Business success tips - including in times of chaos
We all like to think we’ve got it all together and that we and our businesses are infallible. Recently, we’ve all had to take a long hard look in the mirror (now we have the time) and realise that we, and they, are not necessarily invincible.
There is good news though, we can always learn and change, I’m going to help you with exactly that with these business success tips - for use in times of chaos and plain sailing.
Keep your business safe
‘What does that even mean?’ I hear you cry. Well, for starters, answer me this: What do you class as your business?
What did you answer?
Most of us would initially answer the product or service we provide or the industry we place ourselves in. What many of us will fail to mention, or at least would have done until now, are our people. Our Customers, Employees, Suppliers etc. You can have the tallest, shiniest building on the block, the snazziest products and coolest service, but if there are no people to deliver or purchase them, there is no business.
Before we roll out the whole Business Continuity Plan, let's start with what you can control: the safety of your people. Whether we’re in a Global Pandemic or the latest transport strike, have a pre-agreed means of keeping your employees updated with the latest news, developments, regulations and ‘checking-in’ arrangements. Workplace duty of care and safety goes so much further than the time your team is actually in the building(s).
Postpone events, services or appointments where necessary
None of us want to feel we’ve let someone down, but life happens, including global events beyond our control (plus freak weather conditions etc.).
Customers will be much more appreciative when they clearly see we put them first, especially if we sweeten the deal with a little something extra.
If you’ve had to cancel last minute, introduce them to a new product or service ‘taster’ for free when they return. Offer a discount for postponements or alterations to service (everyone loves a discy). For memberships or packages, extend or waive the expiration date i.e. give them extra time to benefit from your services when they resume.
Transparency and speed
We live in an instant economy and society and our customers expect the same, no matter what. Have systems in place where you can quickly inform them of changes - good and bad, including what this means and how you are managing it. Keep them updated and make them feel involved where possible through web chats, email newsletters and social media posts.
If the time comes where you have to change something or provide refunds, do this quickly and seamlessly. Again, keep people informed as to why and how this is happening and when they can expect to see the funds credited back to them. By making this an easy process for customers, they’re more likely to trust and return to you again, especially if your refer back to ‘Postpone Events’ above and the discy / voucher comment.
Keep people informed
While focussing on what is in front of us is simple, even the most dedicated social media and web guru can forget to update these crucial communication platforms when we’re up against it. Identify each of the touch-points your customers go through to reach you. Make sure everything they need to know about your products and service, including changes or temporary arrangements, is easily accessible, concise and up to date.
Get out of your bubble
We can plan until the n'th degree, but there will always be that blank piece of paper left over, the one that we cannot foresee and plan for. This is when getting creative and thinking on our feet comes into its own.
Be open to new ideas or even those you previously dismissed. Canvas team opinion and look outside of your business for help, to friends, fellow business owners, professionals such as me who are experts in this.
There is no cut and paste guide to this, but there is always a way to find a solution that is right for you and your business.
So there you have it, my tried and tested tips for business success. I’d love to hear what you found most helpful.
If you liked these tips you can have more like these and other musings delivered to your inbox every fortnight by letting me know here.
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