We’re not really in a position to tell you how to run your business. But we are going to go there anyway. That’s right. We are going there. You know why? Because we’ve been in business long enough to know that the following are 5 things your business needs to stop doing asap. So put on a fresh pot, pull up a chair and learn from our mistakes (err, wisdom).
Stop answering emails after hours.
If you are a business owner, and especially if you work from home, this is harder than it seems. In the age of iPhones, tablets, smart TV’s and even watches that will let you check your email or take a call, it feels nearly impossible to disconnect.
It might feel like the days of turning out the office light at 5pm, closing the door and forgetting about it all until Monday are long gone, but they don’t have to be. It just takes you, being dedicated to the cause! We highly recommend trading your smartphone/tablet/watch/tv for a glass of bourbon or even a book when you are off the clock. Hell, try the two together. Get wild.
But seriously folks, answering emails or taking calls after hours is going to set a precedent you are unable to keep up with in the long-term. Clients need to know what your regular office hours are and that all of their needs will get taken care of during those hours. Kick ass during your 9-5 and then rest your ass on the off hours. You’ll thank us later.
Stop charging too little.
At Braizen, we are big fans of the value-based pricing model. We could get all into the nitty gritty of what that means, but basically, we price our time/designs on what we feel they are worth. And frankly, we still feel that we are underpricing ourselves sometimes.
As business owners, we all have that fear that we will set a price that makes a client we really want to work with run for the hills, waving their middle fingers in the air. But you know what, we hardly ever have that experience. If a client is not down with how we price a project, that’s ok. Because we know we are being fair in how we price things and we very much value our time and talent.
There will always be referrals. And, as we move into our seventh year of business, we want to be focusing on the clients who fit not only our brand, but also our price point. Not the other way around.
Stop trying to wear all the hats.
Braizen is a family-run business. Which means we are a rather small team compared to other design firms. This is how we like it, want it, and will always keep it. Because we are a small team, we need to make sure we are pacing ourselves and not trying to be all the things, all the time.
Instead of trying to be all the things, figure out what you are good at and then delegate or (gasp!) outsource the rest. We have a pretty clear understanding of who does what best on our team and, while we unanimously agree that Ashley is good at everything, we don’t want her to actually be responsible for everything.
One thing we recently outsourced is email management. Each team member is responsible for their own inbox, but the main Braizen inbox is busy busy busy and hard to keep up with. So, finding an assistant to help with that has taken a huge weight off. It frees us up to focus on being badass braizen designers.
Stop treating your vendors poorly.
If you aren’t following our advice above, you’re mostly likely not treating your vendors with the respect they deserve. This might seem like a harsh statement, but really, if you’re running around like a chicken with your head cut off, answering emails at midnight, trying to be all the things AND being underpaid for it- there is no possible way you are nurturing a healthy relationship with your vendors. And, quite possibly, you need a spa day and a Xanax.
Vendors can help catapult your business to a level you wouldn’t be able to achieve otherwise. So, make sure you are checking in with them often, plugging their businesses, giving them shout outs on social media, and sending thank you notes or gifts.
Stop worrying about what other businesses are doing. Period.
This is a tough one. There is a fine line between staying in-the-know with your competition and being obnoxiously consumed with what they are doing right (i.e. what you are doing wrong).
Here’s our advice. Stop giving a sh*it. Focus on your business, what you’re nailing, what you want to improve and setting up your game plan to get there. We know that this can be tough to do, but here’s the truth, someone is always going to be designing/coding/organizing/instagramming better than you. Get over it.
Comparison is the thief of joy*– and we don’t condone stealing. And neither does your mom. Don’t make us call her.
Friends, we really mean it when we say you should take these 5 things your business needs to stop doing asap to heart. Like, yesterday. We here at Braizen are always a work-in-progress, but we have learned so much over the past six years and it’s only right to pay it forward to you.
Have other tips to share? Share them below or drop us a line.
*quote from the late, great Theodore Roosevelt.