With fewer than half of businesses surviving the first few years and a fraction of them making it to the decade mark, clearly there’s an issue about rising above the competition.
A senior professor once asked confused students in a Business Studies course, “What’s the primary goal of any business?” The answers from students included, “To make a profit”, and “To keep customers happy”. However, these answers didn’t pass muster with the professor. He advised the young students that staying in business must happen before the other goals can be achieved. A subtle point, but not one that should be forgotten. So, how do we do that exactly?
Here are a few ideas on how to make your business succeed where others have failed before.
Focus on Execution
Many businesses aren’t well run. Employees can see this from the inside and are often surprised how the company has lasted as long as it has…
The good news is that when focusing on executing by creating a successful operation, it’s possible to impress your customers. Even when there aren’t many customers initially, it’s still necessary to get repeat business and referrals from them. Developing a brand reputation that the company delivers sends the right message. In turn, this helps the small business grow faster in the early stages.
Value Customer Service as Much as Your Customers Do
Once the business operation is running well, the customer service aspect can run far more smoothly. There will still be mistakes, but far fewer of them, allowing staff to deliver fantastic service levels to customers who reach out.
Customers respond well to higher service levels where questions or issues are addressed promptly and completely. An honest approach to what’s gone wrong and what the staff member is doing to correct the issue is appreciated by busy people. When offering a B2B-oriented product or service, this is no less important.
Use Innovative Ways to Get Your Brand Known
Depending on the marketing budget, it may be necessary to use innovative approaches to get the brand into the marketplace. The tighter the budget, the greater the creativity required.
If you’re wanting to get known locally, look for opportunities for potential customers to see your brand when they’re out and about. For instance, securing cherished plates to personalise a company vehicle can get other drivers’ attention. This can be combined with a vehicle wrap with the brand adorning both sides of the company van and the website shown prominently.
Find New Approaches to Old Problems
One of the issues for older companies is continuing to do things “the way they’ve always been done”. Staff may refuse to accept change and systems don’t improve. For smaller, newer companies, there’s a great opportunity to be bold. Take a fresh approach to an old problem by not conducting business the same way as their peers, if there’s a better way. When customers find out, it may lead to a few jumping ship because of their frustration level or pain over this issue.
By keeping to tried and true methods in business that are still relevant while not being afraid to use better practices where appropriate, companies operate well and steer clear of choppy waters. That can make all the difference to the likelihood of long-term success.