To a nudist, sunscreen is good. The higher the SPF the better, right? But to a business owner or entrepreneur, too high an SPF rating can be a bad thing… if the “SPF” in question is a Success Prevention Factor, that is.
Below is a list of those factors – traits and misguided behaviors, really – that can make succeeding in business more challenging. Confession: as I compiled this list, I realized that I have made most of these mistakes. Still make too many of them, I suppose. It happens. I’m human. And business is (or at least should be) a learning experience.
Okay, so here are the SPF 30 (the first of many Success Prevention Factors):
- Doing nothing. Do you really expect the phone to ring just because you are in business?
- Trying to do too much. One word: burnout.
- Being a “Control Freak”. The world according to you? Yeah, freaky.
- Being a perfectionist. Nice try, though.
- Not being authentic. Really?
- Forgetting that business is about relationships. Unless you can sell to yourself, you’re gonna need people. (And people who need people are, after all, the luckiest people in the world.)
- Trying to “go it alone”. If you’re an inauthentic-perfectionist-control-freak-burnout-waiting-to-happen type, good luck working in a vacuum. If you want to be something more (like, say, a success!), set up strategic, win-win business relationships.
- Not having a well-defined target market or ideal client. Trying to sell to everyone? You’ll end up selling to no one.
- Having the wrong target market. A miss is as good as a mile.
- Not creating a distinctive brand. Dare to dazzle.
- Not differentiating your business from your competitors. If you are seen as a commodity, you can’t command a higher price. Ever.
- Not having a marketing strategy. Plan your work; work your plan.
- Not having a tagline. Tag, you’re it! (If it’s memorable, that is.)
- Not having an “elevator pitch”. You’ve got ten seconds. Go!
- Making your marketing messages too complex. Simplify, simplify, simplify. (Let me condense that: simplify.)
- Putting all your marketing eggs in one basket. Basket has hole in it, eggs break, you go hungry.
- Not listening. Believe it or not, it’s NOT all about you.
- Trying to sell based on the features of the product or service, instead of how the customer benefits. Let them know what’s in it for them. It matters. A lot.
- Trying to sell too soon in the business prospecting relationship. Misfire!
- Selling on social platforms when you should be “engaging”. Social media are not newspaper ads. Different game, different rules. Play nice
- Selling to new prospects, but ignoring current customers. Low-hanging fruit can be mighty, well, fruitful!
- Forgetting to ask for the sale. You can do everything else right, but if you don’t ask (when the time is appropriate), they won’t buy.
- Not asking for referrals. Customers and strategic partners can be your best sales team, if you ask.
- Not learning from your mistakes (and applying what you learned). No-brainer, right?
- Not communicating professionally. Poor speller? Bad writer? Get help!
- Not being grateful. Find something to be thankful for (in even the most disappointing defeats).
- Not adopting a servant mentality. Serve to succeed.
- Not following through. Every successful pitch has great follow-through.
- Not being nice (even if you think no one is looking). At least one someone is looking whether you know it or not. (And then there’s that whole “mirror” thing to deal with.)
- Not enjoying the ride. Business is a roller coaster. It can scare you to death and make you throw up, but somehow you want to get right back on.
As daunting as this list is, there are even more SPFs that can threaten your business success. Perhaps I’ll share others in a future post. Better yet… why don’t YOU share some of the Success Prevention Factors you’ve encountered or overcome.