These are just the top 7 things which those of us in business should be doing with caution and care. Read on each as you can do these things but with the right action.
Business with caution and care
1. Sign contracts or enter deals
Before you sign a contract, buy a business, enter into a lease or do anything of substance, firstly read the contract or agreement. If it’s very one-sided or upon reading you discover you are signing over your first born, then you might not even proceed. If you are considering proceeding, then seek legal advice to ensure you are doing the right thing. Once you sign (especially something as major as buying a business or franchise) then the ramifications can be enormous.
2. Start a new team member without due diligence
To grow your business or leverage time, you will likely need to put on a staff member. The worst thing you can do is hire the wrong person or rush the decision-making process. Don’t just hire the first person who came along … you may well spend a lot of time, money and energy in getting them to be productive, only to discover they just can’t (or won’t) do the job. Your recruitment process should start with a clear Position Description and should incorporate a good number of screening processes, which will include interviews (yes, plural), testing, reference checking and more. Do it well, do it right and you will be far less likely to be regretting your decision.
3. Email or post something negative
Never EVER write an email or post something online whilst you are angry, frustrated or emotional. In fact, anything negative shouldn’t occur in this manner. If you have an issue to raise with someone, then do it over the phone or better, face to face. You can then see their expression, clarify points and get the story before you make any accusations. Once you hit that send or post button, it’s out there. It can be screenshot, copied, forwarded, posted, shared or used against you in many ways. Just don’t do it.
4. Hand over control of your finances
Having worked previously in Forensic Computerised Accounting, I know there is a great amount of theft and fraud occurring in business. It might occur from your bookkeeper, employee or partner when you least expect it. I should say 99% of these people are totally trustworthy – but it’s the 1% you should be cautious about. Don’t hand over full bank access, all passwords and then leave it in their hands, without review or monitoring. These days also scammers are a huge worry, so again, don’t trust someone saying they are from your bank. Billions are lost every year in this manner and the fraudsters are getting smart, creative and looking often quite genuine. Be careful!
5. Spend a lot without more than 1 quote (or no quote)
For a small business, if you’re going to be spending more than $1K (or larger business a couple of grand) then it should be standard business policy that you will gain two to three written quotes. I’m surprised how many people will consider spending several thousand and not get a second or third quote. One great example is a website – which can cost between $1500 and $8K+ … and at the higher end, why wouldn’t you get two or three comparative quotes? Remember also, it’s not about just the money. Check them out … are they easy to do business with and deliver what they promise.
6. Not opting for insurance
Ok, yes this is a double negative – but the point here is that insurance is important. Skipping it to save a few dollars could be your downfall at some point. I’m not saying have absolutely every form of insurance but have the things which are critical to your business. By working with an insurance broker (I know a few if you need a connection) they will guide you to what the best policy is for your needs and what you can (and cannot) do without. Also when it comes to making a claim, their assistance can be invaluable.
7. Making assumptions
Often too many assumptions are made. You view a client and think they cannot afford your top package and so do not offer it. You assume your ‘Contact Us’ page is working this month, because it was working last month, or the month before. You assume your clients know all the services you offer because you mentioned it once or twice. You even assume that what you offer is what people want – because you haven’t done enough research into what you offer before proceeding. You assume your clients will pay you because you invoiced them. You assume your quotation was seen by the prospect because you emailed it – but in reality, it ended up in their spam email box and they think you are slack because they never received it. As a business coach, I work with clients in so many of these areas – helping them to not assume a huge variety of things in every aspect of their business. When we stop assuming and start doing things right, we start having more of a sustainable, strong and effective business.
I am sure there are many other things in business we should do with care and consideration – in every aspect of your business. If you’d like any assistance or would like to know more about what I do, please check out my Services page or give me a call directly on 0411 622 666 or 1800 77 65 61 or connect with me on social media. See here, I didn’t assume how one might want to make contact with me or only provide one option – make it easy for people to contact you and do business with you. Make a Spectacular Day!