It takes a serious amount of time, effort and perseverance for any business to be successful; however, the difference between success and failure will often come down to a few very simple elements. To give your business its best chance of taking off this year focus on doing more of the little things right; the following tips are sure to help.
1. Update your tools
If it has been a while since you last updated your tools do so this year, because technology has come a long way in recent years and for your team to remain competitive they need the latest capabilities. For best results, talk to your staff about which upgrades they feel will benefit your business most as their front line roles give them a unique perspective on your day-to-day operations.
2. Improve your customer service
One of the easiest ways to outperform larger or more established competitors is via your customer service, making it vital that every interaction with your business is memorable for all the right reasons. Whether you invest in mobile POS devices to speed up transactions or offer a satisfaction guarantee on everything you sell, look for ways to make your operations as user friendly as possible and if you make a mistake, rectify it ASAP with an honest and generous approach.
3. Empower your team
Studies have consistently shown that empowered workers are healthier, happier and more productive, so loosen the reins a little this year. Your staff will be more likely to fulfil their potential if they have a chance to show what they can do and your customers will appreciate dealing with workers who can make decisions right now. If you feel that your team are not quite ready to handle more responsibility invest in additional training to boost their skills and confidence.
4. Establish your expertise
Providing the information your clients want and need for free will build trust, establish meaningful relationships and encourage customer loyalty, all of which will significantly benefit your business. For example, offering practical advice relating to your products or services is sure to boost satisfaction levels, while weighing in on big issues relating to your industry is a great way to show that you know what you are talking about. Regardless of whether you offer in-store tutorials, post videos online or guest blog on popular industry sites, leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that you are an expert at what you do.
5. Mine your data
Even the smallest businesses accumulate a huge amount of data each year and making sense of it all can provide valuable insight into what is going right and wrong with your business. Basic data mining nowadays is cheap and easy, for instance you can learn a huge amount about your customers and what they think about your business simply by examining your website analytics or monitoring mentions of your business online. There are also countless apps available to help you to capture, analyze and understand your data better, while customer management software provides a highly effective way to keep track of those many important relationships.
6. Give back
Show that your business cares about more than just money by supporting an initiative or two in your local community; after all, if you expect people to invest in your business it is important to show that you care about them as well. Sponsor a local sports team, contribute to area fundraising efforts, or even offer a scholarship to a nearby educational institution; whatever you do, find a way to give back that showcases your core brand values.
7. Start earlier
Getting an early start on the day will mean that you can put out fires or take advantage of opportunities before your competitors are even out of bed, so try starting a little earlier. Even if it takes you a few coffees before you hit top speed, those quieter morning hours provide a great way to get a head start on the day before you are inundated by interruptions.
8. Outsource to experts
Struggling to do every task yourself can mean wasting time, effort and resources, especially when you are dealing with elements that you don’t have the skills, knowledge or training to handle. Whether you need help with bookkeeping, fundraising or copy writing, outsourcing those specialised tasks to experts will mean you can focus on doing whatever you do best; it will also often mean those outsourced tasks get done faster, cheaper and better.
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