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10 Popular Business Rules You Can (and Should) Break

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You know what they say: “Rules are meant to be broken.”

That's especially true regarding your business. After all, if you always play by the rules, you'll never stand out from the competition.

So, what are some common business rules that you can (and should) break?

Today, we'll cover 10 of them.

We'll also explain why you should break these rules and how you can go about doing it.

Let's dive in.

Why Should You Break the Rules?

Common sense isn't always common practice.

And that's a shame, because more often than not, the best way to do something is also the simplest.

We live in a world where people are constantly looking for shortcuts and easy answers, even if they're not always the best ones.

That's why breaking the rules is often a great idea.

When you break the rules, you're not following the status quo. You're doing something different, and that can be a huge advantage.

Not only are you standing out from the competition, but you're also showing that you're not afraid to take risks.

Of course, there are some rules that you should never break. But there are plenty of others that are meant to be broken.

Let’s explore a few of them:

1. Have a Physical Office

In the past, having a physical office was a must for any business. But with today's technology, that's no longer the case.

There are plenty of businesses that are entirely virtual, with no physical office space at all. And there are plenty of others that only use a physical office on a part-time basis.

Hybrid work schedules are a thing now, and they're only going to become more common in the future.

Slack revealed that roughly 7 out of 10 employees now work remotely at least part of the time, and that number is only going to grow.

So, if you're thinking about starting a business, don't let the lack of a physical office stop you. There are plenty of ways to get around that.

2. Use a Traditional Sales Process

The traditional sales process is no longer the best way to sell your products or services.

In fact, it's often the worst way to do it.

A linear sales process is one in which the customer moves through a series of steps, from introduction to purchase.

It's a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn't consider the fact that every customer is different.

As a result, it often leads to lost sales and frustrated customers.

Instead of using a linear sales process, try using a more customer-centric approach.

Meet with your customers and find out what they're looking for. Then, create a sales process that's tailored to their needs.

For instance, instead of using a cookie-cutter approach, segment your customers into different groups and create a unique sales process for each one.

Or, instead of using a one-size-fits-all sales script, try using a more conversational approach.

The bottom line is that you should always be looking for ways to improve your sales process. Don't be afraid to break the traditional rules to do it.

3. Rely on Advertising to Promote Your Products

Advertising is no longer the best way to promote your products or services.

It's often the worst way to do it.

First, advertising is becoming increasingly expensive.

Second, it's no longer as effective as it once was.

Thanks to the proliferation of ad blockers and the rise of ad-free platforms like Netflix, people are becoming blind to advertising.

As a result, advertising is no longer the best way to reach your target market.

The good news is that there are plenty of other ways to promote your products or services.

Take Tesla, for example.

Tesla's advertising budget is $0.

Still,  it's one of the most successful car companies in the world.

How do they do it?

By relying on word-of-mouth and PR instead of advertising.

(Image Source)

They've created a product that people are passionate about, and that's what's driving their success.

Think of other ways to promote your products or services, and don't rely exclusively on advertising.

For example, you could:

  • Run a contest: Give away your product or service for free to a lucky winner. This is a great way to generate buzz and get people talking about your business.
  • Do some guerilla marketing: Get creative and come up with an unconventional way to promote your business. For instance, you could put up posters in public places, or give away free samples in a busy area.
  • Rely on word-of-mouth: Focus on creating a product or service that people will want to talk about. If you can get people talking about your business, you won't need to spend as much on advertising.

The point is that there are plenty of ways to promote your business without advertising. So, don't be afraid to break the rule and explore some other options.

4. Focus on Acquiring New Customers

You see, the problem with focusing on acquiring new customers is that it's a lot harder than retaining existing ones.

In fact, it's up to 20 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.

Not only that, but acquiring new customers is often a lot more risky.

They may not be as loyal as your existing customers, and they may not stick around for long.

So, instead of focusing on acquiring new customers, focus on retaining your existing ones.

There are a few things you can do to achieve this:

  • Create a great customer experience: Make sure your customers have a positive experience with your business, from start to finish.
  • Offer loyalty programs: Give your customers an incentive to keep coming back. For instance, you could offer a discount for customers who make repeat purchases.
  • Ask for feedback: Get feedback from your customers and use it to improve your business.
  • Make it easy to contact you: Make sure your customers can easily contact you if they have a question or concern.

The bottom line is that retention should be your top priority. By focusing on retaining your existing customers, you'll be in a much better position to grow your business.

5. Focus on Content Creation

The problem with producing a lot of content is that it's often a waste of time.

Most of it never gets read, and the only people who see it are your mom and your friends.

Instead, focus on producing quality content that people will actually read.

This means spending the time to write well-researched articles, coming up with fresh ideas, and making sure your content is engaging and relevant.

It also means spending enough time promoting your content so that people actually see it.

A rule of thumb is to spend 80% of your time on promotion, and only 20% of it on production. 

This will help you get the most bang for your buck.

6. Be Active on Every Social Media Platform

There's no question that social media is a powerful marketing tool.

But, just because you're on social media doesn't mean you're using it effectively.

Most businesses waste their time on social media.

They're posting randomly, without any strategy or purpose.

They also try to be active on every single social media platform, which is a huge mistake.

Don't be like them.

Instead, focus on just two to three key channels and really master them.

This will allow you to create better content, and you'll be able to devote more time to each platform.

7. Build a Website

This is another rule that's often a waste of time.

Most businesses build websites without any thought or planning.

They just want a website so they can say they have one.

As a result, their websites are often cluttered and disorganized, and they don't serve any real purpose.

Instead of building a website, focus on creating a conversion funnel.

This, of course, can mean different things for different businesses.

But, generally speaking, it means having a clear goal and designing your website to help you achieve that goal.

Instead of just having a website that provides information about your business, make sure it's designed to convert visitors into customers.

8. Use Digital Marketing

Everyone and their mother is using digital marketing these days.

Does that mean you should use it, too?

Not quite.

Just because everyone is using digital marketing doesn't mean it's the right strategy for you.

Besides, traditional marketing channels, like TV and radio, are becoming more and more effective as people become desensitized to digital marketing.

So, before you invest in a digital marketing campaign, make sure it's the right move for your business.

9. Focus on the Numbers

This is a mistake that a lot of businesses make.

They get so caught up in the numbers that they lose sight of what's really important – the customer.

They start churning out products and services that people don't want, and they focus on increasing their profits instead of satisfying their customers.

Instead of focusing on the numbers, focus on creating a great customer experience.

Make sure your products and services are of the highest quality, and that your customers are happy with them.

10. Automate Everything

In today's day and age, it's tempting to automate everything.

After all, it can save you a lot of time and hassle.

But, automation can also lead to disaster.

If you automate something that's not working, you'll never know it until it's too late.

Instead, focus on automating the things that are working, and leave the rest to be done manually.

Standardize your processes as much as possible, and automate them where you can.

But, always make sure that the result is still high quality.

The Bottom Line

There are a lot of business rules that you can break.

But, make sure you do so intelligently, and always with your customer in mind.

If you follow these tips, you'll be well on your way to breaking the rules and succeeding in business.

Let us know, which other rules would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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