8 signs your business Is losing its edge

By Jeff Haden   Article

  1. “The parking lot is empty at 5.30 p.m. Once there weren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done; now there aren’t enough hours in the day to maintain a “proper” work-life balance. …
  2. Meetings are an end in themselves. When you started out you didn’t have “meetings.” You pulled people together to share news, you asked for ideas, you solved problems… but you didn’t schedule meetings. Spending time in meetings was a luxury you couldn’t afford. …
  3. Interpersonal skills are more important than results. Remember the programmer who seemed a little odd but built your first database? Remember the salesperson who was a little too demanding in-house but landed all your big customers? Remember the warehouse worker who seemed to have no friends on the staff but was amazingly organized and kept product flowing?…
  4. The lights are on… but no one is home. Early on you worried about every dollar; it was easy since you had few dollars to keep track of. You turned out lights, turned down the heat, re-used packaging and paper… you worried about every expense. …
  5. You say, “What we need is…” instead of, “What we should do is…” Early on you solved problems and overcame obstacles through ingenuity, creativity, and effort. Now you throw money at problems. …
  6. New ideas seem too hard to even try. When the day-to-day feels overwhelming it can seem impossible to add new items to an already crowded plate …
  7. You think in terms of customers, not individuals. … You may make thousands of sales each month but behind every sale is a person. When you first started out you were excited to land a new customer; you still should be, even if you add dozens of new customers every week. …
  8. You think most of your customers are irritating and even stupid. Let me guess. Sometimes you say, “Jeez, that guy just doesn’t get it.” Maybe he doesn’t because you haven’t described your services well enough or explained how you provide real value. Or sometimes you say, “If I have to answer that question one more time…” … You’ve definitely lost your edge when you see customers as a necessary evil. Instead, find meaning in what you sell. Customers are the best friends your business has — customers write the checks.”
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