It is imperative for businesses to adapt in this uncertain world. Here are my top 5 tips on business survival.
1. Focus completely on satisfying your customers. Develop a true customer focus. Understand that customers always go where they get good value, they go where they are treated well, and when the value isn’t obvious or when the level of service slips, the customer slips away. Identify your target customer; the more you know about your customers, the easier it is to serve them well.
2. Gather and analyse management information regularly. You need strategic information on your own business in order to know what’s really going on and to make wise decisions based on accurate, timely information. Use whatever technology you have, even if it’s manual, to collect information in the following four areas: financial information, customer information, industry information, and market trends.
3. Sharpen your marketing skills. Marketing must consider your price levels, your product offerings, your place or location relative to the customer and their daily routines, your promotion efforts, your people, and your positioning within the market. All of these are important, but you have to decide what you will focus on and what customers are most sensitive about. Remember, marketing is learned by doing.
4. Increase the customer’s perception of value. Value is not the same as price. It also includes concerns of quality (are your products/services better?) and quantity (do you offer more than others?). But most customers are somewhat price sensitive. Instead of across-the-board mark-up, small businesses should consider variable pricing strategies.
5. Position the business uniquely. You aren’t one of the big guys, so don’t try to be just like them. Position yourself in areas where big business cannot compete with you, like friendliness and customer bonding. Where can you say, “We’re better because…”?
For more from Paul Davis visit his site www.davisbusinessconsultants.com