TUESDAY BUSINESS START-UPS.
RED FLAGS TO AVOID IN BUSINESS
Jake knew something was amiss but he just could not place a finger on it. This was a business he had built from scratch having gone through its fair share of good and bad days. Now, seeing it crumble before his eyes broke his heart in more ways than he could have imagined.
He sat down, deep in thought staring blankly into space – suddenly, the realization hit him! He broke down in bitter tears of regret as he realized his business had degenerated beyond repair, and there was no way it seemed he couldsalvage the situation now.
If only he could get a second chance. If only he had paid attention to the red flags. If and only If –
WHAT IS A RED FLAG?
A red flag is a warning of potential danger ahead.
In the professional world, red flags are portends of hazards, hard to see undercurrents and things that will halt your serenity dead in its tracks. If you know what they are, you can avoid months of regret and drama. (Sensei.ie)
You will find below some practical examples of red flags to avoid in Business :
COMPROMISE IN QUALITY
This could be in terms of the products or services you are offering to your customers as a business owner. Everyone loves to get value for their money when doing business. This is something that builds loyalty over time. But, if a professional at any time and for any reason compromises on this, it could spell the beginning of the fall of such business. Hence, it should be avoided.
Times are harsh and businesses are being affected by the impact of global inflation etc. Nevertheless, as a business owner, you should never compromise on quality or take shortcuts to mock up.
It is advisedly better to keep communicating with customers about the realities on ground, seek better ways to maintain their trust in your business and keep them coming back even in hard times such as these.
POOR AND IRRITABLE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
At the heart of your business are your customers who are like the lifeblood, as they help with committed cash flow. It is therefore pertinent to make every experience and interaction they have with your business count.
If you have staff who are less concerned about treating the customers who do business with you correctly, or you have strict and unfriendly policies and business processes that are ‘cast in stone’, you may well be on your way to losing them.
It is therefore important to deploy strategies that make for a memorable and positive customer experience so that you not only build a sustainable business relationship with them but they can spread the word about your business.
LACK OF FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND FUNDS MANAGEMENT
An incompetent, lackadaisical and inefficient way of handling business funds will reflect negatively on the business and ultimately lead to the end of it’s existence. Business finances are the backbone of a business. Therefore, proper attention needs to be given to it in order to keep it successful and profitable for the long haul.
Every business is a separate entity. So, one should avoid mixing personal and business funds without keeping proper records and track of the income and expenses. This is a fast route to disaster, which can leave a professional in the dark about the true financial state of his business. It is a huge red flag to avoid if you do not want your business to fail.
CUSTOMERS WHO DO NOT VALUE OR APPRECIATE YOUR WORK OR SKILL
Apart from the emotional drain that comes with dealing with such people, you run the risk of destabilizing your business and tarnishing your reputation in certain scenarios.
Customers who make unrealistic demands and are insistent on getting such, those who downplay the value you give and compare you with a ‘thousand’ other vendors, customers who are never satisfied no matter what you do and always have a complaint whenever you do business with them are examples of red flags to avoid. They do your business much harm than good in the long run.
They say, it is more challenging to get new customers than to keep old ones. But, one must ensure that the old customers do not make light of your quality work or service.
In conclusion, building a sustainable business requires the ability to forecast and be mindful of things that can pose a potential challenge to the growth and survival of your business. It therefore requires a professional to be well discerning, proactively nip these red flags in the bud and completely avoid them so one does not have a reason to regret a business failure.