Your business has to grow all the time. I’m not talking size. I’m talking capability. Unless your business continually improves its service offering and quality of service all the time, you’re going backwards.
Don’t count on your customers to stay loyal
The only reason that your customers stay with you is that they perceive that your business offers them the best product or service for what they’re looking for. Sure, they might stay with you if you develop a close bond with them – but the chances are that you’ll lose them forever if you continually offer second best in your marketplace.
Keep an eye on the competition
If you don’t know what your competition are doing then you’re running the risk of losing customers, and not even knowing why you’re losing them. It’s a good idea to ‘benchmark’ three key local and three key national competitors. Benchmarking simply means measuring yourself against someone else. By benchmarking your business against another business you put into place a formal process that ensures the continual comparison over time.
A benefit of benchmarking includes improving your existing internal processes. By analysing your competition over time you can begin to piece together how they operate their total product or service fulfilment from order to contract completion. This information gathered is invaluable when it comes to improving your own existing processes.
An additional benefit of the benchmarking process includes the direct comparison between your products or services and the products and services of your customers. When you conduct a thorough overview of you competitor’s offering, only then can you confidently explain to your own sales prospects why you are better.
Continually seek CANI ideas from your customers
By continually seeking Constant And Never-ending Improvement ideas from your customers, you are again putting into place a process that will radically reduce the amount of customers leaving you without a known or given reason. Once you start communicating effectively with your customers about what you could do better, and then recording the data in a systemised manner, you are putting CANI into action.
Effective CANI for your customers can be as simple as asking them for their feedback on the sales process after they choose to purchase your product or service. Then conducting analysis on whether or not it would be worthwhile implementing those suggestions into your current procedures.
Focus on these three different areas to continually grow your business
By focusing on improving internal processes, improving your product or service offering and improving your customer service operations, you radically grow and improve the quality of your business without investing more money or increasing your costs. You can then ensure that your business will keep growing all the time. By focusing on growing internally rather than explicitly externally, this ensures that growth is carried out for sound business reasons rather than vanity.
David Bain is founder of the independent business articles resource, http://www.BuildYourOwnBusiness.biz . BuildYourOwnBusiness offers the latest business news & management advice on how best to build your own business - business articles on Strategy, eBusiness, Change Management & much, much more.