Episode 102: 7 Deadly Sins Of Small Business & How To Avoid Them

What are the 7 deadly sins of small business? These are seven things that will ruin your business before it even gets a chance. Running your own business isn’t easy. So listen to the seven sins to avoid and you will see the rewards immediately!

Roger: Welcome to Local SEO Today. I’m Roger Murphy.

John: And I’m John Vuong.

Roger: Welcome to this segment. We want to talk to business owners and entrepreneurs today watching this segment about business and there’s philosophies for success and there’s I guess things to stay away from John. We’re gonna call it the seven deadly sins of any business, things to stay away from or be very aware and change course if you see the sign.

John: Yeah, and running a business there’s so many things that you’re gonna get…Thrown at you and there’s gonna be a lot of learning and a lot of making mistakes and how do you pick yourself up, right? And do the right thing and move forward and move ahead. Don’t you know, set yourself back and be disgruntled and miserable and you know, just unhappy, right? So how do you continue moving ahead.

Roger: Exactly, this first one we call it…It’s called Apathy. This really shouldn’t happen because if you’re an entrepreneur in business you had a passion, you had a dream, a desire to run your own business for all the right reasons and maybe making profit and helping your community but apathy over time, John, it can happen where you start dialing it in because it’s like, “Ah, I’m just not sure I’m into this business but I make money from it or I make a little bit of money but it’s going alright but I’m just…I’m not sure if I love what I do anymore.”

John: So remember why you got into business in the first place, right?

Roger: There you go.

John: What drives you? Why are you passionate for those reasons, right?

Roger: These are the things to think about. Ask yourself these; Why you gotta do it in the first place? As a solution to this apathy.

John: Yeah, because if you’re passionate, people can see that right away, right? Once you start lacking the passion or you start scaling back. People will realize that and your business will probably start going downhill from there, right? So stay committed, stay passionate whatever you’re doing service, product, company that you’re running, be engaged, right? And feel that.

Roger: Yep, and there’s never been more resources than there are today online, podcasts self-help forums. You just have to put into Google. There’s tons of tons of resources there to help sort of shift your mindset because we all need it and it’s true, John, as a business owner when you start your own business did you have people to reach out to in terms of you know, bouncing ideas off of them, etc. So you get stuck in your own little world sometimes, right?

John: Yeah, and remember again why you’re doing this, right? So I was fortunate enough to work with a lot of small business owners over the years so I actually reached out to them, met with them in person for coffee or over the phone. And really, try to understand why they got in business and what we were…And what I was planning on doing to make this a success, right? And explain to them why I was doing this, right? There was a need, there was an opportunity, This is what my core values are, my mission and goals are, etc., right?

Roger: So Apathy, these are things you can do to sort of pull up your bootstraps if you’re…If you find that you’re just not…You’re not engaged anymore or you’re not engaged in the business today so that’s one and there’s solutions for them.

John: I think the second one is Pride, right? So the big thing is don’t be so proud that you don’t ask, right? Because you can’t know everything but when you’re reaching out and you’re asking people online, forums or relationships or other business owners, even your competitors, right? Like it’s okay and don’t feel like you know everything.

Roger: Yep, and don’t…To that point pride is very destructive because it doesn’t allow you to open up and ask the questions and just show some vulnerability and it’s like, “You know what I’m having a real tough time closing deals or I’m such and such.” When you reach out to colleagues or other people they may have really solid advice on just how to maybe just change one little thing. It makes a big difference in your business.

John: And especially if they actually like who you are and you know, you’ve formed a long relationship over the years with them. They’re more willing to help you. Yeah, because all these years, you’ve built a good solid reputation on helping others out so when it’s time for you to need help they’re willing to help, lend a help again, right?

Roger: Exactly, that’s a good one also just be open to reaching out and asking for help.

John: Exactly, the third one is Inactivity, right? So, you know, the best idea out there is great as an idea but if no one’s doing anything about it’s gonna stay as an idea.

Roger: Exactly, and the idea of inactivity you may very well be busy day to day activities of just running a business but what if it’s not producing the you know, the growth or the change that you’re looking for. You have an idea but you’re just not getting around to it, that’s the idea of inactivity.

John: Yeah, and again inactivity means you have to set up time to actually make it a priority so you have to allocate the resources or time to make it happen, right?

Roger: Test it. Do that AV testing which we talk about all the time. Maybe it’s a special. Maybe it’s a new product, a new service, a new project. Anything but you’ve got to not just sit on it but actually you know, give it a try and even in not failure but if it doesn’t succeed you still learn something so it’s not a failure. It’s just something you know, you wanted to give a try for your business to help it grow.

John: Yeah, and there’s always pros and cons to everything, right? But if you’re not willing to take that risk, right? And you don’t know if it’s gonna be a success or a failure but just do it, right? If it’s a great idea and you’re very already read about it, you’ve done your own research, due diligence, you think it’s a great idea and it compliments your business. Go out and test it. Do something about it.

Roger: Exactly, now that ties in nicely with the next one, John, is Perseverance or lack of perseverance so just think of it perseverance is such a positive adjective. You’re a business owner and entrepreneur you stick with it but what about the times where you’re not persevering or you’re giving up too soon? So there’s so many examples out their of businesses that took something to the edge and like they’re not just sure if they’re gonna continue but by just by persevering one more month, one more deal. Everything changed.

John: Yeah, so it’s again how committed you are, right? And so make sure you allocate enough time and resources to whatever project you have, right? And give it you know, because sometimes projects may take a little bit longer than expected. Especially in like the digital world, tech companies, etc. Things take longer than they really project, right?

Roger: In life and everything it’s twice as long and twice as much to get something done whether it’s construction whether it’s you know, a website, a new business to market things just happen.

John: Exactly, life gets in the way.

Roger: And life gets in the way.

John: So depending on where you’re situated in your life, you may have a family you know, significant other. Some of you have children and like there’s a lot of going on in life and there’s gonna be bumps in the road, right? So how do you persevere, how do you jump through the hurdles? Is it working longer hours to make sure that this project gets underway, working on the weekends, hiring outside help, consultants? There’s things that you can do to continue.

Roger: Exactly, work smart. Look at non-revenue activities or things that are not helping you move in the right direction. You look at all that but it’s really about persevering. Don’t give up.

John: Exactly, the next thing I wanna talk about is Guessing so a lot of business owners want to provide a service without doing their due diligence, right? They think this is what is best for the business, right? But there’s a lot of companies out there that it’s doing exactly what they’re doing and there’s a reason why there are some of these services that aren’t in existence today. Maybe there’s no demand, there’s no one willing to pay that price, right? That you want to price it out. There’s reasons why, right? So figure that out. Do your market analysis, figure out what the pricing is like and see if there’s a need for your service or product.

Roger: Exactly, into which I’ve mentioned before in other podcasts we’ve done John, there’s never been as much as many resources online as there are today to take the guesswork out of something so if you have a thought in mind saying, “You know what I’ve been thinking about this idea bringing this to market.” Whatever it is. You can research and check all around the world and different parts of the country or in North America, wherever you are. And you can take the guesswork out of it and really understand the…I guess the potential for what you’re trying to bring to market.

John: And I think the big thing here is there’s a lot of resources. Forums and Associations and people out there doing exactly what you’re doing. So maybe it means picking up the phone. It may be very traditional but picking up the phone, going out for coffee, going for lunch getting to know people and what’s worked, what hasn’t worked. People love that interaction with other people, right? Building relationships that matter, that you can connect with that you can actually reflect and you know, grow as you continue growing your business. People want to deal with people they like and trust and are honest.

Roger: Exactly so use the resources that are out there. Take the guesswork out and you can test it and it’s not just a matter of, “I think this will go so I’m gonna do it that way.” You know, you try different ways of bringing it to market, bring that service out.

John: Exactly, I think the last thing we want to talk about is Disorganization. Where this…It makes a huge impact is where you need systems and processes in place because if you’re scattered as a business owner and every business owner will go through this. Either at the beginning or throughout the journey but if you’re able to systemize certain processes from inbound to buying product, to your staff, procedures, the better you are with systemising things the easier it is for you to scale.

Roger: Can you imagine? You do all this work and I’ve seen this also. Let’s say service companies. They got a pile of invoices that you know, service contracts that they’ve done out there but they all need to be mailed out. All of a sudden you’re sitting on that desk and it’s actually accounts receivable that they have just not gone around to put, to getting it out there to collect. That’s organization or lack of organization so you gotta have a system, you gotta have…To make sure because at the end of the day any business will only succeed with cash flow and margins and profit. You cannot go out there do the work and then not build for that work.

John: And I think the big part about this building a system in place is if you’re planning on eventually selling your business cause what you want to do is make sure that this business will continue operating even if you step away from it, right? That’s what people are willing to pay you if you’re not that central piece of that business, right? So you know, yes, every business is in it for a reason, right? They have passion, they love what they’re producing or they’re servicing but ultimately it boils down to what are you gonna make, right? And if you’re able to sell it after 20, 30, 40 years of running your business that’s like extra bonus, right? So figure out that…Where you can step away and all the processes, all the people are in place and they know exactly what needs to be done that’s when you have a very strong business.

Roger: Yep, exactly and it really comes out as I say to protecting your cash flow, which protects your profits, which protects your business so you can keep hiring and employing staff, you’re you know, you’re responsible for yourself, your family, your workers but to be organized and have a system in place. And John, think of all the resources today whether it’s QuickBooks or different ones that actually help you manage your business say, “Okay, here’s what I booked in today.” You put it into the system, it spits up your report, you got your P&L, Profit or loss at the end month. It’s organization, it is control and all the systems are in place for it.

John: And there’s a lot out there like as a small business owner there’s so much to be learning. There’s so many things that you’re gonna make mistakes on and it’s just enjoy this ride because I continue to do learning like I’m always out there trying to read and figure things out and trying different things and yes, I’m gonna be pivoting my business accordingly.

Roger: Yeah, right.

John: What worked six months ago, doesn’t work anymore.

Roger: Trends, right? There’s trends. They’re changing all the time.

John: And you have to understand your competitors too and figure out what your products and services are and are you competitive, right? If not why? So there’s a lot to learn.

Roger: It’s ongoing but organization to be organized versus disorganized. You can see how much it will make a difference to the bottom line for your business.

John: Well, thanks a lot, Roger.

Roger: John, thank you for your time today and thanks for watching Local SEO Today. We’ll see you again.

John: Thank you.