As we enter a new year and a new decade, you can bet that entrepreneurs up and down the country are gripped with a renewed desire to change their companies for the better.
Change is difficult and takes effort. Stronger growth, increased profits and competitive advantage reward that effort.
Some will succeed – many will fail.
Why so many fail
Today, even the most successful business model is temporary. The only constant is change. Lasting success is about changing quickly and often.
You don’t get better business results by continuing to do the same thing. You have to keep one step ahead of the competition.
"It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change." - Charles Darwin
And yet, despite best intentions, many businesses change far too slowly, if at all.
- Is it because it seems less risky to cling on to “tried and tested” ways of working?
- Perhaps, you mistake minor improvements for fundamental change?
- Or, you simply hope that what worked well in the past will keep on delivering in the future?
Until of course you realise - sometimes far too late - that you are flogging the proverbial dead horse.
Use technology to change the game
If you find yourself flogging a dead horse, the solution is to dismount and find a new, more modern mode of transport.
One way to achieve this is to upgrade the technology that you use to run and manage your business. This is especially relevant if you run a small business with few people.
You should seek to reduce manual, repetitive tasks that divert your teams away from revenue earning activities.
Wherever possible, invest in automation for workflow management, accounting, and even customer service.
The cost of such investment has fallen dramatically in recent years due to the advent of cloud computing and mobile apps.
Moreover, innovative platforms such as Okappy can be accessed through a monthly subscription, avoiding upfront costs and paying back in real-time through improved efficiency gains.
Using automation technology in the back office can make a big difference. You can of course automate many of your sales and marketing activities such as email and social media marketing to increase your reach and amplify your message.
This will allow you to concentrate on 3 customer facing priorities that will ensure that your business changes for the better in 2020.
Ask your customers how you can serve them better
When you’ve been in business for a long time, it’s tempting to think that you’ve got your customers’ needs covered.
Sure, you are good at what you do, but could you be better? Could you offer improved services?
The best way of finding out is to ask your customers how well you performed and what you could do better next time around.
Again, technology such as Okappy can automate this task and the data collected can be used to drive increased customer satisfaction and revenue.
Encourage customers reviews
The more you learn about your customer needs and preferences, the more you’ll be able to adapt your business and obtain positive customer reviews.
In B2C markets reviews influence buying decisions more than traditional advertisements and consumer marketing. What’s more, they are easy to collect. Invite consumers to post reviews on your Google My Business or Facebook page. Or sign-up to a dedicated review site such as Trustpilot.
In B2B markets customer testimonials have the power to strengthen a company’s credibility and encourage potential new customers to make contact. Make sure that your website showcases testimonials from all your satisfied customers.
Be more social
You are probably already on social media but are you making the most of it?
These days it is not enough to have a Facebook page and a Twitter account where you occasionally post news and updates when you find that rarest of all commodities – free time.
You may need to increase the number of platforms you operate on. Does your product or service lend itself to visual marketing by posting images on Instagram or Pinterest? Are you customers wanting to interact with you on WhatsApp as well as email?
If so, go with it. But don’t forget to make your life easier by automating all your social media activity posting by using HubSpot or Buffer. Or subcontracting it entirely to a specialist social media agency.
Finally, don’t restrict yourself to posting about products and services. Be more social. Share your mission, your charitable causes, your company values, your expertise and your goals for the future.
In a sea of seemingly similar small businesses, dare to be different. It pays dividends.
If you enjoyed this post, please read more business insights on his blog https://www.chrisdunnconsulting.co.uk/blog/
About Chris Dunn
Chris Dunn Consulting helps you to unlock the power of the aftermarket to create brand value, customer loyalty and long term competitive advantage.
Why choose Chris Dunn Consulting to help you to grow your business?
- 30 years experience in marketing, sales and service in B2B and B2C environments.
- Specialist knowledge of how to drive revenue and profits from service and after sales operations.
- Full range of services from consultancy to project management and business coaching.
- Testimonials from market leading companies who have benefitted from advice and support to help them to drive productive change in their service organisations.
For more information please visit www.chrisdunnconsulting.co.uk or call Chris or Michelle on 01487 843599
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