7 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Business

Photo: Mike Poresky (Flickr)

Have you ever stopped to consider the ways that you may be sabotaging your success without even realizing it? Small missteps add up quickly when you’re running a business.

Take note if you’re guilty of committing any of these no nos.

Sabotage #1: Your phone has no voice mail. Customers who are planning a dinner will often call a pizzeria the night before to check hours. If you’re closed and there’s no voice mail message that lets callers know when you’re open, they will move on to the next restaurant.

Sabotage #2: You’re not collecting customer information. How can you keep customers if you don’t know who they are? Collecting data via a POS system, comment cards, loyalty clubs, etc. will help you continue to market to and sell to your existing customers.

Sabotage #3: You don’t keep your social media pages updated. It’s not enough to start a Facebook or Twitter account. You have to keep it updated and interact with your guests; otherwise, it makes you you appear lazy–or worse–closed.

Sabotage #4: You don’t have a budget for marketing. “Word of mouth” is not marketing. It’s great, but it’s not marketing. Every business needs to continue spreading the word about itself no matter how successful it is. Look at companies like Apple, McDonald’s and Wal-Mart. They haven’t stopped marketing themselves.

Sabotage #5: Your numbers don’t add up and you don’t know why. Do you have a clear picture of your food and labor costs as well as your profits and losses? Faulty numbers can spell disaster for a pizzeria.

Sabotage #6: You keep your nose to the grindstone. It’s great to focus on your business, but in order to grow, you also need to get out and talk with other business owners, attend trade shows and interact with the community. You are the face of your business, so let people meet you!

Sabotage #7: You like the status quo. It’s easy to get comfortable when things are going well, but your customers enjoy it when you test new menu items and drinks, and your staff will like the challenge when you change things up as well. Be different and attract more customers.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways you can sabotage yourself. So the next time you’re patting yourself on the back for a great week, take a moment to check that there aren’t any areas of possible sabotage.