Life as an entrepreneur is definitely not easy. To me, my companies are people. I spend a lot more time with them than I spend with anyone else. They react to my decisions and they make me happy and sad, depending on how they react. This may seem crazy, but it’s true!
So because businesses are people to me, they need their very own New Year’s resolutions. Below are ten things you need to stop doing in your company in 2015:
1. Stop setting unrealistic expectations for your customers
All businesses set certain goals, but you always need to set them high enough to encourage people to gather around you, but realistic enough so that you do not lose credibility.
2. Stop focusing on the outcome only
Because a business is like a person, people like to hear the whole story. When you present something to a client and when you sell something to a final customer, share the whole story.
Tell them the process of how you came up with the idea, how it developed, why it is where it is now.
3. Stop sidelining your employees
I know lots of entrepreneurs, by virtue of what I do. I have visited lots and lots of companies; some large, some small. But most of them put their employees in a certain corner, and they want to get all the credit themselves.
When you treat someone like a star, they live up to your expectations. Treat your employees like the stars that they are, make them feel valued, make them be noticed, internally and externally.
4. Stop asking people to waste time
It is a fact of life that people waste time. But having set hours in which people have to come to the office and do nothing is just a plain waste of time. I was always told that, “If you want to get something done well, give it to a busy person.”
People in your company should be busy, not just on their core jobs, but also busy with other activities around the office; for example: mandatory games, having an hour a day for inspiration, sharing YouTube videos, eating together, watching a movie as a team – during working hours sometimes.
5. Stop settling for ordinary
Most people settle for doing things in an ordinary way, doing things the way they have always been done. Come on! Challenge everything and everyone and create completely new benchmarks.
Bite off a little more than you can chew. Present things differently. Dress differently. Have different working hours. You may find that ordinary is better, but sometimes ordinary is just too ordinary.
6. Stop compromising your core values and principles
People are too flexible with their values and principles, but not flexible at all with their ideas. It should be completely the opposite.
Businesses that have strong core values usually succeed and grow. They are good places to work because everyone understands what the business stands for; it’s not completely haphazard.
7. Stop saying no
The first thing you should say to any new idea or new opportunity is the three letter word “yes”. Remove the word “no” from your vocabulary.
Accept other people’s ways of thinking, embrace different ideas, engage in ideas and conversations. Say yes first, and then collectively decide whether you want to keep following through with the idea or not as you have a deeper discussion.
8. Stop taking things for granted
Sometimes you forget your business model. Oops. Big problem here. Make sure you go back to the basics. The market usually changes your business very frequently.
Stop and think, “Are we moving in the right direction?” Ask yourself if your business model is still intact. Don’t succumb to the fact that results are good or that you’re making money. Build a good foundation, and revise it over and over again.
9. Stop relying solely on social media marketing
Facebook changes their engagement policies all the time. This has really been a problem for many businesses as they have had to spend a lot more money to reach the same audience.
Invest in SEO, use tools that grow organically and do not rely solely on social media assets. Yes, social media grows a business, but do not put all your eggs in that basket.
10. Stop being so serious!
Many entrepreneurs wear the “entrepreneur mask”. Stop doing that, please. Just be a fun person to be around. Enjoy your company and people will gather around you by just being yourself, humble and interesting.
WE SAID THIS: Don’t miss 5 Ways to Get Rid of Corporate Culture at Work.