Top five practices for small business owners
Whether you’ve just launched a startup or your small business has been operating for years, you might be wondering how you can improve your company in the new year. It can be difficult to keep up with changing expectations of consumers and managing business expenses on top of all your daily responsibilities. If you feel overwhelmed or unsure of where to begin making changes, start with these 5 simple tips to get your company on the right track towards success:
Focus on creating a solution
CEO Mike Kappel’s company, Patriot Software, was originally started in a factory basement, but it has since expanded into a successful multi-million dollar company. When offering advice to other entrepreneurs, Kappel says, “Rather than starting your idea with what to sell, think about what it will solve. It’s a lot easier to gain a solid customer base when your business is fixing a problem.” In other words, think about the purpose of your products instead of the profits. If you satisfy customers by making their lives easier or better, they’ll be more likely to return and recommend your business to their friends.
Be present online
Occasionally updating your website isn’t enough to stay caught up in today’s tech-driven world. In order to keep up with your competitors and engage with customers, business owners need to invest time into their social media pages in addition to their website. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook allow you to share what your company is all about, answer questions, join conversations and spread the word about your business for no cost. Plus, you can quickly resolve any customer complaints or negative reviews by “listening” to what people are saying about your business online.
Practice smart marketing strategies
Even if you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of free and low-cost ways to market your company thanks to the internet! If you haven’t invested much time into your social media accounts, now is the time to start adding some valuable content to attract customers. Here are just a few ideas of what you could post on your company pages:
- Post a short demo video for one of your products.
- Share photos from “behind the scenes” at your company.
- Write an article about your business’s latest accomplishments.
Ask your followers questions (ideas for new products, what they would like to see next, opinions about your business, etc.)
- Host an online giveaway.
In addition to social media marketing, you could also market your company by starting a customer referral program, teaming up with another local business for a combined project, hosting an event, or becoming more involved with your local community.
Maintain excellent customer service
One survey showed that 78% of consumers have decided not to purchase a product due to receiving poor customer service and that it takes several good reviews to outweigh one negative review. In addition to being polite, friendly, and timely when resolving customer complaints, you also need to monitor how your employees handle these situations. Here are some essential tips for creating happy, loyal customers:
- Ensure that everyone knows the products. You may know how to fix common issues with your products, but do your employees have the same knowledge? If a customer has a question and your employee has no idea what the customer is talking about, they probably will be reluctant to return.
- Smile. Yes, even if you’re talking on the phone. It will help you sound friendly and helpful.
- Be prompt. Respond to customers as soon as possible. If they don’t hear back from you within a few days, they will likely become frustrated and try to find answers from another business. Along with phone calls and emails, remember to answer questions on social media as well.
- Ask for feedback. Ask your customers to fill out a brief survey or questionnaire to gauge how your business could improve to meet their needs. Customers who know that you’re willing to change to create a better experience for them will be much more likely to be loyal to your company!
Choose cost-effective communication options
When you’re managing a small business, having a reliable telecommunication system is crucial for daily operations. Every business owner needs to stay connected, but many don’t realize that they’re overpaying for their communication services. Phone companies can drastically overcharge businesses with maintenance costs, extra charges, and other hidden fees. They may not even have reliable coverage!
This is why BNESIM came up with a solution to end telecommunication frustrations with BNESIM Enterprise. This cloud based phone system for small businesses can be up to 95% less expensive than your current provider, and it provides the best coverage in over 80 countries around the world. With no hidden fees or startup costs, it’s easy to get started. Click here to learn more about how we can improve your company’s productivity and reduce your overall costs of operation.