As an experienced business owner, who has also worked in a number of small businesses and also previously been a business bank manager with a large high street bank in the UK, it has been in the most recent months that I have learned massive amounts about business, marketing and customers. During difficult economic times, like those being experienced right now across the world, most people spend most of their time working in their business to try and keep their heads above water and work extremely hard trying to survive. This is totally 'screwed up' thinking which is absolutely exhausting. <br />
Most business owners would be better off stepping out of their business and taking time to look at things objectively and looking at how their business works and how best to work to their strengths. This could be a complete audit of your business systems which could include marketing, customer acquisition, customer sales processes, the actual value of your clients, ways to leverage your existing client bank, reducing costs, and generally being more efficient about what you do. Having researched this area greatly, I have found that this is the best way to produce a great, efficient and successful business. Some business owners I have worked with do not know what their turnover is, they don't know their costs, they don't understand cash flow, they don't understand the value of their clients, the products or services they offer and worse of all make the fatal mistake all businesses make which can have the biggest impact on them as a business.
They always go after the new money or the new clients. ALWAYS! The reality is that the money is in the 'list'! I.e. their existing client 'list' and their existing client relationships. This is one of the most neglected areas I have ever come across when looking at businesses that are struggling. As they chase the new clients and the new money, the existing clients get neglected. The result.....their clients go to someone else for something cheaper, better service, to feel loved or whatever. Ultimately they feel neglected so it's easy to come up with a reason. Most business plans or marketing plans I see all talk about the new money and new clients. Very rarely do they make mention to what they already have and sit down and look at ways to leverage those clients. I have seen businesses leverage their clients with great success and subsequently had so much business they couldn't handle it all!!! Now wouldn't that be nice? Following this article I hope that if nothing else that you remember these words, 'If you don't look after your customers, someone else WILL! I am also a great believer in where possible, do the work 'extremely well' once and it will repay you for a lifetime!!
I have been in the process of bringing all my business experiences together and distilling this into an eBook which will be supported by email to help businesses devise strategies and find ways to utilise what they currently have to be more successful and robust. I genuinely believe that all businesses can be fantastic and believe this can be achieved be with focus, strategy and purpose! your business success.