George's Business Tips wk. 5/18/22

 

1. Focus on leads, not sales

Of course, we all want to spark business growth and increase revenue. But the way you do this in a sustainable way is to focus instead on the building of a loyal database of avid fans.

Content marketing, paired with optimized website forms and intelligent email automation follow-up is critical to business success. This approach builds trust by giving away free value before asking for someone’s hard-earned money.

2. Don’t sell products, provide solutions

Like it or not, folks out there aren’t searching for your brand, they’re just looking to solve a problem or find a particular type of product (unless you run Starbucks or Adidas!)

Don’t list all the benefits your product brings. Focus on the solutions. Explain to the customer in simple, straightforward terms how or why your product can help them or assist in the attainment of their goals.

Consider FedEx’s iconic slogan: When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. This was a clear example of addressing widely-spread anxiety about the reliability of delivery services.

Run through some market research to profile your target customer. How does your product or service – and your delivery and and price point – solve other people’s problems and make their lives easier or more pleasurable?

3. Don’t make customers dig deep for a phone number

Even in the digital age, some customers will always prefer to contact you by phone rather than email or Facebook. While many online companies with tight margins eschew manned phone lines altogether, it’s worth giving customers the option of having a voice-to-voice conversation with your brand.

By all means, slash the time and cost spent responding to queries by funneling customers to standardized, pre-existing responses on your webpage (i.e., FAQs).

But if their query isn’t listed in the drop-down menu of FAQs, then don’t make them click more than once more to find your phone number.

Put it front and center on your web page, particularly if you’re a retail offering.

‘Live chat’ bots are an inexpensive way of offering real-time communication, too.

4. Give something for nothing (or very little)

Why not give your happy customers a voucher with their purchase to redeem on your products and services? If they love what you do already, they’re only going to love you more for this.

It’s good for you because:

  • It guarantees they will return to your store again. People hate to waste freebies!

  • When they return to your store to redeem their voucher, they may buy other items, too. If your business operates online, then the freebie could be strategically timed to coincide with a special sale.

Oh, and guess what? Chances are customers who have received vouchers or freebies won’t stay quiet about it either, so you could enjoy some positive buzz on social media.

5. Own your niche

Sometimes it’s better to be a master of one discipline than a jack of all trades. Admittedly, multiple revenue streams do spread your risk: if one falters, others can take up the slack.

Nevertheless, consumers often associate ‘specialists’ with higher quality products or services than generalists. And with good reason, too: specialists typically invest all their resources into perfecting a single product or service.

So what should you specialize in? To state the obvious, it should be something in which you excel.

Own it, whatever you do.

6. Be humble

Don’t ever get too satisfied with your business. You can always improve – and improve you must!

Don’t get me wrong: without the odd moment of smug satisfaction, what’s the point? Do relish in the successful launch of a game-changing product or take pleasure in positive customer feedback. But don’t let your customers hear you banging on about it time after time!

Be alert to the common element that has led to the downfall of countless brands: complacency. Imaginative, nimble and innovative start-ups often do better than big market leaders that just got lazy.

You may be the disruptive innovator today, but tomorrow you could be the complacent market leader with a tired business model.

So try to be humble and always strive to improve. Seek inspiration from other entrepreneurs, from books and from seminars. The moment you think ‘mission accomplished’ is the same moment you become vulnerable to being surpassed.