It’s a smart person that accepts that they don’t know everything when it comes to business and knows there’s always room for improvement. The world of business is subject to many variables that can affect how it moves and in what direction. Each business has different needs and so will develop according to how effectively these needs are met or are worked towards. If you own a business or are wanting to develop your business acumen, then here are some tips and pointers to improve how you currently manage your business.
Be Aware of Online Reviews
It’s become an increasing trend for a potential consumer to be influenced by online reviews. Research has shown that an astonishing 92% of them will be swayed by what customers have written online about a local business, with 80% taking these reviews as seriously as if they were personal recommendations.
You don’t need to keep watching forums or hitting their sites several times a day because you’ve got a business to run. Instead, set up alerts to notify you when a review about your business is left. If there’s a common theme emerging from different customers, you should consider looking at your business to see what can be changed. You could even respond to these queries to let them know what you’re doing.
Keep Your Website Current
It’s no longer enough to have a shopfront, you need to invest in an online one too. At the very least, your online presence should be a website and a few social media platforms to reach out to your customers in real-time. Over three-quarters of potential customers will check your website, so if its design is dated, cluttered, has broken links or is generally difficult to navigate or load due to the amount of stuff on it, then they’ll look on a different site.
Once customers have got to your landing page, you want to keep them on your website, looking at what you have to offer. Of course, they expect to see the product or service they want or need, so having good payment services is vital, as PSP Lab have commented.
Having extras on your website, like extra information to get the best out of your product or service, or tips you can recommend, will make customers feel connected to your business, rather than just getting what they need and leaving your website.
Develop Customer Relations
Happy customers will not only let you know about it, but they’ll also let others know too and more than likely return to you because they know your business is professional and will deliver. In fact, they’re responsible for just over half of a business’s income, with them often spending over 60% more than new customers. You need to reward this loyalty and nurture your relationship with return customers to keep them coming back to you.
You can do this by remembering when they mention special occasions or their birthday, and either send them out a card or leave a message on their social media, if they’re following yours. Responding to their comments if they leave them on your social media platforms also shows professionalism and courtesy, adding that extra personal touch.
Keep on top of Your Game
Although you may have loyal customers, if you become tardy you may lose them as well as lose new ones. Research indicates that around 50% of customers will give their custom to the first business that responds to them. This is important information that should be shared with your employees. Aim to have online queries answered with a certain time frame and have this clearly stated on your website, so customers know when to roughly expect a response.
Ensure that you have a policy regarding telephone calls, with an aim to have your business’s phone answered within three rings. Furthermore, make sure those that answer the phone are using a regular format. For instance, greeting the customer, saying the company name and asking how the business can help the customer. This method politely gets straight to the point without rudeness or awkward silences.
Work on Yourself
Never assume you know everything just because your business is making a profit. You still have a lot to do. Now you’re making money, you need to keep on doing this and remain ahead of your competitors. Keeping aware of what they’re doing, looking at ways you can refine and improve on your own business in light of this, is one way of remaining a market leader. Another way is refining your business skills and being aware of business developments by attending courses or even networking events, if you have the time. Make the time to acquire new knowledge. It will reflect positively on your business.
Running a business isn’t easy, and can often consume more of your life than you intended. Part of this involves looking at what’s going around you and adapting to what you see. Yet it also requires you to nurture what you have, build upon successes and learn from your failures. Just as a tree grows roots, your business will deepen its foundations into many areas. How well it continues to do this will depend on how much you grow as a business owner.