There’s stiff competition out there for nearly every business, but you don’t have to wait half a lifetime to succeed with your startup. Done right, you can see major business success in just a few years. Try these top tactics for quickly building a booming business that’s based on a strong foundation and built to last.
Prize Quality and Value over Profit
Too many companies focus their business model on providing goods as quickly and cheaply as possible while pricing them as high as the market will allow. Instead of placing all the importance on profit, center your business plan on quality and value. Strive to produce the best product you possibly can at the most reasonable price you can afford. This focus places more value on the customer than the dollar and will serve you much better in the long run. Always consider the value of a decision to your customer before you consider the value to yourself.
The business world is continuously changing, and you must change with it to keep up with the latest trends. A fear of change will cause ruin long before the decade is out. While it’s undeniably frightening to face the growing e-book industry as a print publisher, or the rise and fall of popular products in the tech industry, you’ll never stay ahead if you can’t embrace the change, adapt quickly and roll along with the wave of innovation.
Build a Powerful Business Network
Networking is a timeless tactic for business success that’ll never go out of style. Though much of today’s networking takes place in the digital world rather than at cocktail parties, the value of those connections is the same. Build a network of professionals who can help you on all levels, including mentors, suppliers and peers. Keep in regular touch with your most valuable contacts and make sure they don’t hear from you only when you need a favor.
Meet Your Customer Face to Face
Social media marketing has its place in the business world, but it shouldn’t completely replace the face-to-face meeting. Your customers are far more likely to remember someone they’ve shaken hands with than someone they saw on a Facebook page. Stock up on those classic giveaways like custom pens, and hit the trade shows, conventions and industry events most relevant to your business. Make personal connections and give each person a little takeaway to help them remember you.
Build a Strong Corporate Culture
Create a company that employees are excited to be a part of and they’ll become walking advertisements for your business. If you’re known as a popular employer in your field or local area, people will want to know what you’re all about. Employees will also perform better, giving you a stronger company overall when you take the time to unite everyone as a team. Provide support, feedback, and honest interactions with all your employees. Managers should realize their job is about keeping their subordinates happy and not about appeasing superiors. The end result is a win-win for all involved.
Give Your Customers Added Value
It’s nearly impossible to find an industry where you don’t face stiff competition, so you need to find a way to make your company stand out. Find creative ways to go above and beyond. Make a personal connection with your customers and give them a product or service that goes above and beyond their expectations. Whether this means sending out a personal thank you note to your new buyers or offering free personalization to make your product more special, those little extras will add up to repeat customers and long-term success.
Understand the Financial Side
If you’re not a finance major, you don’t have to give up on your dreams of entrepreneurship, but you should realize that you’ll need some help. Hire a professional to help you manage funds so you’re not wasting money or making poor decisions because you’re ignorant of your financial situation. In the early years of your business, it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on your bottom line and track where every penny goes. If you’re not an expert in this area yourself, make sure you’re working with someone who is.
Create a Focused Business Plan
Set out a detailed business plan for your company and stick with it. If you’re lucky enough to enjoy wild success in the early years of your business venture, you may be tempted to sprout a dozen offshoots and multiply your success. If people love your unique shoe designs, you might reason that they’ll love your jewelry and clothing just as much. If your original business plan made no mention of branching out into apparel, hold back on this until you’re well established and have plenty of capital to spare. Sometimes your original idea is best.
Strive for consistency on all fronts. Maintain a high level of quality at all times. Keep all the products in your line on the same level so buyers don’t fall in love with the high quality of one item only to find that you’re scrimping on something else. Train your staff to provide consistent customer service and empower them to really help the customer. No one likes waiting on hold through three supervisors to find someone who can actually make a change. Give your employees the power to really resolve problems.
The old adage, “honesty is the best policy,” may seem dated, but it’s actually true. Your employees want honesty on the state of the business, and your customers want honesty in their dealings with you. If you’ve made a mistake, fess up. Customers may see through a hasty cover up and judge you harshly for it. Your openness will make a better impression.
Follow these tips and you’ll enjoy more than just a quick rise to a booming business. You’ll enjoy the added benefit of a strong company that’s built to last, so you can enjoy your success for many decades to come.
Abigail Clark is an up-and-coming freelance writer. She graduated from The University of South Florida with a bachelors in marketing, minoring in journalism. When she isn’t up to her neck in coupons she is enjoying the outdoors fishing. She loves doing reviews for technology, home products and beauty products. If you would like her to do a review for you look her up on twitter @downtownabby17.
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