Being a small business owner isn’t easy. One of the toughest aspects of entrepreneurship is continually engaging your customers. But it’s not as difficult as it seems if you are willing to put in a little effort on the front end. Here are six simple ways to improve your cash flow by making your customers happy:
- Master social media.
The internet has made self-marketing a possibility for small business owners and startups across the globe. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to instantly connect with current and potential customers. However, these tools are not a set-it-and-forget-it solution to online marketing. There’s more to it than simply making a post and counting likes and shares. This free ebook by Oberlo’s Bill Widmer is everything you need to know about Facebook advertising to help grow your bottom line. Business 2 Community offers instructions on how to manage Instagram ads.
- Conduct your own focus group.
When you’re planning your marketing strategy for the upcoming year, consider scheduling at least one focus group. It does not have to be anything elaborate. Reach out to a few of your best customers – and perhaps a few who were less-than-satisfied – and ask if they would be willing to engage in a roundtable discussion about your products or service. In return for their time, you could offer a small cash incentive or complimentary products.
- Keep your brand in your customer’s line of sight.
One of the most effective ways to keep your brand on the forefront of your customers’ thoughts is by providing useful items that bear your logo and contact information. A few of the most popular promotional products include pens, bag clips, earbuds,and coffee mugs. T-shirts and notebooks are also be valued by customers, although these can be expensive to customize.
- Patronize the competition.
You can bet your competition is keeping a close eye on you. Return the favor by spending some time and money in their establishment. Visiting the competition’s physical location is a great way to get a feel for what you are doing right and how you can improve your processes to do it even better. If you own a restaurant you might, for example, plan a staff dinner at your nearest competitor then discuss your employee’s observations.
- Outsource time-consuming tasks.
If you want to really improve customer satisfaction, you need to engage with them personally. If you’re stuck crunching numbers or answering the phone, consider outsourcing these or other time-consuming duties. If you’re on the smaller side of small business ownership and don’t have the available manpower to delegate responsibilities, consider hiring a personal assistant. This is an individual, who works as an independent contractor that can assist with customer service, research, inventory management, cold calling, data entry, and personal errands. An accounting service is another valuable partnership. According to AccountingDepartment.com, having the right bookkeeping service offers numerous benefits including helping you scale your business and develop healthy financial habits.
- Know your reputation.
Your online reputation matters. When your customers review your company, especially on Yelp, Facebook, Google, and other popular online search sites, their words become your reality. Stay aware of your online image. By simply performing a search of your company name, you can get a better picture of not only your reputation but your online visibility, too. If you’re having trouble capturing reviews, there are apps and companies that can help with that for a small monthly fee.
Your customers are the building blocks of your business. Keep them happy and they’ll stand strong with you in the good times and bad. Neglect them and your business will go stale.
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