When it comes to running your own business, what you need more than anything is customers. Whether they are big businesses, or individual consumers, you need to be approachable. To help you achieve your business goals, below I’ve listed four tips on how to take that next step to make your business more approachable.
1. Stick To One Specialty
A common mistake, especially amongst the newly self-employed, is to offer a mixture of different services or products. I mean, the more you offer, the more customers you’ll get right? Well, probably not. People don’t like to be confused, and offering multiple things, such as selling both brand new cars and old bangers makes people wonder, is this the person I should be dealing with? Maybe there is somebody else with expertise in what I am after. Worse still, people may avoid your business all together, as they can’t work out exactly what it is you do. Make it simple then, and offer one service, or one type of product.
2. Sponsor Events and Get Involved In the Local Community
This is less important if you are trying to sell your services or products to big name businesses, but if you run a small, local business, individual people are more likely your target client base. If this is the case, getting involved through non-profit ventures can help humanize your business. By sponsoring charity, fundraising or community events, you can show that you are, trustworthy and interested in more than just getting money out of people. Event sponsoring is also the perfect opportunity to meet and network with potential customers and advertise your business, with the hope word of mouth will spread the news of your business's presence around the local area and to even more customers and clients.
3. Keep an Active Online Presence
The internet is the go to source of information for people all over the globe. If they hear about your business and want to know more, that is where they will look. It is important to remember then, that a poorly constructed website is just as unappealing as a derelict shop exterior, so invest wisely. However, the internet isn’t just a source of information — social media is an often under-utilized tool that allows you to directly engage with customers and gain free advertising through processes like retweets and shares. It can also be a great way of luring back old clients or customers with deals on new services or products as it helps you stay connected even after they use your business.
4. Make Customer Service a Top Priority
Nobody wants to work with somebody difficult, nor are people inclined to buy things from people who are stand-offish or simply rude. Being nice doesn’t mean you cannot be competitive, strong and successful, but it does mean people are more likely to want to be involved with you and your business venture. It may sound like a tired old cliche, but a smile really does go a long way, so make yourself known as somebody friendly and/or easy to work with, and word of mouth will once again work in your favor. Being kind is not the whole customer service package, however, you should also make yourself available and be flexible with client needs, ensure their happiness is your top priority, and that is what you will get a reputation for.