Free business advice, business information, business news, comments, hints and tips about where to find and how to learn proven, practical skills to drive your business forward. Target audience is business start ups, entrepreneurs and small business owners who are welcome to use anything on the blog for their own business and encouraged to chat and share their own experiences with the rest of us. Everyone welcome!
There are many strategies to use to keep customers coming back to do business with you but the first one should always be honesty in all your dealings with them. Give them a good service or product at a fair price and never try to cheat them by 'putting one over' on them. People may not always be able to prove that you are or have cheated them, but many of them will know it instinctively.
Instinct is often an overlooked word in today's business environment but you ignore it at your loss.
Integrity in Business:
Integrity in the Oxford English Dictionary (circa 1964) is described as:
"integrity, n. Wholeness; soundness; uprightness, honesty. [ME, f. OF -te, or L integritas (integer, see-ty)]"
So basically it simply means honesty and wholeness in your business dealings or way of life. To live upright according to your word; and to deal with people in a sound, honest and wholesome way. This should always be your first strategy to keep customers coming back to do business with you.
Word of Mouth:
If you always follow the above strategy then good word of mouth (WOM) advertising will be given to you and this is advertising that you simply cannot, nor ever will be, able to buy. This is priceless and the very best advertising that you can ever have.
If someone a person knows recommends your business or service highly, then this acts as social proof that you are a legitimate and honest person to deal with. People always feel more comfortable dealing with someone that someone that they already know and trust, has recommended.
There is absolutely no point in selling any product that you yourself, wouldn't use or recommend. This sounds too obvious a point but if you don't sell a product that offers good quality for the price being paid for it, then it can't be said to be a quality product.
Quality doesn't mean it has to be "gold standard". Most people, especially today on a very tight family budget, can't afford the "gold standard". What people today need is a quality product for a price that they can afford to pay, to do whatever the product is designed to do.
Good service always starts with a friendly greeting. This is sometimes overlooked when people walk through your business door and you are busy or they arrive at an inconvenient time for you. People will always remember how they are treated long after the job is done.
Quality service involves more than a friendly greeting and a satisfactory job; it requires a relationship with your customer that can't be found anywhere else from someone providing a similar service to your own.
The above four principles of integrity, word of mouth, quality product and quality service will give any business in any industry, a firm foundation for a very profitable, long-term business well into the future.
All Business strategies today still depend on the basic foundations that have formed good business practices throughout time but today are often disregarded.
A lot of people dream of starting their own business, but many of them fail. This isn't just limited to small businesses, but some major corporations may also fail. There is no set way to keep your company afloat, especially during the recession. However, there are some set reasons as to why many businesses fail. If you are starting your own business, or have had one up and running for a while, here are some things to look out for to help keep your operation going strong.
Many people who decide to go at it on their own don't have a business plan set up. This may mean they set up a website or even a store front, but really don't know how that with get them from where they are starting out, to where they would like to be in 10 years. Successful corporations may have started out very simply with only two or three employees, but they knew where they wanted to be in the end. Have a game plan for how your business will do in that particular market. Sit down with your business partner(s) to go over how you would like to operate and manage your organization.
Once you have a game plan, make sure you have proper funding. Many of those who fail may have had a great idea and plan, but no funding. For most small businesses, you will have to expect that you yourself will not see any money for several years until your company is more established and has a constant cash flow. Money adds up fast and sometimes before you realize it. Of course one of the big costs is paying any employees you may have, paying for the office your work out of, any supplies, business insurance, and even paying for your website. Make sure you can create a budget that you know can sustain your company. Talk to a financial advisor if you need to, and check with investors to see if you can get some extra funding.
Keep in mind your customers and what product you have to offer. So, this one goes with the other two. You need to do some research as to what consumers want and need and what your product will do for them. If you are selling a hair brush that actually tangles hair more than brushes, and your consumers want a brush that will detangle, then your product is not going to be a big hit in stores. You will want to plan out what the product can do, how, and how it is helpful to customers. Look at different demographics as well. All of this information can be used when you present your business to possible investors. Investors will like to know that you have your product planned out and have already thought about the needs of your targeted consumers.
Remember why you started your business. Sometimes people who start something up lose track of what they originally intended to do. Keep focused no matter what happens. There are going to ups and downs from time to time, but you have to remember what you are here to do. If you can get everything already planned out and lined up then when you have these little bumps in the road it will be easier to pick up the pieces and keep going, or to change your game plan. Having things like your finances, business insurance, and worker's compensation already taken care of can help easy you a long as you work on your businesses success and not its failures. Remember, not all companies fail, some reach above and beyond what they expected.