Startup owners don’t think, “Gee, how can I completely fail?” Instead, entrepreneurs think about how they can succeed, particularly in today’s tough economy. They may look for ways to save money while growing. But according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, over half of all small businesses do not survive their first five years. Here’s a roadmap of what not to do, if you want to make it to the five-year mark and beyond.
Don’t hire enough staff.
Make sure you hire enough staff to handle customer demand and fulfill orders. Companies that don’t risk backlash as frustrated customers take to social media and fill your voice and email inboxes with complaints.
Provide customer service only on social media.
If the only place you respond to customers is through Facebook or Twitter, think again. Annoyed customers will learn that, in order to get a response, they need to post publicly to social media. Prospective customers will see the litany of complaints and choose to do business with someone else.
Wait a week to ship items.
Make sure you ship orders quickly if you run a retail business. Customers, particularly internet customers, have certain expectations. Waiting a week can severely damage credibility.
Use FedEx SmartPost.
FedEx SmartPost is an unholy alliance between FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service. The only thing this alliance is known for is making customers wait up to two weeks to receive their packages.
FedEx had the most reliable delivery system in the world until now. Its partnership with the postal service has changed our opinion of the company, and if they plan to use the postal service more often we will request all our packages to be shipped via UPS in the future.
–Kristine Tanzillo of Myrtle Springs, Texas