It can be challenging to start a new small business and even harder to stay a float in these economic conditions. Here are my top 3 business tips for you.
1 – Brand recognition before profit
For small businesses or start ups, creating a brand that consumers can trust and recognise is key. One start up I know (an entertainment service provider) asked for their B2B customers to pay a monthly fee to get access to a customer base from day 1. What they quickly realised was that no one would pay the monthly fee because they hadn’t heard of the company before and therefore didn’t trust that they would get something in return. To start a successful business, the first step is to build a brand identity using channels such as social media. Let your target audience engage with the brand before monetising it! Remember how Facebook started before becoming what it is now?
2 – Your customers are always right
Seems obvious but the amount of times I see company’s get this wrong amazes me! Consumers are sharing their opinions like never before. From review centres to feedback on Facebook, what your customers tell you can help you improve. Yes, any negative feedback in the public domain can be damaging, but what can be worse is how you respond to it. I’ve seen countless reviews where the company replies to negative feedback by defending themselves and positioning fault at the customer. What they should be doing is acknowledging the feedback and actually taking it on board.
3 – Don’t stand still
Once you’ve grown a stable business the worst thing that can happen is a change in consumer needs or habits that you weren’t prepared for. Imagine if a local dry cleaner didn’t know that a new brand has emerged that will offer a collection and delivery service with a few clicks on an app. If the local dry cleaner doesn’t react quickly, their customers will switch which could make it game over! However if they kept up to date with the market and saw the threat of this new entrant, they could react before its too late. They could have enhanced their proposition by introducing free local collection and delivery service to keep their customers and fight back!
Own a small business? Get in contact for some more advice!