Being in business can be a lot of fun. When you’ve worked super hard for everything you have, and you’re willing to keep on putting the work in, sometimes you can stand back and be in awe of what you have achieved. If you find yourself at this phase, allow yourself some time to feel good, but then go right back to hustling. No matter how big your business gets, or how well you do, you need to stay humble. Because getting too big for your boots is bad for business. Not only does it look bad, but it can also mean you get caught off guard.
When you’re doing well, it’s easy to believe that you’re unstoppable, or that you’re better than the best. And it’s this kind of attitude that can kill businesses. Because when you’re least expecting it, you can be beaten. To stop that from happening, you need to always be on the ball and never underestimate anything. When you’re quick to write of threats as being not-so-threatening after all, you could be stabbing yourself in the back. So, instead of feeling invincible, you’ll benefit from always pushing, always watching your back, and always trying. And above all else, never underestimating anything – especially when it comes to these seven areas.
First up, there’s always your competitors to be aware of. It’s easy to think that, when you’re doing well, you don’t really need to have your nose in anyone else’s business. But you do. When it comes to your competition. You should always know what they’re up to. Because if you underestimate them, and believe that they’ll never catch up with you, they could be sat working on a strategy to do just that, and you’d never even know. So keep an eye on the competition, and you’ll always do well.
New Market Entrants
Likewise, it’s easy to underestimate any new market entrants too. When you’re starting to see success, you can often feel like no newbie will knock you off the top spot. But that’s a dangerous mindset to have. Just remember what it was like for you when you first went into business. New market entrants are hungry. They want to be successful – and they’re willing to work hard to make it happen. So take them seriously and don’t underestimate anything they do.
When you have good employees, you often feel as if they’re going to stick with you until the end. Some will. But most won’t. So don’t just assume that those happy employees actually are happy. Because maybe they’re not. And maybe they’re planning on leaving soon and setting up shop on their own – taking their hard work with them. Treat your staff well, but always remember that they’re not the owner, and they could up and leave at any point.
Another key stakeholder to key an eye on is your suppliers. They’re a business, just like you are, and they’re always going to put their business interests first. So don’t assume that they’re going to do you favors forever. Because they might not. Keep them at arm’s length if you can. Because they could do something to mess up your current relationship. And that’s just business!
Never underestimate the current economic conditions either. Whether they’re good or bad, you have to learn to be reactive and stay on top of economic growth in your own way. Sometimes, the conditions will work with you, but don’t ride the wave for too long as they can soon turn. So you have to have your wits about you and be ready to react as soon as they do.
Health & Safety
Then there are the things that are ingrained in your company philosophy. So much so, that it’s easy to assume that they’re running smoothly. Like your health and safety. But you have to actually stay on top of things for that to happen. Including everything from ladder safety gates to protective clothing, you have to be sure that everything you’re doing is above board and as it should be. It’s easy to just assume, but don’t underestimate the ways of the world. Keep on top of everything and you should be fine.
And finally, never underestimate your current levels of success – or the possibility of sudden failure. Things don’t always last. You worked really hard to get where you are, and you have to carry on working hard if you want to stay there. Never adopt the “I’ve made it” kind of attitude, as it could be that one thing that knocks you off the top spot.