Over the span of my business career – and more recently in my role as an executive/business coach – I’ve witnessed what business owners have done to hurt their businesses and themselves. In some cases, they’ve even managed to run the business down to such a level that there was no way to recover.
Here are 3 ways to “kill” your business. Hopefully from this advice you’ll do the opposite. Yet, I know out there, there are some of you who unfortunately need to experience the pain before you realize that it is too late.
- Complacency – Complacency is the single most dangerous threat to a business. It shows itself throughout the culture of an organization. You forget how to “identify” new opportunities or, if you do find one, how to take advantage of them. When you let complacency takes hold in an organization the following outcomes are likely: you lose your competitive edge; you begin to regularly tolerate mediocre performance; your competition gets stronger and faster than you at gaining market share; you not only lose your better performers and are unable to attract new talent, you lose customers, money and eventually your business.
- Legacy Thinking – When a leader is reluctant to challenge the status quo because they are “comfortable” with where they are. They are positioning themselves for a future disaster. They mistakenly think that their current status quo will continue into the future “as is”. This is usually referred to as “legacy thinking” and a failure to recognize it can be deadly to any business—big or small. Legacy thinking shows itself in phrases like “that’s the way we always do it,” “it worked fine the last time,” or my favorite, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
- Comfortable Inaction – This occurs when your unhappiness or discomfort about a particular issue has not quite reached the point where you feel the need to do something. For example: It’s the employee who you know is not performing well so you do nothing, and accept whatever they produce to avoid taking action. Or it’s the client you know you should fire but you do nothing and decide to “live with it just a little longer.” And finally, it’s that problem or issue that you know you must deal with it, but you still do nothing because you can live with it just a little longer.