procastinate

7 Ways Procrastination Can Stunt Your Business Growth

Procrastination. It affects us all from time to time. Procrastination isn’t a terribly bad thing depending on what you’re putting off, but if you operate a business, it is something you must avoid as often as possible. If you’re not careful, procrastination will leave your business stuck in neutral.

1. Loss of Precious Time

As a business, time is one of the most valuable commodities you have. Wasting it isn’t just equivalent to leaving money on the table; it’s like throwing that money in an open flame and standing there to watch it burn. May sound like I’m being dramatic, but procrastination can cause you to lose out on precious time that could have been spent on something productive — something that could have moved your business forward. Time loss is only the start of many other problems that can stunt growth.

2. Blown Opportunities

Opportunity knocks, but sometimes, it only knocks once. If you’re not ready to answer the door and seize the moment, you just might miss out. Imagine your company looking at another prosperous business to either merge, or buy them out. These things definitely take time, but if you wait too long, a competitor might jump on the deal and snatch them right from underneath you. Business leaders must understand the importance of moving quickly while in the process of evaluating their options.

3. Poor Financial Decisions

The decisions you make in regards to your finances can make or break you. When our old friend procrastination is involved, the latter is usually the result. For instance, let’s say you have been planning to make an investment in a recently launched technology, but want to wait until the price goes down before hopping on the bandwagon. The price may indeed go down, but what if it goes up? In this case, you may feel the need to jump for competitive reasons, and end up making a poor financial decision that costs you, which is just bad for business.

4. Inability to Meet Goals

When procrastination rears its ugly head, meeting your goals can be a very difficult feat. This is primarily because it tends to be contagious. Managers lack the sense of urgency needed to assign work in a timely fashion. As a result, individual employees start to miss their deadlines. Whether it is laziness or just bad habits, this type of behavior can do more than stunt the growth of your business — it can literally kill it if changes aren’t made.

5. Create False Sense of Progress

Postponing things can sometimes work out in your favor. However, businesses must realize that there is a difference between the occasional postponement and procrastinating on a regular basis. When procrastination becomes a regular part of your routine, it can create an illusion that you are on a slow road to success, when in reality, you are just delaying disappointment and failure. This is neither good on a business or personal level.

6. Ruin Customer Relationships  

Procrastination can also ruin the relationships you have with your customers. It could start small and blow up to something hugely negative. First it’s failing to respond to their inquiries in a timely manner. Then it’s not getting their orders out on time. No matter what form it takes, procrastination is a relationship killer for the simple that it betrays the trust that existed between you and the customer. Once that happens, your entire image could take a hit.

7. Damage Your Reputation

If your business becomes known for procrastinating and not delivering, your reputation is bound to take a hit. Reputation management is crucial in times when everything about you can easily find its way to a discussion forum, blog, or social network. Don’t think your customers won’t use these channels to speak negatively about you because they will in a heartbeat. And the more you procrastinate with servicing them, the more likely they are to do so.

When it comes to your business, procrastination is typically possesses more downsides than ups. So how do you elude its’ often brutal grasp? I’ll leave you with these simple tidbits:

* Don’t just envision your goals — actually write them down. Even the short ones.

* Know your priorities. What’s more important? Getting thousands of fans on Facebook or catering to the customers you already have?

* Maintain focus. It can be difficult to stay motivated. But beware that lack of motivation and procrastination go hand in hand. If you can stay focused on the task or tasks at hand, you can stay motivated and keep your eyes on the prize.

Sources

http://epiclaunch.com/why-procrastination-kills-you-and-your-business/

http://www.cnbc.com/id/46750183/Is_Procrastination_Killing_You_and_Your_Company_Author_Offers_Proven_Distraction_Busters

http://www.businessinsider.com/15-ways-to-stop-procrastinating-right-now-2012-3?op=1

Author Bio

Francis Santos is a writer for Benchmark Email, a best practices email marketing company.

 

  • http://twitter.com/Mark_Bowness Mark Bowness

    I completely agree with you, great post. However, in my experience, it is also worth adding that your procrastination is telling you something about you, if you allow it. Why are you procrastinating – need better skills to do it right? Not sure it is the right decision? Etc. 

    If we ask ourselves questions about why we are procrastinating this will enable us to reveal an aspect of our character or situation that will enable us to leap over this hurdle in future. 

    • http://twitter.com/EmailFrancis Francis Santos

      That is a very good point, Mark.  Asking ourselves questions about the reasons why we procrastination is like being our own therapist. If we figure out why we do it, then it will help us overcome it.

  • http://twitter.com/JoCaseyB JoCaseyB

    Great article – I think it’s also important to ask the part of yourself that’s procrastinating what it’s positive intention is – often while we consciously want to move forwards there is a part of us that wants to stay where we are – so understanding why this is happening can be a big help.

    • http://twitter.com/EmailFrancis Francis Santos

       Thank you, JoCaseyB. I believe understanding is key to success. It maybe true that moving forward is not always a good thing. A great example of this is Zynga. They grew too fast, that they couldn’t support their own weight anymore.

  • http://madeforsuccess.blogspot.com/ Irabor Mark

    Procrastination is simply the handwork of the devil, never leave what you can do today for tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come
    http://madeforsuccess.blogspot.com

    • http://twitter.com/EmailFrancis Francis Santos

       As the saying goes, “idle hands are the devil’s tools”.

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