Businesses are facing a change-or-die time. The way that we have done business for a long time is being overturned, and has been changing for the past few years. There’s a lot of uncertainty and a lot of fear as to how to be successful, especially with some customers locking up their wallets tighter than ever. So how do businesses prepare? What changes can you make to your business in this time of transition? While we’re not through the transition, three items are becoming very apparent.
1) Businesses must be customer focused. You won’t get the money if you don’t focus on your customer. Show them that they matter to you. Don’t tell them how amazing you are, show/tell them what you can do for them. This may mean some redesigning of your business cards, web pages and advertisements. It is a small price to pay for more attention from potential customers.
2) Businesses must build relationships. This means building trust with your clients. It means going the extra mile to support your customers. Even taking the time to converse with them and really find out where they’re coming from and what they are looking for. Build confidence that you can help them, or confidently refer them to someone who would be a better fit for helping them achieve their desires and hopes (if you don’t build log cabins, just ‘traditional’ homes, don’t start building log cabins just for the money).
3) Businesses should have a win-win-win attitude. 3 wins: a win for your customers, a win for your alliances and partners, and a win for you/your business. It’s not a competitors game now, it’s a win-win opportunity. You support me, I support you type attitude. Talk and partner with companies that can refer you clients, and you can do the same back (a cake decorator partners with an event planner for example). Partner with them so you can support each other. When your customer wins, you win too. They will not only pay you, but they will probably have repeat services with you and refer their friends to you.
The bottom line is, you cannot stay how you are, doing business as you are. The people and markets are looking for something different. You can either be part of the change movement or be swept away. What is your choice?