As a business owner, you likely spend a good portion of each day working on ways to satisfy your customers while meeting your bottom line. It’s a daily chore. And it’s not because you’re interested in having a good week or a good month. You want to run a business that is successful for many, many years to come.
Not all business owners succeed in this quest, however. So what does it really take to ensure a company’s longevity? Here are four things you may wish to consider:
1. Make it worth it for your customers to avoid your competition. What will set you apart from your competitors? Is it high-quality products and services? It is exceptional customer service? Is it offering unbeatable prices? If you said “all of the above”, you’d be right. It’s important to provide both stand out purchase options and incomparable shopping experiences so that customers will want to come back to your store over and over again.
On Entrepreneur.com, Matt Mayberry agrees that providing top value is an essential element of a company’s success. “One of the quickest ways to set you apart from the competition is to provide your customers with high-quality products at the same price as your competitors,” he affirms, “Quality is everything when it comes to growing your business. Spend the time to plan, organize and deliver top-notch quality products/services in everything you do.”
2. Make your employees feel a part of your company’s success. Obviously, your business can’t operate without its employees. They’re the ones working every day to bring your company the success you’ve always dreamt for it. Many of them have the same dreams. Make sure to acknowledge that and make them feel a part of your company’s growth. Your recognition of their hard work will go a long way.
“Most employees do want to help the business succeed,” says Saxon Marsden-Huggins on the Australian-based RecruitShop.com, “But they also want to be recognized for that help, and know that the business appreciates them back. Make sure you’ve developed some type of plan to reward employees and recognize their achievements. One idea is to create a reward system, either formal or informal, for when an employee achieves something specific. It could be an extra hour of lunch, a gift certificate, or simple recognition during a staff meeting.”
3. Place a high value on customer feedback. Who knows what your customers want more than your customers? If you’re continually focused on impressing your target audience, but don’t take into account the feedback its members have given you, you’re not going to stick around for very long. Trends evolve, opinions change and the needs and wants of your customer base will grow and develop over time.
Pay attention to these changes by simply listening to the ever-changing desires of your customers. “It boggles my mind when I see a business pay more attention to what they think is right rather than to what the customer has to say,” says Mayberry, “If a customer isn’t satisfied or happy, you have to do everything in your power to make that customer happy. Give them what they want. Even if your customer was the one who was wrong, take the initiative to fix things and correct them immediately.”
4. Provide customers with payment options. If you’re allowing your customers to choose between their Visa, MasterCard or Interac cards or cash to make their payments, you’re already setting your business up for a long and prosperous life. If you insist upon a “cash only” payment routine, you’re practically begging to be shut down. Ensuring your company’s longevity means that you are accepting of the fact that today’s shoppers prefer paying with plastic.
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