One of the main ways to sustain a healthy and growing business is to keep a steady customer base. A company doing well will typically see the 80/20 rule; 80 percent of its business coming from 20 percent of its customer base.
If you are looking to grow your business and to see it thrive well into later years, you need to start building loyalty with your customers and building relationships to keep them happy.
Communication is key
Keeping customers informed of what’s happening within your business, offers and up to date information will allow your customers to feel part of the life of your business. This could be via a number of mediums including newsletters, emails, social media or even a phone call but the fact that you are telling your customers about the latest news goes a long way.
You don’t need to be pushing sales at your customers all the time. Communications can be friendly, informative snippets along with a “how are you doing?’ every once in a while. People appreciate communication and it goes a long way in building customer relationships.
Always go above and beyond
This goes without saying in business, if you have a customer then you want to treat them right and maintain that customer for future potential sales. By going above and beyond in what you do for them at the start of their customer experience with you, they will know that you care about them and that you want their business.
It doesn’t take much to do a little extra, as Tesco’s motto says “Every Little Helps” and yes that might be in a different context but it’s the same principle – every little bit helps for your customers and you have an opportunity to show each and every client that you are there to serve them, along with wanting to provide 100% and beyond.
Be a problem solver – Be positive
It’s great when things are going well, but how do you deal with situations when they go slightly pear-shaped? How do you react with customers when they have a complaint or something to share?
As you build your business, you will come along characters that will test your patience and try to get something for nothing. But you are the face of your business and your reputation matters. Building a good reputation can take years but it only takes one or two customers to not like your practice to tear that reputation down.
Therefore, try to solve or defuse a situation rather than rise to it. Always try to show a positive attitude towards all customers, whether you like what is happening or not. You are more likely to have a positive outcome and a good response if you act in a positive manner and show professionalism.
Promote brand awareness
This is number one in a business marketing strategy but it can often be put on hold or forgotten about when other aspects of business take over. By promoting your brand and showcasing what you are about, you are building a base of followers who will get to know, love and understand who you are and what your business is about. Building a business takes trust and people need to trust your brand in order to feel comfortable buying from you. When you build on your brand awareness, they are given opportunities of seeing more and more about what you do and how you can benefit them or provide a service for what they are looking for.
Always target your brand awareness campaigns to people who are really going to want to buy from you. It’s vital to understand your target audience and to know what it is they are looking for so you can provide the solution for them. Understanding your audience will bring you closer to them and provide a way in to build relationships that build customer loyalty and longevity.
Show who you really are
It’s great to showcase your business and everything that it has to offer, it’s one step further to showcase who you are, as the business owner. People love stories and customers feel connected when they know there is a human behind all the technology. You may not feel comfortable speaking on video or promoting yourself but it will go a long way in building customer relationships and allowing customers to know the real you behind the business.
Video marketing is definitely the future. And if you’re not doing it now, you need to be very soon! It doesn’t have to be long drawn out videos, it can simply be you saying hi and and introducing yourself as the business owner. Pin a video post to the top of your social media posts so that each new customer can see the voice and face behind the company they are looking to engage with. It will go a long way – try it today!
We say it all the time but the key to building a loyal customer base is by engaging with them on a daily basis. This falls in with the communication point but it goes a little deeper. If you’re using social media to attract new customers and to retain your current ones too (and if you’re not using social media for business then please get in touch!), your followers are looking to engage with your business. Give them posts that they can reply to or share with their friends. Post articles that relate to their situation. Get your writing head on and create some posts or articles that really speak to the heart of your audience. When they see that you are actually speaking to them on a personal level, they will share that with their friends and family, they will recommend your business to others and they will start to love who you are which in turn leads them to be a loyal customer.
Take these points on board and use them to grow your business. Building a loyalty with your customers is so important if you want longevity in your business. Sustaining and maintaining your client base doesn’t have to be hard work but it does need dedication and commitment to see it work.
If you’re looking to reach a wider audience through social media or would like to know more about creating an effective marketing campaign, get in touch today!
Identifying what the fundamental values are in your business and what you determine as your business ethics is VITAL for your brand awareness and shaping the essence of your brand.
Therefore, identifying what those core values are in your business will do two main things:
a) Give you a platform for everything your business stands for to be based upon, enabling a strong foundation for growth.
b) Educates your customers into understanding what your company is about.
Your core values are the most important things that matter in your business – the things that you focus on from the ground up and what you want your clients to know about. You are providing a set of guidelines for you and your business.
It can be a challenging exercise to decide upon core values but so very valuable in the long run. Establishing a foundation that your WHOLE business runs with gives your brand its identity and enables you to stand out from the crowd.
When putting a strategy together for your business and in the initial stages of thinking about direction, it’s important to put values in place that you want your business to stick to. This gives your business direction and allows you to have rules in places that guides the way that your business runs.
Deciding on your core values and understanding those values contributes to your brand identity and this in turn will enable people to know who you are and what your business stands for.
Brand awareness is so important when it comes to being known with your target audience, identifying who it is that you are trying to target and then using everything possible to get your voice heard in a busy and chaotic digital world. Without a brand strategy or a marketing plan in place, it’s so easy to drift away in directions that are outside of your initial goals and although this may not be a bad thing in terms of reaching out, it’s good to stick to a plan and to reach those people that you can truly add value to.
Add value and you will gain respect, become known within your industry and see business growth. It may take time to establish a good business reputation but with effort, dedication and strategy it is possible.
However to achieve this you need to be clear in your thinking, clear in the way that you showcase your business and clear in what your business stands for. Having core values that people are instantly able to relate to a) makes good business sense but b) allows people who are on board with your values to connect with you.
Your core values speak about you personally and not only your business so live those values. If you’re a small business or a startup who is just getting a business off the ground, make sure that you live by those values and in everything that your business does, do it in line with your core values.
So, get your thinking caps on and really spend time investing in your business. What do you truly believe in, what values do you base your business upon? When you get your values in place – then your business will start to move in the right direction.
We’d love to help if you’re looking to work on your brand identity and putting a strategy and plan together for business growth. Get in touch today to find out more.
When you’re starting out in business and you’re looking for an extra pair of hands to help you, it’s often hard to find the right balance in what you need to suit your circumstances.
If the big clients haven’t started rolling in yet, or you’re not quite ready to take the big step in hiring a full time employee, knowing what to do to ease the work load and make life practical for you can be a tricky decision.
There are options out there though and if you’re not in a position to hire an employee, you could consider hiring a freelance worker instead.
Both has it’s pros and cons and both are valuable considerations – it all comes down to what your business needs right now.
In our previous post we go in more depth about the differences between hiring a freelancer or an employee. At the end of the day, as a startup business you need to think about what is best for you both personally and financially. Small businesses will see success if they plan carefully and productively.
If you’re looking to hire a Virtual Assistant for your business and would like to know more about how this could benefit your business, get in touch for an initial consultation.
We all have our own approach in how we view or look at leadership and what makes a leader. It can depend on your environment, the type of industry you are in or even your own personal life. But what makes a great leader is the attitude to see results and lead by example as well as getting the job done.
“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” – Bill Gates
So what makes a great leader?
We must believe in what we are doing and have faith that are able to achieve it. This does not necessarily mean that you’re going to do all the work, but you learn to delegate or lead by example in order for a task to be complete.
A leader is used to make hard choices and to take the initiative to say yes, or no, to a problem or solution. It’s very easy to get swept along with the tide in busy business environments or to get into a routine that doesn’t allow for improvement. However leadership really is a mindset that is in action. A leader doesn’t need a title, they believe in what they are doing and they act on that, taking initiative to see something through to completion. The title is not given, it’s earned.
“The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers.” – Peter Drucker
If you want to make the move from managing to leading, from being a professional to being an inspirer, from being one of the team to being a leader of the team, you need to know the ABC of Superlative Leadership.
Take a read of the Leadership ABC’s:
Let’s take a look at these in more details:
A is for Appreciative Cultures, the end result of a leader’s work, when the culture he or she fosters becomes an appreciative value of the company.
B is for rock-solid Belief that your team can move mountains.
C is for Culture, which is the way people behave when you’re not looking.
D is for the Drive for Power that makes you want to lead.
E is for Encouragement, like sun after the rain.
F is for Fun, an indication that the right work is happening.
G is for Growing your people and believing that they can achieve their goals. Putting them first.
H is for Helicopter vision, because you need to see in three time zones: the near, the middle and the far.
I is for leader Identity, the ability to be comfortable in your own shoes.
J is for Joy because leaders rejoice in their own blessings as well as the successes of their team.
K is for Knowing your people, not just by name and number, but by strength and weakness, character and spirit, skills and potential, what makes them sigh and what makes them soar.
L is for Learning, because learning is change and learning is growth.
M is for Mission which leaders live as well as dream and portray.
N is for the Nobel complex, the belief that everything your people do is worthy of a Nobel prize.
O is for Opportunity. Take hold of everything you can in order to see results.
P is for Plain-talking because leaders need to be understood.
Q is for Questions, such as “What do you need me to do?” and “How can I help you work better?” and “What should I be doing?”
R is for Respect, the touchstone of every relationship a leader has.
S is for Symbols, the language of leadership.
T is for the Traits of courage and determination, patience and perseverance.
U is for Unleashing what’s there, allowing team members to express themselves and explore new ideas.
V is for Values, the guiding principles of the team, or “the Walkmans of the mind”.
W is for the Way, the Chinese “tao”, the route that leaders take and others follow.
X is for Xtraordinary because leaders get ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
Y is for Yes, because there is always a plus to be found even in the worst situation and the toughest setback.
Z is for Zero tolerance of failure, sub-performance and giving up.
Learn these simple principles and there are no limits to where you can lead your team.
Can you add to these points? Do you have your own A,B,C of leadership that you apply to your way of working? Please comment below and share.
In today’s society it is a must for any brand to be using social media to grow their business. With literally billions of people worldwide that currently have an active social media account, it is a means of marketing that cannot be missed if you’re looking to truly expand your business and add value where it counts.
Harnessing the power of social media is a necessity to see business growth, if you’re not currently using social media for your business, you can be assured that your competitors are and you will miss out on many opportunities to reach your customers.
There is no end to the opportunities that are available to you as a business owner when it comes to social media and managing it properly with marketing campaigns. If you are not yet in a place where your business is using social media, it’s time to start working on your first campaign and embracing the online marketing world.
You may have a fantastic product or offer excellent services – but how are you reaching new clients to be able to increase your sales? Social media is an extension of word of mouth advertising and an avenue that is essential to any business and marketing plan.
So how can you be consistent and get the best out of your social media marketing?
Discover your best networks
There are many channels for social media available, but we believe that to market your business well, you need to focus on the channels that best fit your customer. Spreading yourself thin and trying to post and keep up to date with every platform going will not only be bad for your health (time and pressure wise), it could reflect badly on your business and professionalism may slip.
Take time to research the different social media networks and see where your ideal audience is present the most. Follow conversations and trends that relate to your industry and then where you find the majority of your audience, that’s where you need to be! From there you can put real focus in directly targeting the people you want to reach and provide value to them in their comfort zones.
Create mind blowing and creative content
We all know that social media can be pool of never ending posts and images, and many of these will pass people by without thought. Therefore, you need to create content that is eye catching and meaningful, showing your audience that you care and are passionate about your values. What do you want to showcase? What does your business believe in? Use the answers to these questions to create posts that people will aspire to and will want to engage with.
It’s fine to share other people’s posts and to get on board with other causes but remember that you too have something to offer that is of value and worth sharing. Always have in mind that with every post that you create – it needs to add value to someone, somewhere. You are trying to reach a potential customer in a busy chaotic world, so speak loudly and with authority and be seen and heard above the rest.
Just remember that there is no such thing as social media marketing without content!
We have seen it so often that people start a business social media account, keep it going for a few weeks with some great content, but then everything stops. A few months later there may be a few more sporadic posts, and then it stops again.
When it comes to social media, you need to be consistent. Yes it can be time consuming and yes it does take effort to manage effectively – but when performed correctly, it will have massive benefits to your business. If you’re struggling for time to manage social media, consider hiring a social media manager to lighten the load. The cost of hiring a social media manager will be balanced out and then cancelled out by the brand awareness and business growth that you will see going forward.
Plan and schedule and create a marketing plan that reflects your business. Post regularly to your networks and be interactive with your audience. This is a great way to provide an outstanding customer service experience that may at times be lost when a business is not consistent on social media.
Engage with your audience
Social media is all about engagement. It’s about understanding what you clients are looking for and giving them solutions. Social media is not a place to sit back and watch the world go by! People want to know that there is a human behind the business and by engaging and interacting with individuals and providing a great user experience, people are more likely to buy from you or to recommend your services. Networking and building relationships builds trust and loyalty. Understanding your audience will enable to you reach them and to target their specific needs. That’s when they will see your value and know that you really do want to help them.
Just like any part of a business, marketing is an important aspect and for it be effective, it needs to be done correctly. Online marketing is often over looked or pushed to the back burner but if you consider what power social media has to drive your business forward and to increase your bottom line, there is absolutely no reason why any business should not be using it!
If you’d like assistance in getting started or putting together a marketing strategy that fits your business model, get in touch, we’d love to chat with you.