Let’s face it – your business may have a high turnover rate, your profits may be in the red, and not many customers seem to be spending their money with your company. What happened?
This is not to insult you – it’s to enlighten you to the cold, hard truth – your company may simply just suck. If you’ve got less than a 4-star rating on Glassdoor, Google, or Indeed, and former employees are saying terrible things about how things are run and how the work environment is terrible, then you need to put your pride aside and really think about why your company is going down the toilet.
The ego of a business owner has been the downfall of many a business. Some of the same sins that would make a Catholic run for the confessional box are also applicable in the business world – pride, sloth, and greed being some of the most infamous.
Tip #1: You CAN Be Wrong
I once worked at a well-known non-profit in Pennsylvania (feel free to look me up on LinkedIn, but I won’t publicly defame the company here) in which I felt unimportant, underpaid, and micromanaged. During my last six months at the company, a new manager was hired from within – and happened to be someone who used to be my equal.
Now, understand that I worked in a call center, and we were all split into teams for each supervisor. The individual who was promoted to a supervisor didn’t have much management experience…and of course, this person (who-shall-not-be-named) became MY manager. Go figure.
This new manager tried very, very hard to gain the respect of their fellow supervisors by following the rules to a “T”…which the other supervisors did not do anyway. Many times, this new supervisor was wrong, but persisted in showing that they were right by micromanaging their team and purposely finding things to correct. This resulted in 3/4ths of our team quitting within the span of three months, leaving only three of us in my row (yay open office layouts…).
The point here is that when my colleagues and I went to upper management about the issue, their argument? We were wrong, and they were right. We tried the union, other supervisors, even the manager of the branch. To this day, that company still has a high employee turnover rate due to poor management, and has been begging for new hires to walk through the door…and their ratings are poor on job board sites as well. Rant over!
Tip #2: Your Brand May Need a Facelift
It’s not the 90’s anymore – it’s the 21st century, and everyone is changing how they look at businesses. This not only includes the products and services that you offer, but they care about the aesthetics like your logo, pictures of a modern-looking office, and UI/UX (that stands for user interface and user experience, if you didn’t know).
If your website looks like it was made with a Compaq computer in your parents’ basement, it’s time to upgrade. If you’re not tech savvy, fear not! You can use web builder sites like Squarespace (or Wix, I guess) without shame, because even major companies like Pixar use Squarespace.
Many still swear by WordPress (it’s as intense of an argument like Apple vs. Windows), but this route requires quite a bit more technical know-how of plugins, some coding, and web maintenance. If you’re up for that, fine – but using a web builder like Squarespace is highly recommended for those looking to plug in and be modern. Note that we don’t have any affiliation with Squarespace – we use it ourselves, and simply really like the service they provide!
Tip #3: Your Product or Service Is Low-Quality
No one wants to spend money and get poor results – like buying a new cooking set only to find out that the metal corrodes after a month of use – and this simple failure of quality control can severely impact a business’ ability to survive. If you’re getting feedback from your customers, high return and refund rates, then it’s time to take a closer look at the real problem.
Taking a step back from your business and looking at the big picture is crucial. You know that the customer is always right (…right?) and that if you’re in business, you must cater to the demands of the modern consumer. Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity, because if you have fewer inventory but high quality you’ll do well; if you have high quantities of a poor-quality product, you’ve only multiplied poor quality!
In review, your company might suck right now – but the good news is that you can quickly turn this around! Treat your employees as a team and not as lesser human beings (without them, you wouldn’t have much of a company). Admit when you’re wrong, and ask your team (*erhem*, your employees) for their feedback. Make sure your business is looking modern, sharp, professional, and clean. Above all, provide value to others with your product or service by maintaining high standards of quality for your product or service, and your company will not suck anymore.