Too Much of a Good Thing: 5 Business Practices to Use in Moderation
No matter where you look, you can find tips on everything from upping your productivity to getting along with your coworkers. And for every tip on what to do, there are just as many tips on what to avoid. However, one area that often gets overlooked is when good habits and business practices can become detrimental. Here are five practices that are great in moderation but can be dangerous when overused or used incorrectly.
1. The “Reply All” Button
What a useful tool, the “Reply All” button. Communication is important when you are getting your business off the ground. Keeping everyone in the loop helps avoid confusion and mishaps due to miscommunication. But there is a darker side to the “Reply All” button. First, abusing it can lead to cluttered inboxes. It’s great to keep the company abreast of developments and relevant information but the 15 responses that spiral off-topic and degrade into Jeff from Accounting asking if anyone can pet-sit Friday don’t require the “Reply All” button. And who can forget about the cliché mishap when a coworker accidently uses “Reply All” on an email that was meant for privileged eyes only? This button is a powerful tool, but it should never be the default choice.
2. Rushing to Implement Change
Change is inevitable and those who refuse to embrace change in the business world will be left behind. That being said, it’s equally detrimental to rush to implement changes without properly understanding the effects these changes will bring about. Whether it’s restructuring management or implementing new software, it’s important to understand not only what you’re changing but also why you are making the change and what the ramifications will be. Change is good, but jumping on every new trend just because it’s new can lead to disaster.
3. Making Everything a Priority
It’s important to prioritize work and there will be times when a special project takes precedent and needs to taken care of right away. It’s crucial that, when that time comes, you can count on your team to get the job done. But make sure to use discretion when using the priority tags. When everything becomes a high priority, nothing is actually a priority.
4. Trying to be Everything to Everyone
Everyone has heard the phrase, “The customer is always right.” Taken with a grain of salt, the phrase can be a nice reminder of the importance of keeping your customers happy. But sometimes business owners can get carried away trying to appeal to every single person on earth. Stretching yourself and your business to meet every one-off demand of a fringe customer can leave you without a real direction or a loyal base tribe. While it is important to keep the customer happy, a better phrase would be, “Your tribe is always right.”
5. Saving for the Sake of Saving
When you’re a small business, every dollar counts and it’s important to look for cost-saving measures wherever you can find them. But there is a difference between staying on budget and gripping the purse strings so tight you’re choking your business. There are times to cut spending and there are times when money needs to be spent to grow. Being able to tell the difference is essential to growth and success.
Running a successful business is not an exact science. What works for one brand may not work for an other. It’s crucial to be able to adapt your strategy to your companies needs, and know when to hold back when it comes to using these business tips.