Whether you are starting out or have an established business you are wanting to grow there are some actions you need to take if you want to succeed quickly.
The first step to finding success is to make sure you be the best business you can. If you sell products you are better selling great products than cheap knock-offs. Businesses who sell poor products and services might con the marketplace for a short time, but in general, you will be found out and as much as word of mouth can grow a business it is very quick at killing those who fail to deliver what they promise.
This means you keep developing your skills, and developing your staffs’ skills if you offer a service and you check and if possible test any products you represent.
My grandfather was a cobbler and owned a very successful Shoe Store, and while I was growing up often I would visit and sit in the back room and observe him at work. I was there a few times when salesmen would arrive with shoes they were trying to promote for my grandad to sell in his store. The first thing grandad would do is test the quality by bending the shoes often from toe to heal. On one occasion I watched in awe as he bent the shoe and it totally fell apart. Needless to say, that brand never made his shelves.
Grandad sold a variety of shoes with a range of prices from the very affordable to the upmarket shoes many of the wealthier customers would buy – they all had to pass his test. He also repaired shoes at a time when many shoe shops did not offer this service. I use to play with the scraps of leather and he would even watch over me when the shop was quiet and let me use the sewing machine. He would talk to me about the different leathers and quality, he was an expert at what he did. He used this knowledge to help customers (Especially families on a budget) and his reputation for providing a great customer service and great products had customers travelling to his store from miles away. He had built himself a great brand not only for his store but for himself.
This would not have happened if he did not have all three elements, provide a great service, sell great products and give great customer service.
Most successful business people understand the importance of networking and knowledge sharing. Networking is possibly the greatest way to create champions for your business. For people to trust you they need to get to know you and your personal brand is as important as the business you run. When you join a network, you must work it, attend meetings and present who you are and what your business is. Over time as people grow comfortable with you, they may try your products or services, and often they will recommend you just because you are that person they know from that network, that does that.
In today’s digital world you can also network with people thousands of miles away using online forums and social media groups.
Smart business owners do not just attend conferences for the information but get there because of the value of the networks they can establish, these can turn your local business into something much bigger if you build contacts, then relationships well enough.
All businesses need to market themselves, whether you have your logo on your car or you have invested in business cards, signs, or leased a building in a high traffic area. The key to marketing is to find out where your prospective customers hang out and make sure you are present. This may be the local radio station (TIP. listen to who is advertising and if they are prospective customers there is a good chance they will hear your advert while listening out for theirs). A well-read local newspaper (becoming rarer each year), it may be an industry magazine or an online community.
Going digital is almost a must these days that means having a MODERN responsive website (over 70% of first-time visitors will be with a mobile device) that people can find you on.
TIP: People trust a business with a great website and will try you before your competition, also, social media sites use websites as an indicator of a legitimate business. So don’t try and cut corners and just build a FREE Facebook page, invest in your website.
Before you go spending all your money on a website remember you will need some budget to help people find your website. Failure to do this is very common and can really hurt a new business. Luckily there are plenty of affordable options these days to build a high-quality web presence.
Cutting to the chase, if you own a business as well as registering your website as a ‘business’ on the major search engines like ‘Google My Business’ you should be building your social media presence, most likely on Facebook or Instagram. This is the most cost-effective way to promote your business and website.
You should also be building your personal brand and depending on what your business is that means thinking about using platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and whatever else comes out that attracts the people you want to sell to.
Don’t expect results overnight, you need to build trust and with marketing that is producing good quality content that explains the benefits of your business consistently and persistently. Once you are established with a great brand in your marketplace then the magic will start to happen.
I hope you found this information useful.
Personal Coach & Digital Marketing Consultant