3 Bad Habits That Are Hurting Your Business

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As the Summer comes to an end, it’s time to get back to business. No more Summer Fridays. No more casual dress codes. No more taking sporadic days off to hang at the beach. This is the time of year when small business owners have to dust themselves off, sharpen their chops, and build momentum to attack the second half of the year. At BrandMakerNews, we understand how tough it is to say goodbye to Summer fun, but your business needs you to step up and get your swag back.

Here are 3 bad habits that dramatically hurt small businesses. If any of these sound familiar, address your problem areas, and get your company back on track…

1. Telephone Neglect- Remember- people call your office for a reason. respect their time, answer their questions, and extend the courtesy you’d want for yourself. Don’t let telephone neglect hurt your business. Make sure your telephone lines are adequately staffed. Try to answer each call before the third ring. Make sure everyone who calls receives a warm greeting that includes the name of the company, the name of the person who answered the phone and an offer to further assist them. Consider creating a policy in which you and your employees agree to return all telephone messages within 24 hours.

2. Unproductive Chatter - Sure everyone has great stories to tell about their Summer fun, but don’t let your office become the place for socializing. There’s too much work to be done, and too many customers waiting to be serviced. Do not spend all day talking about your personal life. That’s a poor example for your staff, a turnoff for your clients, and it’s likely to lead to gossip, and other inappropriate conversations. Keep your workplace conversations professional.

3. Sloppy Style- It’s hard for your colleagues, business partners and potential clients to listen to what you have to say if you’re not dressed the part. Don’t let your image be an unnecessary distraction. You need to be taken seriously in order to have the success you ultimately want. No plunging necklines, no wrinkled slacks, no sagging pants, no short dresses, and no unpolished shoes!  Present yourself like the professional you are. Pay attention to the details of your personal style, so you can be trusted to pay attention to the details of your work.

During the Summer it’s cool to let your hair down and to promote a more casual work environment, but that super-laid back approach to business is not excused during other parts of the year. Your customers want you to be buttoned up. They need to know that you are on top of your game. If you’re not willing to provide the level of professionalism they’re looking for, then they’ll find someone who will. So, be careful not to let Summer’s bad habits hurt your business. Remember, after Labor Day- no more white shoes, no more linen outfits, and no more relaxed approach to business.

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