Whether you’re a one-person enterprise, a small business, or a large corporation, there are ways to improve what you already do well in the marketplace. Sometimes, it’s the big overhauls that make a difference, but most often it’s the much small details that make all the difference in the world.
Managing How Others See Your Business
Understanding the ins and outs of the products and/or services your business offers is a top priority because it’s the core of your business. While you might think that no one understands your business like you do, it’s important to realize that everyone with whom you do business (or hope to do business) needs to understand your business exactly the way you do. Position yourself in the market in such a way that your business message and brand are understandable to those who may not be familiar with your business but who are looking for what you’re selling.
Marketing Your Business In General Terms
Market your business in different mediums where your customers and potential customers hang out. If they make a habit of listening to certain radio stations on their way to, or returning from, work, understand how that medium may increase your business. If they prefer the quick tag of Pinterest or the 140-character message of Twitter, take note of times when the bulk of activity on these and other social media happens. If they love memes and routinely share them, take note of what kind of meme attracts and holds their attention.
Does this mean that you have to invest hours and hours away from business, focused on print, broadcast, and technology mediums? Not unless you feel the need to invest hours and hours watching where your customers and potential customers spend their time. Otherwise, the information can be gleaned from reports, statistics, polls and surveys, and, of course, asking your current customers outright.
Salesmanship Counts Even If You’re Not A Salesperson
There are salespeople who are great at opening doors to new customers, and there are salespeople who are great at closing deals. That being said, salesmanship isn’t always about getting, making, or closing a sale. It’s about selling people on the idea that what you’re representing has value. If customers, potential customers, other businesses, financial institutions, granting bodies, etc., aren’t convinced your business idea has value, it doesn’t matter how well someone can open the door or close the deal.
Be There For Your Customers In Good Times And In Bad
It’s easy to listen to customers when things have gone well, and far less easy when things have gone wrong at some point. It’s important to give as much respectful attention to those customers that come to you with issues about your business as you would if they were pleased with your product and/or service.
Making things right in the eyes of customers who have concerns will help your business in ways you may not think it will. For one thing, studies have shown that dissatisfied customers are more likely to talk to friends, family, and colleagues about their experiences than satisfied customers. This doesn’t mean that satisfied customers aren’t great with word-of-mouth advertising. It’s that dissatisfied customers are more effective at getting their personal experience message out there.
Be the best customer support representative you can possibly be, and when you hire or contract others to work for your business, train them to be the best customer support representative for your company that they can be. You won’t regret the time and effort invested in this aspect of your business.
Invest In Business Development And Financial Analysis
You may not be an accountant and you may not be a lawyer, but make sure you have access to both while building your business. Create a workable business plan that includes a one-year, three-year, and five-year plan.
Take the time to read and understand what’s going on in the local, national, and global economies as they affect your business in many ways. Extrapolate the potential results of current and upcoming legislation even if the issue doesn’t directly relate to your business. Everything in society is interconnected, and the more you know about what’s coming down the pike, the better prepared you can be to make adjustments to your business so it can continue to thrive.
Whether Your Business Is Big Or Small, You Are The Face Of Human Resources
When employees or contracts talk about the company they’re working with or for, the top person is the one that shoulders the responsibility for employee and contractor satisfaction on the job. It’s up to you to know whether providing certain benefits is not only affordable for your company, but a perk that will help you keep the best employees and contractors for your business.
Your employees and contractors aren’t numbers. They’re people, and business thrives on its ability to make people happy whether they’re customers, employees, or contractors.
This doesn’t mean you should be a push-over and bend to the will of others just so you can wear the “good guy” hat. It means being attuned with the needs of your employees and contractors, and knowing what direction to head in to keep everyone working cohesively, collaboratively, and cooperatively.