Wednesday, June 29, 2011

If You Ignore It, It Will Go Away

How dumb is that advice?

You've got a growth on your back, but you don't go to the doctor because you believe that "if you ignore it, it will go away."

The creepy looking guy keeps asking the cute single girl out to the movies, but she's not concerned he might become a stalker, because she thinks that "if you ignore him, he will go away."

Your car is making a weird noise every time you turn left, but you're a little tight on money right now so you don't take it to a mechanic because you make mostly right hand turns and eventually "if you ignore it, it will go away."

Even politicians believe that when someone brings up a hot button issue at a town hall meeting "if you ignore them, they will go away." Unfortunately all too often the politicians are right and the issue never gets addressed.

But this is not a politically motivated post. This is about business. And from what I've seen... the business world is the only world where that expression has any validity. Too bad it only shows it's validity in a negative fashion.

What do I mean?

As the owner of multiple businesses over the years, I have seen firsthand what happens when you ignore your business... it goes away.

If you ignore your clients, they go somewhere else.

If you ignore the phone calls from potential clients, they will stop calling and find someone else to call.

If you ignore your suppliers and stop paying them, they stop shipping you the supplies you need to run your business.

If you ignore your employees, they quit and get a job elsewhere (usually with your competitors).

If you ignore your competitors and don't keep tabs on what they are doing, they may find a better way to do what they do and take marketshare from you. Or they may be going out of business and their customers are looking for a new place to do business, but if you don't know what's going on, you can't capitalize on the opportunity. (Please don't misunderstand me, I do not advocate any sort of industrial or corporate espionage. You can legally and ethically keep an eye on your competitors without stooping to such activities.)

If you ignore the IRS and fail to pay your taxes they will come get you! They don't like being ignored. (Just ask Al Capone).

So just like with the growth on your back, or the noise in your car, don't ignore your business. Because if it does "go away" you may not be able to get it back.

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