We asked three entrepreneurs about the changes and improvements they are going to make to their business this year, here's what they said.
Successful businesses are in a constant state of flux. They are continuously fine tuning their processes, innovating, researching, optimizing their marketing messages and trying their very best to strengthen their brand.
Change is a constant when it comes to a business and its growth strategy.
In a hyper-competitive market, businesses can’t sit around waiting for things to happen in their favor. They need to proactively embrace change in order to enhance customer engagement and trigger sales. Not doing means stunted growth, diminishing returns and in a worst case scenario, downed shutters.
No prizes for guessing, this is not an option for entrepreneurs who’ve put in every ounce of effort at their disposal to give shape to their business ideas. They don’t want their business to flounder just because they were allergic to change.
This is why we asked 3 entrepreneurs about the changes they are going to initiate in their business this year, the various ways they will compete with established players in their niche and how they will be improving customer connect. Here’s a short profile of each of these enterprising people and a bit about their businesses:
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Co-Founder & CEO, PreApps
PreApps is a web platform that helps users preview apps before they are released on app stores. Users earn points by posting app feedback, suggesting improvements, sharing apps with friends and beta testing apps before release. App makers can submit their apps (three signup options available: Free, Featured and Featured Elite) and get access to user opinions of their app and the results of testing their app in a real world environment. This not only allows them to make the necessary improvements to better their apps but also generates much needed hype around the app.
Ownonly is a site that allows users to create custom designed suits, from the comfort of their homes. You choose your style, cloth material, feed in precise measurement details and voila, a custom designed suit will be delivered to your doorstep. It is styling super simplified to suit the demands of people with very little time on their hands, but still want to dress nattily.
Co-Founder & CMO, Imaginovation
Imaginovation is a web development and design company that also specializes in mobile applications development and digital marketing services. Its team of expert designers, developers and marketers is committed towards building cutting edge solutions for clients to meet their precise needs and requirements. Their core focus is on creating high quality marketing and communications products that are absolutely best-in-class and affordable to boot.
Now let’s move on to the questions and answers.
What is one way you’re going to fundamentally change your business in 2015?
Sean: 2014 was a huge year for PreApps. We served over 1,600 mobile apps in providing pre & post launch market exposure, and we expect 2015 to be far greater. By Q2 of 2015, we will have utilized custom-built software tools to streamline our services, thereby advancing our marketing solutions and product services to maximize organic exposure for app developers. These new marketing tools are aimed at transforming the way apps are developed, marketed and downloaded.
Brian: Being a custom-made apparel brand, Ownonly depends on its customer relationships for survival. This year, we intend to invest in our customer relationships in a bigger way and offer a more personalized experience to every user who visits our site. Our customers offer us a wealth of data when they order bespoke formal wear from Ownonly. We shall dip into this data to understand our customers better and tailor our communication with our users in a way that resonates with them.
Michael: Imaginovation is launching two very competitive, creative, and market driven products that we are currently in the process of developing. They will be launched towards the end of 2015
Branding and product USP is what sets the big boys apart from the entrants in business. How are you looking to compete with entrenched players in your industry?
Sean: As the mobile app ecosystem continues to transform and evolve, PreApps will adapt with the changing times. One of our greatest product USPs is our strategic partnerships with industry leaders, the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, and Samsung. We are looking to compete through better products, customer relations, and in turn, better results than our competitors.
Brian: We believe in putting our money where our mouth is. From the best quality of fabric imported from Italy to meticulous yet stylish craftsmanship, we create the best formal men’s wear money can buy. From a buyer’s perspective, you could call us the Saville Row of the internet. That is the mindshare we intend to capture. We have a full-fledged marketing campaign planned for the end of this year, which will convey to customers this unique marriage of technology, bespoke fashion and superior workmanship.
Michael: We are looking to compete heavily with the big players by our very affordable costs for high quality custom work, as well as our personalized transparency, process, and responsiveness that we deliver to our clients. In addition, 2015 is a year of very ambitious branding authority objectives, which will drastically help Imaginovation leave a large footprint in the over saturated market of web/mobile development and digital marketing.
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How would you rate your own customer care? What new ways of improving customer service are you looking at?
Sean: The app developers that choose us have been, and always will be, at the heart of our business. We continually survey and follow up with our clients to optimize operations and improve our efficiency and success rates. In 2015, we will be implementing effective software tools like online support chats and FAQ's in order to better serve our clients.
Brian: We allow customers to reach out via the phone, on email and social media. We also offer live chat services. On a scale of 1 to 10, our customer service would probably get an 8. Having said that, my pet peeve is the fact that the website simply chugs along by itself with nobody manning our call center during critical hours in certain key time zones. I hope to change that soon by offering 24x7 customer care over the phone going ahead this year.
Michael: Our customer care would be rated roughly at about an 8/10 at the moment in all honesty, which is very good. We are looking to improve our customer service to a 10 by increasing our communication a bit more in terms of making sure our clients know exactly what is being worked on and when something will be delivered. We are doing our best to make sure our clients are being kept heavily in the loop during project implementation. The solution for this will be one of our internal products currently being developed that will be launching within the year.
What is very evident from the answers given by these three entrepreneurs is that you must constantly look for new avenues to grow your business. Not doing so, will only lead to stagnation. Also, you need to keep finding ways to differentiate your services from that of competitors, especially the well-entrenched players in the niche.
Lastly, you must make your business as customer oriented as possible. The ability to build sustainable and long term meaningful relationships with customers is something that helps businesses survive and prosper even when the going is tough.