Next week I’ll be sharing some tips for success in business this summer, a season that is a big success for some businesses, and the slow season for many others. This week however, I thought I’d share 5 of the things I notice consistently missing, lacking or failing in many businesses I work with.
A decent website: there’s no excuse to not have a nice looking website. Whether we like it or not people do still judge a book by the cover. It’s important to have all relevant information about your business, yourself and your offerings on the site, as well as several ways to contact you. Don’t forget to include relevant pictures, as well as a decent picture of you too. One final thought: everyone loves video, but any video or audio on your site should not start when people get to the site. Visitors should have to click on it to make it work.
Professionalism: I’ve met an unfortunate number of people who fit the unprofessional status. Somewhere along the lines of us advancing in many great ways in society, we’ve failed as far as communicating and caring for our fellow humans. We’ve left our good manners behind, have picked up bad habits and haven’t trained our staff in how to properly treat our very valuable customers.
Social strategy: Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn are all great marketing tools, but they lose value very quickly when you’re not updating them, aren’t sharing things people care about that are relevant to your business, and when all you do is promote and market on them. They’re social sites and people expect you to be there and socialize with them. If you don’t want to socialize, go live in the hills. There’s almost no way in our society today that no matter what job or business you have you won’t deal with customers and people in one way or another.
Multiple options: it’s great to have a fantastic product or service. It’s even better to have several fantastic products or levels of service. When you’ve only got one option, such as one weight loss vitamin or just manuscript proofreading, you’re missing out on up-selling, cross selling and often future selling opportunities to the same clients. Without multiple options, more often than not you’ll have to do the work to get new customers rather than continuing to work with those who already love what you do or sell.
Up to date: Selling outdated products or having old information on your website makes you look less professional, and doesn’t help new or newly interested customers. I can’t tell you the number of grocery stores I’ve gone in that have had outdated foods, or clients I’ve worked with who base their services on outdated information. Even if your products or services haven’t changed, it’s important to give the impression that they are just as current as the newest business in your industry.
The bottom line is this: put your best foot forward 100% of the time. Your customers will appreciate it and you’ll feel good about your business too.