When running a small business there are a million things grabbing for your attention. But…. there is only so much time in the day, so you’ve got to make sure that every minute counts! Not only that, but you need to lead your organization to be profitable, efficient, and successful. Below are some tips to help you refocus your small business.
#1 | Focus on Tasks that Generate Revenue
You could spend hours on tasks that aren’t directly tied to revenue. Yes, a lot of those tasks are important, but if your business is not generating revenue, you’re going to run it into the ground. So, refocus your efforts on tasks that generate revenue for your business.
For the other tasks, like bookkeeping, marketing, and IT, you can always hire an outside expert. You can’t be amazing at everything, so spend your time leading, growing, and making your small business even better.
#2 | Focus on a Specific Audience
Should you go broad and create a product or service that will appeal to anyone and everyone? Or should you focus on a specific audience?
We think you should keep your focus smaller. When you cast your net too wide, your product or service just gets lost. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “find your niche,” but it’s not just a cliché. Focusing on a niche market, or subsets of markets, can help you find success. You’ll likely find you have less competition, and you’ll also become the expert with your product or service that your customers are looking for.
#3 | Ask Focused Questions
Ask “why?” when you receive feedback. You’ll hear from your customers, employees, and strangers. Don’t ignore the feedback, ask “why?” It may take a little bit of time to find out exactly what the person is trying to tell you, but it is definitely worth your time. You’ll gain valuable knowledge related to your business.
Ask unique questions to get thoughtful answers. If you ask customers simple questions like, “Did you like it?” or “What did you think?”, you’ll probably get simple, not so helpful answers. Try asking a unique question like, “What surprised you about…..?” This helps catch them a little off guard and gives them a unique way to think about your product/service so you’ll get more useful information.
#4 | Focus on Training Everyone on Customer Service
A customer’s perception of your businesses isn’t solely dependent on your product/service. If you’ve got a great product, but the people they dealt with had a bad attitude, they probably won’t be coming back. But say you’ve got a product that could use some improvement, even with something to be desired from a product perspective, if they deal with fantastic people with fantastic attitudes, they’ll probably be coming back because they enjoyed the experience.
In every business, customer service is actually everyone’s job. From the second the customer walks in the door, calls in, emails, or sees your website online, they get a perception of your businesses, even without thinking about it. Every person associated with your business they encounter can make or break the way they feel about your company. That’s why it’s important that every employee’s attitude, every interaction with your business, is excellent. Now that will keep your customers coming back. It will also help the customer feel comfortable sharing ideas for improving your product or service to make it even better.
So how do you make sure all your employees have that excellent attitude and ability to make that interaction with the customer great every time? Training! I’m not talking about one-time boring training, I’m talking about using simple repetitive phrases that get drilled into their heads, that become part of the culture at your business. I’m talking about day-to-day training that happens during normal interactions with your employees, simply by the words you use, and what you choose to focus on.
#5 | Focus on Quality Over Cost
Cheaper isn’t always better. It may be appealing, but the cheapest option isn’t usually worth it. Choosing a service provider, supplier, product, or employee because they are “cheaper” will almost always result in lower quality. So the question is, do you want to be known for low quality? I think I know the answer to that question!
Maybe you choose to go with the cheapest phone or internet provider…. then you end up dealing with outages and horrible customer service…. costing you real money in lost customer confidence.
Maybe you go with an with a cheaper employee, once you can pay less…. you’ll probably get what you pay for… they’ll be less productive and less dependable.
There are times when cheaper is better, but don’t forget that most of the time, you really need higher quality.