What separates your business from your competitors?
Any trouble answering that question could prove costly to your business as you move along into 2017.
There should be a number of defining characteristics that allows your brand to set itself apart from the competition. If it can’t do that, the prospects of a long and healthy business run can be called into question.
That said one of your primary focuses should be on making sure you make it easy for customers to do business with you, including when you are on the road.
Whether you are attending trade shows, conferences, community events etc. do you make it simple for people to make transactions? If not, you’re missing out on numerous opportunities to increase your revenue stream (see more below).
Being Accessible to Customers at All Times
So that you can keep those cash registers ringing up business now and well through the New Year, here are a few tips to stay ahead of the competition:
- Payments – Your customers can’t (and won’t) do business with you if you make them jump through hoops when it comes to payments. That said running a business out of a store (or stores) doesn’t mean those are you only opportunities to make sales. Keep in mind that you are likely to attend events during the year where consumers will be in attendance. As such, will you make it so they can purchase products and/or services from you at those times? By accepting credit card payments both in and out of your physical office or storefront, you ring-up more sales. If you’re worried about how to make sales an option outside your regular location, don’t fret. By simply having a credit card reader, you transform your mobile device into a payment center. Best of all, customers know that you are up to speed on today’s technology, making payments accessible anywhere and at any time;
- Service – Even though your main focus is likely on having a steady revenue stream, you can never overlook the importance of customer service. That being the case, stellar customer service is not just meant for when you and/or your team are in the office or store. If you regularly attend community events, conferences, trade shows etc. make sure you cater to any and all needs of consumers related to your business. For example, if you are at a community event, make sure your booth or table is well-stocked with information regarding your brand. You should also have available items like pens, stickers, paper etc. that provides your company’s pertinent information on them. This is a great way to do some marketing and promotion of your brand at the same time.
Always Appreciate Customer Feedback
- Listening – It can be easy to become complacent as a business owner, especially if you rarely get out of your office and/or store. That being the case, it works to your advantage to get out and see and hear what consumers are talking about with your brand and the competition. Doing so allows you to see if you are coming up short in any areas, notably making it easy for consumers to do business with you. Instead of remaining in your business office or store and never truly hearing what consumers are saying about your brand, step outside your walls on occasion. Not only is it beneficial to your business as a whole in terms of making necessary improvements, but most consumers will see this as you truly caring about them.
Whether you have been in business for many years or you’re a startup, there is always much to be learned about the business world.
That said one of the most important aspects of your business is making sure it meets the needs of each and every customer you come across. In doing so, you will open the doors to more business.
Business outside the office or store should be a focal point for you heading into the New Year.
If it isn’t, take the time now to see how doing business outside your physical location can allow you to outdo the competition.