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In the beginning, many entrepreneurs think they will start making money as soon as they open their doors. However, your business likely will not prosper into a million-dollar company overnight. Growing a successful business takes time, dedication, and a lot of patience.
Use these six pillars to help your small business succeed.
1. Make Sacrifices
Starting a business is hard work, and creating a successful business requires many sacrifices. But, many business owners don’t talk about how many sacrifices you need to make after your doors open.
After you open your business, the work has just begun. You may find yourself working 60-hour weeks, staying open-to-close, and surviving on three hours of sleep. But, there’s a method to this madness.
At my payroll and accounting software company, Patriot Software, it took years of sacrifice to get where I am today. From starting in a factory basement to filling up our own building, my team worked day-in and day-out to achieve success.
2. Provide Customer Service That Stands Out
Customers make or break your business’s success. Both the positive and negative things customers say about your business can spread like wildfire.
The pillar of providing excellent customer service is nothing new. However, some businesses may find themselves forgetting to prioritize customers. Stand out from competition and help your business succeed by improving your customer service efforts.
At Patriot Software, we pride ourselves in going above and beyond for every customer.
Go the extra mile by listening to concerns, offering solutions to problems, and showing customers that you care. Consider using different mediums to get feedback, such as in-store or online surveys.
Take feedback, both good and bad, into consideration. How can you improve customers’ experience? Is there something that you need to change? Use both compliments and complaints to provide customer service that stands out.
3. Be A Leader
Being a true leader means understanding what your employees want (and need) from you. Employees may look up to you and crave your professional guidance.
The Edelman Trust Barometer states 75% of people globally trust their employer. And according to one source, 37% of employees view their bosses as mentors. You can’t expect success if you can’t lead your team. Your team must be able to trust you and look to you as a leader.
Strong leadership can help increase productivity, workplace engagement, and communication.
Are you listening to your employees? Hear employees out and be open to their suggestions and concerns. Actively listening to your employees can help improve performance and guide your staff in the right direction.
Leadership does not have to be complicated. All you have to do is show employees you care. Engage with your employees and find out their hobbies, interests, and who they are outside of work. Employees want leaders who they can talk to and feel comfortable around.
4. Analyze And Understand Your Competition
How do you expect your business to be successful if you don’t understand who you are competing against?
Keeping tabs on your competition is critical to the success of your business. What do they do to stand out? How do your offerings compare to theirs?
Research your competition thoroughly to find out their strengths and weaknesses. And, see what types of threats your competitors pose to your business.
You have likely made a SWOT analysis for your startup in the past. Consider creating a SWOT analysis for your competition, too. How can you use their weaknesses to strengthen your business?
Don’t be afraid to study your competition. After all, they may be doing something right (or wrong) that you can learn from.
5. Build And Maintain Customer Relationships
Customer acquisition is hard. Customer retention is even harder. But, retaining customers is key to business success. How do you build and maintain customer relationships?
Retain customers by putting them first and personalizing their experiences. Customers don’t want to see the same thing at every business.
Personalize customer experience by doing small things like remembering their names, orders, and favorite products. Show customers you care by getting to know them on a personal level.
Keep in touch with current customers. Consider asking customers to subscribe to an email list to keep them in the loop about specials, updates, and events.
Create a rewards program to thank customers for their loyalty to your business. Loyalty programs encourage customers to return and give them something to look forward to. Whether it’s online or an old school punch card, rewards programs keep customers coming back for more.
6. Set Hard Deadlines For Goals
Setting goals may seem simple, but it can make or break your business’s success. Most people don’t like setting deadlines for projects. And, the idea of getting something done by a certain date can be stressful. However, setting deadlines for your business goals may motivate you to accomplish more.
Having strict goals and deadlines can help you reach the point of success more quickly. Make a list of what you want your business to accomplish in the next year. Give each goal a deadline and commit to it.
Track the goals you accomplish. If you don’t meet a goal by the deadline, ask yourself what held you back and steps you can take to reach it.
March 6, 2019 at 09:49AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs