Avoid These Costly Business Mistakes!

posted by Administrator on 03/18/2020 in Blog Posts  | Tagged , , ,

With the coronavirus pandemic crippling the business world, now is the time to make sure you avoid these costly (and all too common) CEO mistakes!

  1. Does not have adequate differentiating characteristics for the business.
  2. Does not effectively articulate critical advantage or differentiation to the marketplace. Hint: it’s not great customer service. Everyone claims that.
  3. Does not articulate company value proposition and differentiation in elevator speech.
  4. Does not pay enough attention to the most critical element of financial management: cash flow.
  5. Thinks that price is why he/she loses business, when price is almost never the real reason.
  6. Gets too caught up in the weeds of the business. Your talent is better utilized working “on” the business, not “in” the business.
  7. Does not upgrade people quickly enough. This means that you are stuck with too many average to below average performers, and you can’t win doing that.
  8. Does not put enough emphasis on training.
  9. You do not fire toxic people, and you justify this because you think they are too important or will be extremely hard to replace. Solution: fire them anyway, and you will discover what every mature CEO learns … the team will thank you, and they will rally to overcome most shortfalls that result. Long term, you and everyone else will be much happier, and your company more successful.
  10. You do not lead your company to have a best in class culture. Culture trumps everything else for a successful company. It starts with you. Our CEO Manual gives you input on this.
  11. Does not have a definition of your “Ideal Customer”, or if you do, you are still selling to anyone who wants to buy. This results in mistake number 9. Solution: Perfect your marketing and Lead Generation so that you have an abundance of ideal Leads to sell to so that you accept as customers only those that fit the definition of your ideal customer.
  12. Does not fire unprofitable and unruly customers. Those customers demand and get a disproportionate amount of your people’s time, then you either:Hire too many people to solve their unreasonable demands (causing you to lose money on that business) or…Your people get sucked into spending a disproportionate amount of their time solving unreasonable demands causing other customers to suffer … and the worst could happen and the wheels come off.Solution 1: Raise the price for this customer so that they either fire themselves or they become “worth” the trouble.

    Solution 2: Perfect your marketing and Lead Generation so that you have an abundance of Leads so that you accept as customers only those that fit the definition of your ideal customer.

  13. Does not delegate appropriately regarding the responsibilities that s/he is not good at.
  14. Does not invest enough time and resources to ensure that the sales team is fully staffed with well trained high achievers.
  15. Does not improve production capacity (people, processes, core competencies and facilities) to provide capability to handle growth. Result = chaos (the wheels come off).
  16. Settles for average performance in certain parts of the business.
  17. Does not sell his/her vision to employees, customers and stakeholders.
  18. Falsely save money by under spending on lawyers and accountants. There’s a balance here, and you must know when to go to them.
  19. Does not implement fraud protection ideas from CPA firm.
  20. The market shifts and the company does not.
  21. Difficulty scaling the business because:Standard Operating Procedures and Systems are weak or not in place.Lack of Core Competencies cause negative events, and then you’re firefighting (fake work) and then the real, critically important work gets limited or no attention. An example of a Core Competency (there are about 50) is accurate, on time delivery. If you suck at that, then when you are behind, most normal orders end up  becoming rush orders, and then quality suffers, customer satisfaction suffers, and the worst can happen … the wheels fall off.Marketing is not filling the funnel adequately, so there is not enough leads to sell to. Most companies underspend on the Lead Generation function.
  22. You are indispensable. If this is true, you are a lifestyle business. Real businesses can do well if you are gone for a month or if you get hit by a truck.
  23. You’re solving symptoms … not the disease, which means you are not getting to the root cause of problems. For example, let’s say sales are not where you want them to be. What’s the cause of that? Salespeople are not making enough sales (symptom). What’s the cause of that? Sales people are not making enough sales calls (symptom). What’s the cause of that? Sales people are bogged down with doing non selling activity. (symptom). What’s the cause of that? Salespeople are required to do too much non selling work. (symptom). What’s the cause of that? You do not have a cost effective solution for getting that work done by non selling people (that’s the disease … the root cause). One possible solution: Outsource most of the non selling work to virtual assistants at $5/hour using contract labor in a developing country such as India, Ukraine, the Philippines, etc. using freelancer platforms like www.upwork.com …  Ask me, Tom for the Brain Trust proprietary information on how to do that.   Your sales people should be producing results that values their work at $100+/hour. You’re freeing them up to make more sales using $5/hour contractors. The ROI on that could be 500 – 5,000%.