You might be handicapping your company Â and not even know it. These are several of the ways you are not helping your business.
Small business ownersÂ want to do everything they can to help theirÂ company succeed. Unfortunately, there are some things many organizations fail to do that only prevent them from being even better. Here are seven things you aren’t doing that is not helping your business.
You’re not open consistent hours
You don’t necessarily have to hold traditional office hours of 9-5 M-F to be consistent. Maybe you’re a dental office that is only open 10-4 Tuesday-Friday, but you have hours from noon until 7 on Mondays. Perhaps you’re a pizza joint that is open from 2 until 10 Sunday Â through Thursday and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. What the actual schedule happens to be is irrelevant here. The point is that as a business you need to decide what your hours will be and stick to it. One great way to upset potential customers is to state that you’re open until 7 and then be closed when they come by at 5:30. People scorned by your inconsistent hours are likely to never come back and try again. And you can bet they’ll let others know about their disappointing experience too.
You’re not willing to spend money on things with a good, proven ROI
Whoever said that you have to spend money to make money isn’t exactly correct 100% of the time. You don’t necessarily have to spend money to make some. However, if you want your business to make MORE money, then you’d better invest in it. If you’re making $1 on each widget you sell, but you can only make 100 widgets per day, you’re going to make $100. Yes, you’re making money. But what if you could invest $1000 into your widget production and increase your output to 120 widgets per day? Now you’re making $120 each day. Sure, it can be intimidating to drop that extra grand into your business when you don’t get it back immediately. But after 50 days you’ve paid it off and now you’re making 20% more each day. This is an incredibly simple example, but the message remains: if you’re going to end up with a good return on your investment, whatever it may be, don’t be afraid to get out your check book.
You’re not using social media
So the last topic was about spending money, but this one can be free. All you have to do is put in a little time. Connect with your fans, keep people in the loop on what your business is up to, stay top of mind, offer some specials to get people in the door, provide information about your company, attract new customers, engage with you community, and on and on. There really is a whole long list of things you can do with social media. It may seem overwhelming, but just pick a platform and get started.
You’re not answering every phone call
Every call you fail to answer is a lost opportunity. When someone calls your business you are presented with a chance to either provide great service for an existing client or you have the opportunity to bring on a new client. Missing calls, letting them go to voicemail, or even allowing the phone ring for a long time puts a bad taste in a caller’s mouth. Prospective new customers who can’t reach you right away are likely to hang up and just call your competitor. Sure, it can sound like a big challenge to answer every call quickly, especially on a 24/7 basis, but that’s what an answering service is for. They act as an extension of your business to ensure that you never miss another opportunity.
You’re not tracking lead data
So you brought on a new customer or client. That’s great! But why not get more out of them than just their money? Mine every lead that comes in, (whether you sell them or not) to find out how they heard about your business. This is how you know which advertising and marketing efforts are actually working. You getting found online? Maybe you should spiff up your web presence or consider some online advertising to bring in even more leads. Did you get a new customer through a referral? Perhaps you should consider developing a referral program to entice your existing customer base to refer you more business. Basically, get as much info as you can from your leads so you can get even more of them.
You’re not collecting customer information
It’s all well and good when someone comes into your store and buys something from you. But then they walk out the door and all you’ve got is a few extra dollars in the register. Wouldn’t it be better if you at least had their email address too so you could include them in your newsletter email list or notify them of special events or deals your company is running? Get as much customer info as you can though! Address, phone number, job title, anything you can get your hands on so that you can not only learn more about your customer base, but also so you have another chance to reach out to them and entice them to walk through your door again.
You’re not providing great customer service
Everyone knows that it’s far more cost effective to keep a customer than to get a new one. So why wouldn’t you provide over-the-top exceptional customer service in order to hold onto your current clients? Plus, the more they love you, the more likely they are to tell people about you. Customer retention is a big deal, and one of the best ways to make sure you do well in that arena is to focus on providing great customer service.
So there you have it. If you’re a business owner then odds are you are not doing one or more of these things, and that’s not helping your company. Maybe you really do have all those boxes checked, but ask yourself, are any of them areas that you could be doing more to help your business succeed?