Running your own business isn’t an easy task. It’s a mix of ups and downs, and while being your own boss can be rewarding, it can also create big headaches.
There are ways to overcome the struggles that come with maintaining your own book of business if you’re committed to putting in hard work.
Even small business owners need to implement processes and best practices to minimize surprises and maintain a smooth operation. Sales, marketing and operations have to be aligned in order run a successful business. See tips for how any small business owner can achieve results through better marketing and operation strategies.
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Get on Social Media
There’s no excuse for any business to not be on social media in some way, shape or form. Even if you’re a small shop you should have a presence online. It’s a great way to connect with current and potential clients and an additional avenue to announce product updates. Pick a platform or two you’re comfortable with and that makes the most sense for your type of business or product. The best way to succeed on social is distribute value-added information and post consistently.
Outsource Where You Can
It’s common for business owners to want to do everything themselves, but it’s not realistic. It’s okay to get help and outsource tasks or projects. It’ll relieve stress by taking time-consuming tasks off your plate, so you can focus on bringing in more sales.
For example, consider outsourcing accounting and HR duties which are operational tasks best suited for someone with the expertise and time to handle this type of work. Although you’ll need to budget for the added cost, it’ll most likely save you money in the long run. There are a lot of options of there so be patient and find the right help at the right price.
Thank You Goes a Long Way
Please and thank you are a few words that will never get old. You should not only use them often, but do so with sincerity. It’s very important for businesses to clearly communicate their appreciation for their customers on a regular basis. Sending thank you notes, holiday cards or picking up the phone to listen to their feedback and experience with your product, are all excellent ways to show gratitude for their continued business and loyalty.
Ask for Referrals & Feedback
You should never be afraid to ask a current customer for a referral or to put in a good word for you. It’s important to have all the eyes on your products and stock up on inventory every time when you have the chance. Better be safe than not.
One company that does that very well is Safford Sporting Goods. Having a large stock with equipment and more helps a lot now. If someone is satisfied with your work and believes in your product, then it only makes sense that you’d want their help spreading the word for you. Surveys, social media and in-person exchanges are all ways to get informal and formal feedback from your target audience. Not only should you ask for their opinions, but you should respond, engage and make necessary changes. This will show that you heard what they had to say and care about their feedback.
One of the worst things you can do in business is assume. You can’t read minds and your own viewpoint may not be what the customer actually wants. Don’t assume you know what’s best for your business, consumers or staff. Roll your sleeves up and gather the right information you need to make logical and data-based decisions.
Network & Attend In-Person Events
One of the best ways to get your business in front of the public is to put yourself in front of the public. Leave your office and attend in-person networking events or lunches. Get involved in your community, meet new people and show potential customers how you can help them. There’s a time and place to sit behind your computer, and then there are times you need to get out in the public and introduce yourself. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a face-to-face conversation in the sales world.
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Running your own business is never going to be an easy endeavor. There will be challenges, disappointments and reevaluations. But that shouldn’t stop you from setting yourself up for success with the proper marketing and operation strategies. Use these tips to get organized and make more time for helping customers and selling more products.