It’s understandable that you want your business to do well. After all, you started it to fulfil a need or solve a problem you had. Whether that need was to be your own boss or your problem was childcare costs or redundancy, your initial drive to start your business was something YOU were looking to fulfil.
However, if you want your business to be successful moving forward, you need to change where your motivation or focus is. In short – your business focus needs to be on your CLIENTS.
As business owners, we should be running our businesses focusing on what is in the best interests of our clients, not us. So, how can you effectively change that focus?
Create products your customer wants
We like to think we know what our customer needs and wants. We frequently get sparks of a great idea for a new product or service, that we’re SURE our customers will love? But do we REALLY know? We need to test our ideas, on our clients and potential customers, BEFORE we follow through on those great ideas.
Another common error small business owners make, is to opt for the product that is the quickest or easiest to produce. Again, this is focusing on what WE want (i.e., simplicity). We may love creating video courses or hosting teleseminars – but is this the best way YOUR clients learn? Is this your client’s preferred method of receiving information? In the same vein, a 5-day challenge may be quick and easy to produce – but is the timescale too short for your clients to really see a change in their situation?
Build relationships with your customers
Nobody likes to be seen as just a number, so don’t look at your clients as sales figures or steps to get you to your desired income level. One reason why people love buying from smaller businesses, is they feel they’re more personal. They feel like they matter and they make a difference. People will buy from those people they know, like and trust – and they won’t feel that way, if you’re only interested in making the sale.
Take the time to get to know the people you interact with. Whether they’ve bought from you or signed up for your opt-in, look to build a long-term relationship with them. Get to know their problems, their preferences and their needs – and then see how you can help them find solutions. Be interested in their stories, their journey and their successes; celebrate their wins with them!
Give your clients the support they deserve
Whether you’re a Virtual Assistant, a coach or an alternative therapist, your existing and potential clients are looking for some form of support. As mentioned above, you need to give them the solutions they’re looking for and take the time to build a relationship with them – and this doesn’t stop when they’ve made a sale.
What type of support do they want moving forward? Setting up a Facebook group may give them a sense of community – but are they on Facebook, or do you need to look for an in-person solution? You may prefer they email you with queries – but would a phone call provide a better, more valuable level or support for them?
When it comes to running a successful business, what you see as the fastest and easiest options, may not be in the best interests of your customers. It’s understandable that you want your business to grow, especially if you’re just starting out, however, if you focus too much on what you want (customers, sales, income etc.), you could come across as to self-absorbed or too desperate. You then run the risk of having short term success, but with no longevity or, at worse, alienating the very people who can help you achieve those things.
If you want to have long term success, you need to get out of your own way, focus on your clients – and then give them what they want.
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