Why do some businesses fail and others do exceptionally well? Some would blame it on sheer luck and others would blame it on perseverance. The truth is there are many ingredients needed to build a successful company and you need to analyse all sections of your business to see where you fall short and what you can do to improve it. A business isn’t built in a day. It takes effort, hard work, and trial and error to get a business going.
Here are key ways to improve your business.
Help your customers
Author Alan Weiss was quoted as saying, “Ask your customers to be part of the solution and don’t view them as part of the problem.” Listening to your customers is important in building a successful, thriving business. And you can do this by providing your customers with excellent service.
Your business should offer quality service that differentiates it from competitors. The aim should be to offer what customers want and what would benefit them. Don’t just focus on what you want to sell. One way to provide the best service is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and try to understand things from their perspective.
A key way to find out what your customers need is to create questionnaires to get direct feedback from the customer about the problems they’ve encountered with your product. The questions you ask shouldn’t be complicated. They should be simple questions that could range from, “How easy was it to buy from us?” to “How happy are you with the purchase?”
The questionnaire shouldn’t be long and hard to figure out. Otherwise, the customer won’t fill it out and will feel that it takes too much effort and time.The main objective is to make sure customer expectations are met.
Setting goals for your business is important because if you don’t set them, your business is likely to fail. Having clear, well-defined goals will make your business grow and improve teamwork at the same time. The goals should be SMART( specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely). Smart goals are associated with Peter Drucker’s management by objectives.
Specific – you should be able to clearly define what goals you want to achieve for your business.
Measurable– you should be able to clearly measure the progress of your goal at the end of a specific period.
Attainable – you should ensure the goals are realistic and attainable. If the goals are impractical, you’ll never be able to achieve them and you’ll waste a lot of money.
Relevant – if the objective isn’t relevant to your customer, it’ll be a failure.
Timely – set a realistic deadline you’ll be able to meet. If the goal is to get new clients for your company, make sure you set a deadline that’ll be attainable.
Know your competition
Social media is a perfect platform to find customer complaints about products or services offered by your competitor. Customers usually use social media as a place to vent their frustrations. Studying the competition will help you find out who their customers are and you can focus on a whole new demographic.
Find ways to keep costs low
Find ways to cut down on costs. You can buy secondhand equipment, such as smartphones, machinery and office furniture, to keep your expenses low.
You can also lease out equipment instead of buying it. Nowadays anything can be leased. You can lease your company vehicles or computers. This’ll save on costs and you’ll also have the latest model. When you lease assets, you’ll save substantially because your monthly payments will be lower. Sometimes maintenance is included in the lease agreement and this could help you save on future costs. For example, if you own a mining company, you could find it hard to finance machinery because it’s expensive. You could lease your mining equipment to save on costs.
Advertising can cost a business a fortune. But technology has made life easier for companies because now they can use social media to advertise their products and be able to reach a huge market in the process.
Clarence Francis once said, “You can buy a person’s time, you can buy their physical presence at a given place, you can even buy a measured number of their skilled muscular motions per hour. But you cannot buy enthusiasm, you cannot buy loyalty… you cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds or souls. You must earn these.”
And you can earn the loyalty of your customers by providing exceptional service and differentiating yourself from your competitors.