Dr. Akmal Makhdum’s 10 Pitfalls to Avoid When Running a Business
As a psychiatrist, it is Dr. Akmal Makhdum job to understand people. But as an administrator, he also needs to understand businesses. For those running a business or aspiring to start their own business, here are Dr. Akmal Makhdum’s 10 pitfalls to avoid.
- Failing to Plan
Businesses are often determined as being successes or failures during planning. Owners should feel comfortable using business plans, pro forma statements (financial projections), SWOT analyses, gap analyses, and more. For those business men and women that feel they lack the skills to plan their business properly, they shouldn’t be afraid to lean on others that do have the expertise to help.
2. Staying on Top of the “Boring” Stuff
It is not as fun to complete legal paperwork, purchase insurance, and pay taxes. However, failure to do some of these very basic, tedious tasks can open up the business to major, needless risk.
3. Underestimating the Competition
It is easy to ignore the competition, especially if the business is growing. But one can always assume that their most dangerous competitors are watching them. Keeping an eye on those competitors in return can help the business owner learn critical things about the market, as well as improve their products/services in order to stand out from the competition. Even in the medical industry where there is competition and understanding how to stay ahead of the pack will help you retain your patients.
4. Not Keeping the Brand and Message Consistent
Many business owners get distracted in their marketing and advertising. They get tunnel vision and forget their original mission, values, and goals. Dr. Akmal Makhdum frequently helps clients get back on track simply by returning to the roots of their brand. There is always a reason why a business becomes successful in the first place, and deviating from that branding and message can have serious consequences on sales.
5. Being Fast to Hire, Slow to Fire
Ideally, owners and managers should take the opposite approach in order to curate the proper work environment: fire fast, hire slow. If someone is a problem within your workforce, it is often better to let them go quickly and then take the time to hire someone new rather than wait until you have found a replacement.
6. Being Afraid to Confront Problems Directly
This closely relates to the pitfall above. Because many owners are afraid to let go of toxic employees, critical problems are ignored and the business suffers. It is much better to get to the root of the problem and address it right away.
Arrogant business owners begin making terrible decisions. They stop listening to their advisors and, more importantly, their customers. In contrast, Dr. Akmal Makhdum notes that successful businesses always embrace a mentality where there is always something new to learn and improve.
8. Ignoring the Problems of Customers
The only reason that a business stays in business is because it knows how to solve the problems of their customers. Ignoring a customer’s pain points is extremely dangerous. It can lead to one’s business losing sales at a rapid rate, since the product/service is no longer relevant.
9. Refusing to “Iterate”
To “iterate” (a software developer term) is to constantly improve one’s product or service based on customer feedback. Business owners that fall in love with the process of improvement are not afraid of negative feedback and are generally far more successful. That’s because it is often in the negative feedback that major breakthroughs occur. In the medical field, this could include going to conferences and lectures to learn more about your profession or new breakthroughs.
10. Not Keeping Up with Software and Technology
Non tech-savvy business owners will find this pitfall hard to avoid. Learning new technology and upgrading systems can be intimidating. Thankfully, most productivity software and tech companies are equipped to train key personnel at the company. Feeling comfortable with technology always comes with practice. Businesses that intentionally keep their process and tools up-to-date will accomplish more with less.