After years of getting cuffed around in the marketplace, it is my pleasure to share these foolproof strategies. No matter how well you are doing today, the following methods are sure to drive your small business into the ground.
- Be a know-it-all. Instead of adopting a learning attitude, be defensive and refuse to admit that anyone might know more than you about the business. Snub business analysts, counsellors, lawyers and bankers. Do not be curious.
- Don’t waste valuable time listening or talking to customers. Ignore them, they’re takers. They rarely say anything of substance and they can suck up a lot of your precious time. Why do you think the good Lord gave you one mouth and two ears? So you could growl at customers without pausing your IPod or interrupting your cell phone conversation. Reel ‘em in, get the money, kick ‘em out.
- Do not smile. Smiling is a sign of weakness. Be tough. Use the time-tested tools of terror: scowls, snarls and sneers. The slick thing about this method is that you only have to do it consciously the first few times, after that it happens habitually and you can effortlessly alienate customers without even having to think about it.
- Max out your credit. No matter how cash poor your business, lease a new truck. A fully loaded state of the art, spitting new 4 X 4 with a whopping $1,200 monthly payment. Hey, you need the tax deduction, right? While you’re at it, why not lease one for your spouse too? Puffed up credit cards and over-leveraged toys with meager minimum payments are good for the soul. Why pinch pennies? They’re worthless anyway, unless you’re planning to spend them in a less fortunate neighbouring country like USA.
- Run your competitors into the ground. It’s your shop and if customers are going to loiter, they might as well know the filthy truth about every scum-sucking, bottom-feeding, dirtbag competitor out there. Hold back nothing. Customers are certain to think the world of you for alerting them to your competitors’ sins.
- Don’t hire a bookkeeper or accountant. Why squander perfectly good truck lease money on organizing your financial records? Do the books yourself or better, don’t do them at all. Let the tax geeks figure it out when they call. They are bound to appreciate your shoebox full of loose bits of paper. The longer you leave it the better. Time spent nose-to-nose with your local tax collector piecing together your financial history is simply a delicious opportunity to bond with another human being. You’ve heard of the paperless office? Your innovative paperless financial trail is certain to propel folks into just the right mood to recalculate your taxes.
- Finally, avoid doing a business plan, whatever it takes. You’re far too talented to waste time on a plan. Your superior grasp of economics, coupled with your iron grip on those you work with, should see you comfortably through all levels of adversity. Cash flow and sales forecast? Humbug! Financial projections are for sissies and procrastinators.