experience. I will fire my designer to save money. I can make a logo all on my own.”

We are glad you have strong confidence in yourself! However, you should probably consider hiring experts in the areas you are not as experienced. You can be intelligent without being an expert in everything. Do not be afraid of hiring others to help. If you have a strong understanding in some departments, then focus on those. You can hire other experts to help you with the other tasks around the company. Hire an expert accountant, human resource manager, or even marketing director. We have mentioned before the importance of hiring a well-balanced team. Part of that balance is finding individuals whose strengths are different. When you hire several experts from different fields, you are more likely to have an excellent team. Trust in your employees.

3. Ignore the Data and Numbers

“This is my favorite product of ours, and there is no reason to change anything about it.”

Reviewing your business’s budget is just as important as reviewing your own. You can see what products have the highest profit margins, and which do not. You can compare your revenue stream and recurring costs. You might be able to find areas where time or money is being wasted. Looking at the budget can show you which expenses are necessities, and which are not. You might even find a way to improve a

product while decreasing excess costs! Instincts are also a helpful factor when making decisions. However, they should only be a part of your decision-making process. Numbers do not lie.

4. Intimidate Your Employees and Suppliers

“One more mistake, and you will no longer be working with us!”

That is a threat. You would not feel good if a customer or previous employer yelled at you that way. There is something to be said about treating others the way you would want to be treated. We understand the importance of making sure that your team and suppliers are doing their jobs well. Just remember that these are your business partners, not enemies. People have bad days, and they should not be threatened because of it. People have lives outside of work, and sometimes things happen. They might have kids, or other family they need to take care of every day. If someone makes a mistake, or there is an error, focus on fixing it. There is no reason to try to intimidate your employees or suppliers. Treat your partners well. Pay them fairly. Do not take them for granted. If you ultimately need to cut someone from the team, then that is okay. Be sure to do it respectfully and with care.

5. Assume That Things Will Stay the Same Forever

“Sales have improved tremendously! We should open three more locations.”

Slow your roll. Are you looking at a recent change, or has there been a consistent gradual change? Things can change in the blink of an eye. An unusual sales period may just be an unusual occurrence. Large and sudden changes in sales may be some form of fluctuation. The changes could be a seasonal trend, or even something that is caused by changing regulations. Looking at data month-to-month may be too near-sighted of a view. Instead, look at data over the course of a year or more to see the bigger picture. That might give you a better idea. Nonetheless, you should always be aware that at any point, things could change. For example, who could have predicted the COVID-19 outbreak a year ago? Try to diversify so that you have multiple options. If you can, try to have a plan B for you and your team.

6. Enforce Your Personal Political Views in the Office

“I assume we all feel the same way about the president.”

“Did you see the bill that passed in our neighboring state? I really hope that happens here too!”

You are entitled to your political views. Whether you identify as Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, or something else, that is okay. However, you should avoid pushing your political views on others. Not everyone may have the save views as you. That is also okay. Fortunately, this world has many different views and opinions on topics. There would never be any sort of growth if we all just agreed on the same things. Keep an open mind and try to stay unbiased. These are both helpful skills. Unless a bill directly affects your business, I would recommend just not bringing up politics while at work. It can be a very uncomfortable subject for many people.

7. Work Every Waking Hour

“I was here until midnight yesterday. I’m running on about 4 hours of sleep, but I think I’ll be fine with a little coffee.”

Managing a company takes time. Some days there is more work than there are people. When that happens, you usually find that you have to stay a few hours to make up for it. Part of your job is to handle issues when they arrive, regardless of what department is affected. It can be difficult to say “no” to new tasks. However, you still need to make sure that you do not overcommit either. Experiencing burnout at work will help no one. Your work will suffer. You owe it to yourself and your family to find work/life balance. Leave by 6:00 PM every day, take a Friday off, or go on vacation. You need to find time away from the office. You will feel refreshed when you return. It can help you be more productive while you are at the office.

Renee McBride

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“A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one,” is my favorite quote. I’ve been working since high school mostly with small, growing businesses across various industries. I’ve had to wear many hats for each role. In that time, I’ve learned that problem-solving and helping pass on that information to others is what drives me. Today, I’m the Digital Marketing Manager at Acumen Connections.

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