Life as a small business owner is not easy. Trying to keep on top of my tasks without getting distracted is a daily struggle of mine. Balancing my role as a mother as well as a strong businesswoman can be downright exhausting. You want me to drink water too?
Being authentic in your business is the most important thing you can do, but what are some things you DEFINITELY should not be doing? From ableist language to unfollowing people on social media, we need to talk Renegade.
Don’t be someone who wastes a ridiculous amount of time, money and energy on business practices that pretty much everyone hates. Stop doing it because everyone else does it. It is not bringing value to their customers.
"I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better." - Dr. Maya Angelou
Here are my personal 5 business practices that we all need to stop doing.
I am a firm believer in not paying attention to your follower numbers. It doesn’t matter if you have 500 or 5,000 fans, if they are engaged and loving your brand, then yesssss. Some people, however, want to play a sucky game. Do you wonder why your follower number fluctuates every day even though you haven’t done anything wrong? No, you didn’t lose 20 people because you posted a selfie, you lost them because those people were never there for you. They were there for them.
The rules of this marketing tactic are that you follow a person, like a bunch of their stuff so their notifications light up, they see you and wanna say thanks for the support so they follow you back. Two days later, you unfollow them because you already got what you wanted.
Anyone who uses this practice, STOP IT.
2. Posting too much
Your priority should be on quality content - not quantity. Make your posts count and not just for the sake of posting something. There isn’t a single person alive who enjoys being spammed by a company through social media. It’s important to make sure you’re not sharing too much content across any of your social media platforms. People are following you to get updates from your company, but they also look to you as a leader in your industry.
Social media is all about being social -- to create a community and be engaged with like-minded individuals. This is how we develop relationships that last with our customers. Read about the 80/20 rule here.
3. Sending friend requests just so you can sell
We have this as a rule in our Punky Moms communities and will remove you for this behaviour. Yet people still try and sneak in and do it…
Let me set the scene…
You get friend requested by someone, maybe you have some mutual friends, maybe they look like a cool mom you want to get to know. You accept because, awesome, friends! Then a week later you get a message “Heyyyyyyy girl….” They start to pretend like you are old pals or that they want to get to know you and then all of a sudden BOOM they turn and bombard you with their products.
OMG, I totally didn’t know that I needed that mascara, sign me up!!!
4. Using ableist language or being guilty of cultural appropriation.
Now, this is a major one for me and the hardest. This is all about knowing better so you can do better. I have been guilty of all of these at some point, but every day I am learning.
Why would I ever want to inflict pain on anyone with the language I choose to use? There are substitutes and simple fixes to everything. As a business owner looking to spread a message, I hope that yours is a positive one.
What is ableist language? Well, the trusty dictionary says it is any word/phrase that intentionally or inadvertently targets an individual with a disability.
Well gosh Paula, I’d never do that…
Well sorry Renegade, you probably have.
This is a great image from Upworthy that you can reference the type of language I am talking about. Has that lightbulb gone off?
Now, what about cultural appropriation or using slang that isn’t for you.
If your branding includes OR you are selling items influenced by a minority culture that is not yours, please stop it. You shouldn’t be making teepes or Day of the dead stuff unless you are from that culture or are donating money to that culture.
You are not apart of a TRIBE or a GANG. Punky Moms had a whole merch range of Mama Gang stuff, it was one of our best sellers, but last year I made a decision to sell of what I could and take it down.
I could write a whole ‘nother post just on this topic alone, but I will leave you with the following links for further reading. Educate yourself.
5. Not asking for help
It is not all doom and gloom, but it is definitely time to Say NO - this year is the time to stop over-committing yourself to others. At the beginning of your business, I am sure you felt the need to say, “Yes” to anything and everything. By now, all those commitments have probably taught you very quickly how to recognize what is worth your time and what isn’t.
Saying no is about prioritizing yourself and setting boundaries that protect your best interest - YOU.
Having a clearer vision of your goals and the steps to achieve them, helps stop the doubt and keeps you on the path to achieving your goals.. You have to stay focused and keep your eye on your goal. Everything else is wasted time and comes with a sh*tload of opportunity cost. Get your Badass Biz Plan to get clearer on your goals.
I hope that some of these business practices resonate with you Renegade. It is our duty to be creating content and products that uplift whenever possible. Are you with me?