Every small business owner wants to make money. Without a steady infusion of cash, your business will die. Making money, however, is not enough — you need to make a profit too. Operating at a loss is not a sustainable business model. Here’s how to turn your small business into a profitable venture.
1. Wow them with your customer service. Provide what your customers want and they’ll be satisfied. Go a bit beyond the minimum and they’ll be gratified. Provide a level of service that is peerless and they’ll be tantalized.
What kind of service does your business offer? Are there ways you can improve your product or delivery? Your business can’t simply be like other businesses. You need to find the industry’s benchmark and raise that bar higher. Let your customers know that they’re receiving the best service bar none.
2. Be a help and then some. The reason why people buy your products or choose your services is because you offer to them something they want. They have a need and you fill it. But you need to go beyond a basic need and attempt to find out what customers want personally. That extra effort on your part can help bring more sales your way.
For instance, if you operate an Internet Service Provider business, you may find that your customers are not happy with their connection speed. You won’t necessarily know about this problem without asking them. Thus, it is important to gauge what your customers need by learning what obstacles are in the way. Then, you sell them a better product that will help them.
3. Be a master of pricing. The prices you ask should not be set in stone. In fact, they may adjust according to market conditions and supplier costs. You cannot, however, move your prices up and down without much thought. Indeed, you should understand what your costs are and what the market will bear.
Some customers are extremely price sensitive and will take their business elsewhere the moment you raise them. You can overcome resistance by articulating how your costs change. Furthermore, you must convey what type of benefits you offer for the price. If you mastered the first point, customer service, then you have more wiggle room with prices.
4. Show yourself friendly. Business exchanges these days can be highly impersonal. Some people are put off by the impersonal nature, while others shrug their shoulders and overlook such slights. Typically, the overlookers are the same people that care about price and nothing more.
Because you have already established excellent customer service and are a proven helper, you have built up much goodwill. Take that goodwill to establish a more personalized relationship with your best customers. Sending them a personal note, making a call or delivering a product to the business yourself demonstrates excellent business acumen. Your friendly efforts won’t go unnoticed either as you present a positive impression about yourself and your venture. Thus, you not only can increase customer retention, but your happy customers will spread the word about your business.
If you want to maximize your profits, then you have go the extra mile with your customers. Never settle for the ordinary when the extraordinary is the only thing that will set your enterprise apart from the pack.
See Also — Business Referrals and How to Get Them