When you are in the beginning stages of building a business, your credibility is your most important asset.
Although errors are often inevitable, there are several that can put you at great risk. Here are 5 mistakes entrepreneurs should always avoid.
Ignoring a Customer Complaint or Evaluation
There are two main reasons you do not want to do this. First, you can learn what is not working for some customers, based on using these complaints or evaluations to improve your product or service. Second, you do not want to ignore an unhappy customer. You must do your best to address the issues and make them feel valued. Even if you cannot convert them into a repeat customer, you do not want them spreading negative views to other potential customers.
Shamelessly Discrediting a Competitor
While you are definitely not in the business of helping your competitors, discrediting them could actually tear your company apart. When you degrade competition, you make yourself look bad in the process. A better approach is to find ways that make your business stand out.
Refusing to Accept or Ask for Help
All too often, entrepreneurs do their best to take everything into their own hands. While this may seem like a good idea, you should always ask for help when you need it and accept when it is offered. Doing this when you feel overwhelmed will allow you to do more with your time and grow your business in other ways.
Conducting a Feud on Social Media
If you are focusing on social media as a way to advance, you will likely run into people who have negative views or comments about something you are doing. One thing to keep in mind about social media is that you do not have to respond to everything. If you do, be sure to keep it professional. Your business is your baby and it may feel like a personal attack, but your reputation is at stake. Reacting aggressively to online criticism will make you appear unprofessional and could cost you business.
Not Seeking Opportunities to Network and Build Relationships
You may be able to grow your business on your own but it will grow faster and better if you connect with others and use them to your advantage. Just like building a network is important for individuals looking for a career, it is just as important for entrepreneurs looking to expand their business. Whenever there is an opportunity for you to branch out, meet other people, or connect with other businesses, you need to take advantage of it.
Identify companies and individuals who can benefit from your business as well as those that you can benefit from. You never know when you will meet someone who can completely turn your business around.
Starting your own business is a lot of hard work and you will make many mistakes starting out. As long as you respond properly, you will be able to learn and grow from them.
You may also like 8 Critical Questions for Managers to Ask Themselves. For more of Diane’s etiquette tips read her posts on Inc., subscribe to her articles on The Huffington Post, “like” The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook, and follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Order Diane’s forthcoming book, Modern Etiquette for a Better Life here.