Every business owner will make a mistake at some point; it’s inevitable. Running a business is challenging, and no person will ever be able to achieve a completely unblemished record. There will be slips, mistakes, and moments that you later come to regret— it’s inevitable. Accepting that mistakes can and do happen is a key component of adjusting to life as an entrepreneur.
However, the inevitability of business blunders doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to prevent them from happening— particularly when it comes to the biggest blunders of all. For example…
SIN: Pretending Your Business Can Do Something It Can’t
When you’re working with a client or customer and they ask if your business can do something for them, you want to say yes. Of course you do; every business needs to be flexible, and you want to ensure you get the most of your business’ relationship with that person.
However, if your business can’t do what you’re being asked to do, then say so. Too many businesses have a habit of trying to pretend they can do something, then crossing their fingers and hoping they’ll be able to figure it out. There’s no point telling a customer you can translate their contract into Finnish or manufacture an entirely bespoke product if you actually can’t. Agreeing to these kinds of requests can result in calamity; the best case scenario is that you’ll be able to find translation services or specialist product manufacturers on short notice to complete the task. The worst case scenario is that you can’t deliver what you’ve promised to the customer, and you lose the customer for good.
SIN: Offering Different Prices to Different Customers
If you have a price for a product or service, there’s a reason for it: because you’ve figured that that’s what you need to earn. While there are always possibilities for negotiation in business, for the most part, you should try to stick to the prices you have set. The reason for this is that if other customers or clients find out they have paid more than others (which is more than possible thanks to social media), this is going to reflect very badly on your business.
If you’re going to discount, you need to have a justifiable reason for it each time. The most justifiable reason is bulk orders, which most people accept allow for a lower price. For anything outside of bulk orders, always stick to the price you’ve set.
SIN: Breaking Promises
Finally, the biggest business blunder of all— and the most preventable. Making promises to customers or clients that you then renege upon is a surefire way to ruin the reputation of your business.
Clients and customers will appreciate honesty. If an order is going to be delayed, then tell them— effective communication is key. When asked to give timescales and estimates, be conservative so there’s no room for unpleasant surprises. The reason for all this caution? If you break one promise, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be given a second chance to get it right.
By avoiding these business blunders, you can be sure that your company can establish a positive reputation and prevent any uncomfortable situations from developing in the future.