Build Rather Than Lose Business

July 19, 2018

Owning and operating a small business or SME is tough. One time, it’s in the startup phase and later on, hopefully, it’s in the growth stage. Owners spend a significant amount of time managing daily operations from the time the business opens until it closes. There are many “must” things to do: review financial statements, order inventory, work on marketing, supervise employees, increase revenue, reduce expenses, try to figure out how to operate more efficiently, and the list goes on. With all these things to do, there is certainly little time to even plan for the future. Day in and day out, it’s the same pattern. No wonder, it’s tough running a small business. It's even tougher running a profitable small business that is not only successful but continues to have annual grow.

The Easy Part

So, is anything easy about operating a small business? Oh, yes! It’s absolutely easy to lose customers and clients. There’s really little work involved. Customers can be lost without even trying!

•    Customers not treated as a priority.

    o    The next time around, customers switch to the competition.

•    Nonexistent customer service and follow-up:

    o    The next time around, customers switch to the competition.

•    Email and phone call inquiries returned days later.

    o    The next time around, customers switch to the competition.

•    Product or service quality is lacking.

    o    The next time around, customers switch to the competition.

•    Purchasing or placing an order is a hassle.

    o    The next time around, customers switch to the competition.

These are general and easy ways to lose business without even trying. Obviously, you get the picture and could add numerous other items that compel customers to go elsewhere. Regardless of the business type, not taking care of customers leads them to a quick exit to the competition. 

Revolving Door Syndrome

Long-term, sustainable growth in a small business is dependent on recurring customers. Building a strong base and continuously adding to it through the sale of quality products and services that provide benefits and solutions to customers' needs takes a business from stagnation to elevation. 

The revolving door syndrome of customers in and customers out creates stagnation. Sales and profits in a business cannot grow when the customer base remains the same. For many small businesses, this is the case when little is done to acquire new customers and satisfy and retain old customers.

Reverse the Trend

When so much effort goes into starting, building, and operating a business, owners should never stop working on the very foundation that makes the business...customer satisfaction. Customers should know they are valued, and employees should learn how to demonstrate this value to customers. Satisfied customers, both new and returning, are a main ingredient that builds a successful business along with quality products and services, dedicated employees, superior service, etc.

The Future

Since it is so easy to lose business without even trying, let the competition do this easy work. You do the hard work by keeping customers satisfied all the time rather than just part of the time. Encourage customers to repeat their buying experience over and over by having a business philosophy that customer satisfaction is a top priority. Build a successful business by satisfying one customer at a time.