The business environment is a dog-eat-dog world. After you’ve got over all the hurdles of starting up and have found that gap in the market, developed a fantastic business plan, secured financial help and located a premises you should have both of your feet firmly on the first rung of the ladder of success. Now all you need to do is climb higher and overtake those competitors on the higher rungs. This can be tough, especially if they’ve been around longer then you but with a great product/service, a firm plan and the below knowhow the sky is the limit!
1. Sell differently! Whatever your product or service, get yourself out there in a different way to your competitors or anybody else. Being different and being memorable usually come hand in hand. Just make sure you’re remembered for the right reasons, bear in mind the saying ‘all press is good press’ is not necessarily correct! Don’t be afraid of spending a long time thinking up a brilliant innovative marketing strategy… it will benefit in the long run.
2. Know thine enemy. If you can, keep up to date with the goings on of your competitors. Try to always stay informed and know why and how they’re doing well/doing not so well. Knowledge is power, learn from their successes and gain from their shortcomings, maybe poach a client or two or simply know what they’re doing and then do it better.
3. Ask the experts. There are some organizations that assess and analyse the workings of your company and then suggest how to improve. Once the business has implemented the suggested changes, they will receive a certificate. This certification often gives businesses an edge over those who don’t, it shows customers and clients that you take your business seriously and could be their tipping point for selecting you. These certificates are also great for the company because they have been informed by experts on how to run their businesses more effectively which in turn can help increase sales, turnover, customer satisfaction and savings.
4. Social network.If you can, invest your time into making the most of this free and wonderful tool. It’s a great way to remind customers of your presence, boast new products and interact with your customer base. Remember, people are lazy, if they want feedback or want to ask a question, they are far more likely to use social media than email, phone or write to you. If you do it right, everybody will see your fantastic customer service, will trust you and keep coming back.
5. Get online! Even if you’re a completely offline business, people will still search you on the web. An online presence is a powerful tool, statistics show that 30% of consumers will research the product online before they buy it. Customers are also more likely to trust you if have a website and social media.
6. Do that little bit extra. It’s silly, but people get excited when they get something free, or more than they expected. It could be as simple as a small packet of treats, in their order, a follow up phone call asking if everything was alright, a winning smile or even simplyremembering who they are. If you make your customers feel special, they will remember and recommend you. Once you’ve decided what your ‘little bit extra is’ try to work it into your business plan, and then it will be business as normal for you and an extra surprise for them!
Remember, to ensure your business’ continual success you will need regularly adapt and amend your business plan. Times change and so do customers – make sure you are always up to date in the know and one step ahead of that competition.
This article is written by Ruth Barton;her family has recently startedup a business and has put the above tips into practice andused ISO 9001certification to ensure it was running efficiently and to help get the company off the ground.