1. Never Lie, But…
Lying is often seen as the ultimate of business taboos, but it really depends on the purpose. Does a lie benefit the person being lied to more than you? If so, it may have merit.
Covering up mistakes is the most serious of bad business habits. Lying to harm someone also has long-ranging consequences. However, a simple lie to explain (for example) a situation that’s out of your control for reasons far too complicated to waste a customer’s time with might well justify a “the check is in the mail” type of response. Again, the ethics are simple: If it hurts no one and benefits the other party at least as much as yourself, chances are it’s worth considering.
2. Don’t Break Tradition — Except When You Should
Some traditions are well worth keeping; a few may be harmless and important for a sense of continuity. However, too many are antiquated relics that either serve no purpose or actively work against the company’s interests.
Don’t be afraid to ditch tradition when necessary and useful. While it’s best to remain respectful of the past, jump this classic business taboo in a heartbeat when justified.
3. Sometimes You Should Ignore Your Intuition
Your intuition has (in part) led you to a successful company, but like all good starts it isn’t the entire race. Listen carefully to that little voice within, but don’t let it overwhelm your common sense. Our instinct can easily lead us astray when it is influenced by emotion or pride, so all intuition should be filtered by experience and research.
4. Partnering With the Enemy — The Hardest Business Taboo To Break
These days small businesses find themselves more often in cooperation rather than competition with their theoretical enemies. While still referred to as “the competition,” for small businesses to have any chance of competing with the major players or preventing excessive governmental control, they must pool their resources and efforts. Small business competitors often trade favors and may all be important members of their communities.
5. If You Can’t Do It All Yourself, Delegate
Small businesses are usually run by extremely passionate and energetic individuals who are used to having to do everything themselves. There’s not only a sense of satisfaction in it, but hard experience has often shown that it’s the only way to get things done right. But success usually means delegating the more mundane aspects of your business, so you can concentrate on the more intellectual chores requiring true creativity and executive-level problem-solving
6. Cut Every Corner, Cut Your Future
When it comes to accounting there are definitely business do’s and don’ts, sometimes for the same subject. It’s easy to get bogged down in small financial details and penny-pinching. Tight financing really is important, but never be afraid to spend when a situation warrants it. When you find yourself stressing more over nitpicky financial details than making the money, you probably have lost sight of your priorities. This is one business taboo you might enjoy breaking.