When you are in business, it can feel as if there is a very fine line between success and failure. Of course, when you are a small business, the line becomes even more minuscule. You may be the only decision maker, the only person “invested” in the success of the company. Oftentimes, in the pursuit of the next dollar, many business owners neglect a few fundamental pieces of the business that directly impact the level of success.
There are, however, some things that set apart the successful from those that falter. In fact, there are some specific things that successful small businesses always do. So, what are they?
4 Things Successful Businesses Always Do
Onboard their new staff.
One of the most important aspects of successful small businesses is that they are not run as a solo mission. They hire staff, and they don’t leave success to chance with their staff. Staff members are crucial in any type of business, but in a small one, they can easily make or break your success.
Of course, that means choosing the right staff, and motivating them in the right way is essential. However, what often sets apart a successful small business from a less successful one is the time and effort put into onboarding new hires.
Onboarding is the process of induction and training that you put your new staff through. The aim of this being that new staff become fully functional team members as quickly as possible.
In fact, by investing some time and energy into your new staff in the beginning, you can boost your business’s potential for success twice. First, in terms of their performance. While secondly, being thoroughly integrated, they much more likely to be happy in their work and stay with you over the long term as well.
The onboarding process is one that should not be taken lightly. After all, it is incumbent upon you as the business owner to ensure all staff members have the right tools and training they need to succeed. Whether you’re bringing on a part-time VA or making your first employee hire, you don’t want to leave it up to the staff. Creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) will help to facilitate a smooth onboarding process for everyone involved.
Stay ahead of SEO trends.
Next, another action that successful businesses take is to make sure their website can always be found. After all, it’s not much use to anyone hiding away in some obscure corner of the internet. Not only do customers need to find your business online, but they need to visit your website and stay a while. A sticky website populated with relevant information will help to convert more new visitors into leads and customers.
Of course, to make sure that as many potential customers can connect with their website as possible, such businesses make a point of staying ahead of the SEO trends.
In fact, the current trend is to link your business geographically to the location you serve. Something that finding a firm offering the best local SEO marketing possible can help you do. In fact, by optimizing for a location as well as other keywords, you can make sure your small business always come up before your competitors in search results. This being something that will very decidedly contribute to a higher level of success.
Review their product.
Another thing that successful small businesses do is to make a habit of reviewing, quality testing and evaluating their product. In fact, such companies make a habit of constantly checking to see if the quality is high, or if any changes can be made to what they are offering. Something that allows them to ensure they continue to provide the best solution for their customers. As a result, they can proactively work to maintain their success in the marketplace.
Some may think that this is only useful for tangible product based companies. However, a regular review and evaluation of any product or service offered is a smart way to manage and improve quality. For example, if you deliver digital goods in the form of information products or software downloads, you can review different facets of the product. From the ordering process, abandoned cart emails, to the delivery of the goods, every piece of the systems can be evaluated. Does the digital product need to be updated to fit current trends?
No matter what kind of products and service you offer, customer service can be reviewed and continuously improved. There are many facets of the customer experience that directly impact the bottom line. One such facet if the buying process. There are many companies that streamline the ordering process. Conversely, there are companies that make the sales process a logistical nightmare, So run a thorough check: Is the customer experience delightful, or dreadful?
If you’re not certain of the answer, implement the next thing all successful small businesses do: ask and listen.
Finally, successful small businesses listen to their customers.
When you are a small business, every, single, customer, matters. Every. Single. Customer. What this means is that you must find ways of communicating with your customers. Oh, and that you listen to what they have to say, as well.
In fact, even as a small business, you are selling much more than just a product, you are offering an experience. Therefore knowing what your customers think about this and how it could be tweaked to suit their needs better is essential. That is, if you want to maximize your success.
There are many ways to listen to your prospects and customers. For example, you can review your social media feeds, and the feeds of your competitors. Customers will often take to social media to say the good and definitely the bad about a company. Instead of taking offense, use this feedback as your R&D lab to direct improvements within the company.
Next, you embed 1-3 question surveys at various stages of the buying process to find out what prospective customers are thinking, and their feelings about the user experience. Third, you can use technology such as text messaging and Facebook messenger to contact customers to follow up on their purchase. Using tech in a non-intrusive way will make customers more likely to offer feedback.
Successful small businesses are not perfect, but they do some things very well. Use this post as a guideline to build and improve your framework as you work to grow your own business. Look at the different factors listed, and determine where you are excelling, as well the areas in which you need to improve.
Is your business doing these 4 things? Do you have an area that can be improved? Share in the comments!