How to Fail in Business

There are many books that teach you how to be successful in business. Apparently, not too many people read them because I see many companies fail due to making obvious mistakes. So, enjoy the following information and avoid these behaviors if you want to be successful.

Don’t listen to your customers and employees.

Employees and customers want your business to succeed. Not too many people accept a job and hope the company will go out of business. Nobody wants their major career experience to be “looking for a new job.”

Customers who love and buy your product don’t say, “I’m going to give you advice so you can go out of business and then I won’t be able to buy your product anymore.” It make no sense. Treat your employees and customers with respect and listen to them. They will help you. It is in their best interest to do so.

Ask for suggestions and ignore them.

“Your comments and feedback are very important. Don’t take it personally that we are going to ignore you.” We’ve all experienced this. Do you want to work for or do business with a company that acts like the government? I’ve worked in government at the grassroots level and the top three reasons why people don’t vote are, my elected officials don’t listen to me.

Employees understand that not every suggestion will be implemented. If you can’t implement a suggestion, tell the person why and most importantly, thank them for their suggestion.

I think my employees and customers are stupid. I’m a manager so I know more.

If you truly hire stupid employees, your manager should replace you … unless your manager hired you because he or she thought you were stupid. Treat your employees with respect and recognize that they are intelligent.

Your employees and customers remember if they are treated intelligently or not. And if you think they are truly stupid then you will be astonished at how much they learned so quickly. Of course, they will be somebody else’s customers and your employees will be enjoying new careers elsewhere. And you? You will be at the same old job unless your manager decides to replace you with somebody more intelligent.

A manager just does a different job than a teacher, software designer, sales person, mechanic, and so on. Each job just requires different skills. I know people who think they are smarter than a mechanic because the mechanic works with his or her hands. It might just be me, but I don’t want a stupid person fixing my brakes. And as far as I’m concerned, when the mechanic receives the check for the work completed, he or she looks pretty smart to me.

Hire the person not the degree.

I know some very educated people who are stupid. I know people without college educations that are very smart. A degree does not guarantee that a person can do the job. Interview the person in a way that proves that he or she can do the job.

When I worked in the software industry, we gave interviewees code and asked them to tell us what it did, if the code contained any bugs, and so on. If we were hiring a sales person, we may give he or she a tube of tooth paste and ask them to sell it to us. To be fair, we told them before they came to the interview that they would be asked to analyze code or sell a product and so on. Degrees are important but it is the person that does the job not the degree. I’ve also learned that people with degrees in another discipline sometimes do a better job than the person with the degree in the targeted discipline.

We don’t need to communicate. We’ll just tell our employees what we want them to know.

Lack of communication is a major reason for failure. I’ve worked at companies where management spent many hours resolving a problem. They proudly call a meeting self-congratulating themselves on the time spent, the hard work expended, and their grand solution. The look on management’s face is priceless when an employee raises his or her hand and says, “At my last company we had the same problem and we just did this to get the same results. I wish you told me and I could have saved you a lot of time and money.”

Communication is the best and least expensive method to resolve problems and keep employee morale high. It’s more than “least expensive.” It’s free.


About acohen843

I am a writer and ESL teacher who enjoys the challenge of starting businesses. Currently, I am a JuicePlus distributor ( who is using this business opportunity as the foundation of a social entrepreneurship project.
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