The Customer Is King – Treat Them Like One
With increased competition, the customer now is bombarded with lots of choices. If customers choose your business over others, then you have to make sure that they know that you appreciate their business. Let them know that they have made the correct choice. Always smile, attend to their problems promptly and be courteous.
Attend to your customers’ needs efficiently. Keep your promises. Deliver products to them on time and make them feel special by offering them discounts and thank-you gifts. Some customers need their egos stroked and some need lower prices, while others need quick service. Attend to each customer as an individual and fulfill their needs.
A happy customer will ensure good word-of-mouth publicity – and this form of publicity is the best kind, because any new customers that you get this way will have already decided that they ‘want’ to buy your products and services.
Create Your Own USP
Running a small business might not allow you to advertise on a large scale; therefore, you need to know your products. You should also be able to solve your customers’ problems faster and better than your competitors.
This will enable your reputation to grow as an expert in your field of work. If you do this well, without any direct publicity, you can have customers lining up at your door to get their problems solved and to buy your products and services. This can become your company’s USP (Unique Selling Point).
You can also project yourself as an expert by including your USP on your business cards and company letterhead. This method of advertising is not very expensive, but the returns are handsome in terms of profit margins.
Maintain a Database
Whenever you get an inquiry from a customer, make sure you take down their name and telephone number. Give your potential customers whatever information they require as soon as possible. Stay in touch with them and get their feedback on your prices or any other details of your products and services that you might have given them.
Use your database to send your customers greeting cards and product reminders, even if they haven’t made a purchase yet. This will give them the feeling that you care about them and appreciate them taking the time to contact your business.
Advertise Using Low-Cost Methods
If you have a small business, you are probably on an equally small budget, which might not permit you to advertise on national TV or expensive magazines. Place a few advertisements on the Internet and in local newspapers. Send out flyers or insert business cards and brochures in people’s mailboxes.
These methods of advertising are not very expensive, and will help your business become known in your local area.
Keep an Eye on Your Sales and Expenses
Every small business owner needs to keep an eye on these 2 factors. Sales and profits have to increase, and expenses have to be kept in check as you gain experience in running your business. Keep all luxury expenses not related to your business on the backburner until you have paid back any loans and have some decent savings in your bank account.
Running a small business can be tough, but the above pointers will help keep you on track. They do not cost much to execute, but the returns can turn your small business into a successful one.