It’s surprising how many small business owners seem to “fall into” owning a business, with no real vision or direction – just the desire to work for themselves. While this is great motivation, it’s only going to get you halfway.

You see, being a small business owner takes a lot of quick thinking, and in those hot potato moments, you have to have the vision and foresight to make decisions that are smart for your business in the long-term, not just the short-term. And that means you have to have vision and direction.

Do you find yourself making reactive decisions without giving much thought to how those decisions will affect the future of your business? If you’re in it for the long-haul, why are you making short-sighted decisions? It’s time to nip those behaviors in the bud, and it starts with awareness.

7 Short-Sighted Decisions You May Be Making

Here are some short-sighted decisions you may be making…

#1 Sending an email blast to all customers without an up-to-date subscription list.

Email is still one of the best customer touch methods, but only if you use it sensibly. Do you keep an updated email list or are you sending out emails and campaigns to anyone and everyone you’ve ever collected an email address from? Make sure you’re sending emails to those who do business with you and want to do business with you; otherwise, you may end up being flagged as spam.

While we’re on the topic of email, be thoughtful about email frequency. Sending too many emails is a sure-fire way to frustrate customers and lead them to hit the “Unsubscribe” button –
especially if they never subscribed in the first place, they simply gave you their email address six years ago.

#2 Hiring for a quick fix.

Hiring can be a time-consuming and frustrating process, and sometimes you need someone to fill the void fast. But rushing a hire or hiring for a quick fix will only hurt you in the long run. When hiring, take your time and think about whether or not the individual is truly a good fit, not just for the job, but for the company and the culture. Hiring right may take more time and thought, but it’s well worth it and will save you tons of time and frustration in the long run.

#3 Skimping on training.

Regardless of whether you’ve hired a team with or without the experience to get the job done, you absolutely need to invest in training. So many business owners think of training as a time and money suck, but in reality, it’s just the opposite. Putting aside time and resources for staff training will ensure that your team does things the right way the first time, preventing time loss, money loss, and customer loss due to mistakes and waste.

#4 Not taking the time to write out SOPs and develop systems.

This one goes hand-in-hand with training. If you take the time to make SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for tasks that take place within your business, you won’t have to stop everything to walk someone through the process or stop and do it yourself. You’d be amazed at how much time and stress you’ll save yourself by putting these processes and documents into place.

#5 Using cheap or subpar equipment, supplies, and trucks.

Running a business takes a lot of money, no doubt, but if you want to save yourself money and stress in the long run, you’ll invest in quality equipment and supplies. Think about it, if tools are constantly breaking, your techs can’t do the work that’s being asked of them. If your trucks are constantly breaking down, you’re forking over cash for towing services, missing service calls, and disappointing customers. And whether your techs can get to the job or not, you’re paying them for their time. So invest in quality tools and vehicles – your business depends on it!

#6 Being disorganized.

If you aren’t organizing your warehouse space and trucks properly, you’re wasting a lot of time both prior to the job and on the job. Take the time to really think about your space and your trucks and organize them in a way that makes sense. Whether that means making grab bags for each type of service you provide, or simply reorganizing the layout of your trucks, it’s well worth the effort. An organized warehouse and an organized truck means less time wasted each day – and heck, it’s such a game changer that getting organized may even allow your techs to squeeze in an extra service.

#7 Responding defensively to negative reviews online.

It’s natural to be frustrated by negative reviews, but are you responding in a way that helps or hurts your business in the long run? Many business owners fire back at dissatisfied customers, which not only ruins their chances of turning that customer into a happy customer, but it also discourages potential customers who read that response from working with the company in the future.

Instead of firing back, when your business receives negative feedback, take a step back and look for anything you can learn and apply. Is there something you need to improve upon as a company? No matter what, whether the complaint is valid or not, respond professionally and take the conversation offline. Responding defensively or attacking the customer will only hurt your business.

Whether you fell into the business or you intentionally set out to start your own company, taking the time to think of your long-term goals and the steps needed to get you there will maximize your enjoyment as a business owner and your profits. So think long-term, not short-term!