How not to run a business

I am pretty sure that no book store worth its salt would succumb to the following 'Don't' suggestions.  In fact, I've never come across one!  However, I found this online article by Andy Yates.  I've summarised the main points and turned the negative points into positive ones instead.

How to lose money and alienate people (or not)

Don’t criticise your own product (also known as 'The Ratner Rule')
Do demonstrate how great your product is or books are - but tell the truth.  Honesty always prevails.

Don’t get involved in a scandal (preferably an illegal one)
Do state a price and stick with it. 

Do organise an event and stick with the programme.

Do say nice things about people.  The opposite always come back to haunt you.

Don’t look down on your customers
Do think of your customers as Kings and Queens. 

Do praise your customers, if you can see they are trying.

Don’t ensure everything that can go wrong does goes wrong (then take a long time to fix it)
Do make sure your tills and search systems work

Do make sure there is plenty of stock of the popular products.

Don’t unearth an embarrassing name
Do see if there’s an ‘alternative’ meaning behind your posters and promotions.

Do make sure your advertising doesn’t put some customers off.

Don’t ignore your customers
Do make sure your prices are fair. 

Do make sure a sale means a sale.

Do make sure there are enough staff to work the tills.

Don’t let customers know how much money you are making from them
Do make sure your customers feel they are being treated fairly.

Do make sure your customers feel appreciated.

Don’t make your staff feel like idiots
Do send emails, letters and memos that express your thanks.

Do congratulate staff when you can see them doing a great job.

Do look upon mistakes as human learning curves

Don’t show a lack of taste
Do offer to help customers and staff when they need it.

Andy Yate’s closing remarks are:

Seriously though, the moral is avoid disaster by taking these salutary lessons others have suffered on board - learning from the mistakes of others can be priceless.

Andy Yates is an experienced entrepreneur, business mentor, advisor and angel investor and helps a portfolio of exciting growth businesses reach their potential, including Huddlebuy, Europe’s largest business deals website. Follow Andy on Twitter: @smallbizhelp. Follow Huddlebuy on Twitter: @huddlebuy

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