5 steps to change your business for the better
Do you want your business to improve and be more successful?
Sometimes it’s got nothing to do with what you’re doing wrong at all. It’s just that you haven’t changed.
Other times, you actually are doing things wrong, but these can all be fixed.
In this article, we’ve broken down 5 easy steps you can take to change your business. Is there more than 5? You bet there is, this is just a start.
- Improve Your Processes
- Reassess Customer Expectations
- Do Something Different
- Increase Customer Value
- Assess Your Competition
Let’s get into it!
1 – Improve Your Processes
How long have you been running your business?
5, 10, maybe 20 years? It’s probably fair to say that things have changed since you started your business.
It might be technology has changed in your industry. Maybe there’s new products available or a new service you can implement.
Something that is constantly evolving over time is your actual business processes.
Every little task that is performed in your business is a process. A bigger process will usually involve a bunch of smaller processes.
The truth of the matter is that you just don’t know. Over time new steps have been added. Other employees have made changes to suit themselves and who knows what else has been done.
Unless you have ever sat down and drawn a flow chart or written down each step in the process, you won’t even know how complicated things are!
You can work out your processes in a number of ways. I bet before long, you will be surprised at how many steps there actually are to one of your processes.
- Pen & paper – Simply get started with a basic mud map or description of each job in order
- Flow chart – Using charting software, you can visually see where each step in the process leads, and any decisions that need to be made. There’s Visio from Microsoft, or Draw.io which is free to use and very powerful!
The first thing you need to do though, is just start! Most people will use a combination of the two, first sketching out the process before moving on to using software to better visualise it.
Once you know what processes are involved in your business, you can improve on them.
- Look at what steps can be reduced, or omitted altogether
- If having too many software products is a problem, that can be reduced too
- Ask your staff for input, especially on the process that they’re directly involved in
- Set up a calendar reminder to do a review of your processes at least annually
2 – Reassess Customer Expectations
When was the last time you looked at every aspect of your business from what the customer can see?
You might be doing a lot of things internally, but if the customer can’t see that, how do they know?
Here’s where you need to get creative and stop being involved in the business for a few hours and do some experimentation.
You know what your customers buy from you, now put it to the test.
Jump on your website and go through the process your customer would. Fill in the form, download the brochure and get a feel for the experience. Then, do it again on your mobile phone.
- Was it easy to find what you wanted, or difficult and clunky?
- Were you able to see where a customer could get stuck, or worse yet, leave without wanting to go ahead?
- Was everything exactly as you expected it to be?
Sometimes, when you look at things as a customer might, you can see a reason to improve.
Depending on how big your business is, call it and see what the sales process is like from that angle. Will they know your voice? Get some friends to do it for you and report back.
In these instances, it’s the little things that can make all the difference.
If a brochure PDF download isn’t working, or a form won’t submit, how many enquiries have you missed out on?
This is related to the first point we covered. You have internal processes in place, but what is the customer’s process for buying your product or service?
Meet your customer’s expectations and then exceed them. Put the information they’re looking for on the website or in your sales script. And then give them even more.
3 – Do Something Different
There’s a famous mis-quote from Albert Einstein that goes “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
Now, while the quote is misattributed to him, the actual quote is great advice.
If your business is not growing or improving at the rate you expect it to or want, you need to work out why.
What can you do for your customers that is outside the box and makes them feel special, while not costing you a lot of money?
It might be as simple as sending them a regular email, or it could be more frequent social media posts. It might be something more drastic, like pivoting your business altogether!
Maybe your business can be used as a vehicle to implement a new service that compliments what you already offer?
This leads us to point number 4…
4 – Increase Customer Value
Have you heard the saying “It’s cheaper to keep a customer than attract a new one”?
Not sure who said it or where it came from, but it stands true.
Any customer that has bought from you already, trusts you. Your product or service and all the effort that went into getting them as a customer, has already won them over!
Getting them to purchase something else from you should be much easier to do than getting a completely new customer.
But what do you do?
Whatever your product is, can you introduce and upgrade to it that makes it more valuable and better than it was originally? This happens with hardware and software all the time!
Why did you buy a new mobile phone last year..? Exactly!
There’s so many things a customer will buy to improve a product they have already spent money on. It’s to save them from having to make an entirely new purchase at even more expense.
We don’t like spending money, so if you can make the barrier to entry smaller, you’ll win more sales.
Upsell your current customers to an add-on for your product, or introduce a new service to support your products.
Maybe your product needs regular maintenance, so instead of customers paying the same value each time, create a monthly charge that is less than the total overall, but is paid for at least 12 months.
You’re not reliant on the customer wanting maintenance when they need it, and you have a whole year’s worth of income.
Each customer you already have can be made more valuable by giving them something else to buy from you. Work out your product or service and let them know!
5 – Assess Your Competition
This point is a close relative of point number 2 – Reassess Customer Expectations.
If the customer can have a better experience at one of your competitors, what’s stopping them? You are.
Jump onto Google and type in your business, and then search for your industry and product.
- Who are your competitors and how do you rate?
- What are they offering that you can do too?
- What positives can you take away that you are doing better, and how do you share that to your customers?
- What items do you need to get to their level?
Your competition is one of the reasons customers are more knowledgeable, but you can use them as support too.
Show that you do what they are doing, and then show more! Be the best result and have the information and facts to back it up.
You don’t need to copy all of the things they are doing, but it might spark an idea that can give you another angle.
In some instances, it might give you the opportunity to buy their business outright! Then you can take advantage of having more customers for your product, and one less competitor.
Something to think about no?
In this article we have shown you 5 easy steps to improve your business. They were:
- Improve your processes – Accentis Enterprise can help you with this by automation and data sharing.
- Reassess customer expectations – Accentis Enterprise gives you customer tracking capabilities for improved service!
- Do something different – Accentis Enterprise has a large variety of reports to visualise customer purchases and trends.
- Increase customer value – Use Accentis Enterprise to see where your most valuable customers are spending their money and how you can add to it.
- Assess your competition – Accentis Enterprise gives you many different ways to record competitors and how they affect your business. Use custom fields to track when you’ve lost a deal or if a customer comes from a competitor to your business.
In any business, it’s important to take the time to look at it. More importantly, look at it as a customer would.
If you wouldn’t buy your own product, why not?
Contact us now to see where else we can add value and help your business grow!
Are you ready to make more money for your business?
Click here to start your journey today!