No decision in business is easy. We vacillate over the colors in our branding, employee wages, quality of office equipment; we even dither over what to order for lunch (but that could make or break your day, though).
These decisions, to an outsider of your company, may seem like no brainers. Choose complementary colors, pay slightly above average with raises, when deserved, buy high quality office equipment and order a salad for god’s sake – you’re watching your weight after all. Business owners, CEOs and managers know better, though. These decisions can have long lasting effects on your business; the effects can perhaps last longer than your stay at the company.
So what do you do? Freeze under the pressure? Of course not, you’re an Accredited Business. You consider your options and make a decision that will bring the most benefit to your company.
In light of tax season quickly approaching, I’m not going to chide you for not completing your returns yet or give you any financial advice. Rather, I’m going to give you my answers to five taxing decisions most businesses face, and how the right choice can make your business that much better.
1. Under promise, over deliver. This applies to employees and customers. Managing expectations is one of the most difficult aspects of running a business. Don’t promise those who are connected to your business the moon unless you’re absolutely certain you can deliver it. No one likes to feel let down, but if you stay realistic and are able to overshoot your customers’ and employees’ expectations, you’ll be a hero.
2. Say yes to change…and mean it. It’s a scary world out there. Things are changing constantly. The business landscape is rarely the same today as it was yesterday, but that is no reason to bury your head in the sand. Jump on the social media bandwagon. Build a website. Start an online campaign. Whatever you choose to do, start it today. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
3. Show ‘em the [metaphorical] money. I could list the countless studies that have been done which show that money is relatively low on the list of importance to your employees, but we’ve all seen those. What has been shown to be much more important to employees is the benefits a company offers. If it’s plausible for your company to offer a 401k, vision and dental care, or even company-wide mixers, don’t think about it. Do it. These are benefits that employees appreciate and increase their happiness at and loyalty to your business.
4. Hire to your weaknesses. It’s not easy. The inclination is always to hire those that you like and with whom you feel you would get along. Fight that urge, and fill open positions with the qualities you don’t currently possess. If you’re terribly disorganized, hire a second-in-command that takes neurotic to a new height. If you tend to gloss over guidelines and rules, hire someone who is going to keep you and your business in line. You’ll be more successful for it.
5. Come out swinging. When times are tough, competition is that much greater. It’s easy to retreat, scale back your marketing efforts, cater to your base, but I challenge you to ride, head up, into the battlefield. Take on your competition and show consumers why yours is the superior business. If they see what your BBB sees, there won’t be any competition.
Of course, this is just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to tough business decisions. It seems like each day we are faced with a new challenge, but hopefully these tips will help your business reach the next level of success. For more information about your Accreditation or the BBB, call 858.637.6199 or visit us at bbb.org.