How do you think your business is running at the minute?
Do you think it is like a well-oiled machine, or do you know that there are a few cracks beginning to show? The issue with business is that it can be deceiving, and you always need to be one step ahead of the game to try and come out on top.
Because, for one minute, you might be making sales through the roof, and your customers just don’t seem to be stopping. But a few months later, you could be struggling to break even each month, and the stress of it all can often cause a business to crumble.
With the way that the market is, and the constant evolution of your competitors, it’s easy to see why your fortune can change so quickly. Customers can easily lose interest when something better is coming along, and that’s what we want to try and stop. We don’t want your business to be moments away from disaster, we want it to be moments away from success, and we believe we have a few tips that will ensure that that happens!
So, have a read on, and if you feel like cracks are showing with your business, this should help!
#1 Expect The Unexpected
Step one of saving your business is to expect the unexpected. The more time you spend in business, the more complacent that you’re going to become.
It’s easy to think that everything is going to stay peachy when you’re on top of your game, but there’s always going to be new people on the block that will try and steal your throne, and they will steal it if you become so complacent. So, our advice is this, you need to constantly be watching what your competitors are doing.
A lot of the time, if you’re above them, they’ll start to copy some of the things that you’re doing. Whether it be the style of your product, your website, your marketing campaign etc. Because just like you’ll be watching them, they’ll be watching you.
They’ll know that you’re doing something right, so they’ll want a piece of that pie. So, for everything you notice that they’re doing similar to you, change your own game a little. Your product is the main thing that you need to watch out for. Think of phones as an example, or televisions.
There are constantly new models being designed that have better features than the last, simply because people get bored of the current model.
They want something fresh-faced that’s going to blow them away, and in technology, in particular, product innovation is essential. So, all we will say is that you need to expect the unexpected, and the unexpected is someone coming along to try and steal your limelight.
#2 Focus On Market Research
Market research is essential to any part of a business, yet some companies just don’t seem to bother to do this. There should be two times that market research is conducted. The first is before you even think about creating a product.
You’re going to waste so much money if you don’t even find out what your customers are looking for. You need to know things such as quality, durability, colors, size etc. The more information you can gather, the better position your business is going to be in.
The second time that you want to do this, is after you have rolled a new product out to the public. You want to know exactly what they’re thinking about what’s in front of them so that you can make any quick changes for the next line of products.
The best way of getting the information is through online surveys on your website, or you could send one out via email. The more you send out, the more quantitative data you’re going to be able to collect. Because of course, you’re going to meet some picky people along the way who will pick out any little fault with a product, that the majority of your customers wouldn’t even notice.
You want to devote your time to the comments that matter and those will be the ones that are commented on by the majority. Market research really is essential, and it’s definitely something you don’t want to drop the ball with.
#3 Data Protection
Data protection is definitely something a business should be worried about. It has come into light recently that such a big company like Facebook, was using their user’s data as they never specified it would be.
Not only that, but it’s become more and more common for hackers to get into business files. So, as a caution, using a VPN to browse is something you should definitely think about doing.
It’s a secured network where you will be able to browse more securely than you would if you were to use an open network. That way, you know your customer’s data will always be protected from hackers when viewing it!
#4 Focus On Marketing
Marketing, in general, is essential to any business strategy, but some companies just give it such a poor effort. The more time that’s spent doing marketing, the more profit your company is going to make.
Yes, whether it is kept in a house or not, you’re probably going to find yourself digging into your pocket a fair amount, but the reward you will get with the long run when the money starts flooding in. It doesn’t matter what your marketing budget may be either, you still need to find a way to utilize your budget by using the most effective methods of marketing for your company.
It’s all about trial and error with this, as some methods might work for one business, but not for another. If you’re going to focus on marketing, there’s one method that you need to focus on constantly, and that’s social media marketing. Social media is easy enough to manage internally, so you shouldn’t need to spend too much on this.
All you need to do is set up the social media pages and get yourself started. It’s so easy to get a business recognized through social media marketing because it is something that everyone is using. If you put out the right posts and use different tactics such as hashtags to further your reach, you will start to attract people’s attention towards your business.
The main social media accounts to use are definitely Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. On Twitter and Instagram, you should focus on the time of day that you are posting. If you’re posting at 11 am in the morning when everyone is at work, your post might be too far into their timeline by the time they get a chance to go on social media.
If you’re using Facebook and you set up your own business page, it will give you the option of paying to boost your posts. It’s only a small fee, but they guarantee that thousands of people will see it. It’s effective if you’re looking to reach a high number of people in a small amount of time.
Other than social media, you should definitely be using tactics such as SEO to try and improve the ranking of your website in Google, but this should definitely be outsourced. It’s so hard to understand and get SEO right!
#5 Streamline Your Internal Processes
Streamlining your business is essential. It’s the only way that you can ensure the smooth running of a business. You’ll have so many internal processes though, that it can often be hard to know what to do to smooth things out a little.
First of all, we want to talk about your method of product or service delivery, because this is where we feel companies drop the ball the most. If you think of all the products or services you have ordered in the past in your own personal life, how many of those were smooth.
How many did you know exactly what to do, and receive everything on time? We know that some ordering processes, tracking processes, and delivery processes are so poor, it’s one of the biggest complaints that companies seem to get. So, for one, think about your ordering process.
Is it as simple as the customer being able to choose what they want, and put in an online shopping basket? Or do you allow customers to have an online dashboard where they can view their previous orders, and possibly reorder? To have someone create a client online dashboard for you is really something you should consider.
It gives your customers a place of familiarity, and you can even incorporate the tracking process within this. But if you’re going to give them access to the track, you’re going to have to make sure that it’s accurate. Customers will be infuriated if they’re told one thing, and it doesn’t happen.
Again, you could have a developer create a tracking system for you, or you could use online apps to aid you. As for the delivery process, if you want to keep it streamlined, we believe that you’ve got to manage it all in-house. What better way to be able to keep track of delivery times, costs, and customer satisfaction.