You may have put in lots of time and resources into your current business but you will still not see the kind of results you expect if you don't take time to measure and stick to works best for you. There are no guarantees in business, but the risks can be managed. These are a few of the common problems that can be avoided.
1. Stop neglecting your customers. Good customer service doesn't end when the product is delivered. Most customers are lost through neglect which, over time, ruins customer relationships.
Don't take your customers for granted. If you are too focused on attracting new customers you risk losing your existing customers. As a small business, you may initially think you need more users to grow, but if your existing clients are not happy, they can take their business to your competitor.
Reinforce the importance of great customer service to your team. Make sure they follow through and deliver happiness at all times. Reach out to your customers regularly. Let them know you care.
2. Stop marketing your product and start selling your story. People are tired of being sold to but when things are put into context, they understand better.
People connect with great marketing stories that transform ideas and information into experiences. Stories tell customers how your product solves problems. Get your clients to tell your story and explain why they love your product.
You should be focusing on stories that tell how your business solves a particular problem. Prospective customers have something to talk about and share when your company's marketing story aligns with their worldview. The prospects who make that connection are more likely to purchase your product and, ultimately, promote your product.
Begin including the human element in your marketing strategy. Put a face to your message and get a voice behind your story. Remember, you are trying to sell to people like yourself.
3. Stop setting unrealistic goals. Set realistic short-term and long-term goals to evaluate your company's performance and know what you have achieved over a period of time. Measurable goals help your employees know the amount of work that needs to be done to meet the company's over all target.
Your milestones should be measurable and achievable within a specific time. If you can't identify the important steps and achievements that need to happen within a specific period of your business, you will struggle to get the right things done as a business.
4. Stop micro managing your employees. To grow, you must first learn to delegate and to trust. If you hired the right people, they should be capable of delivering on their tasks. Business leaders most often micro manage their staff when they haven't clearly communicated what is expected of them within a given period of time.
If you expect your employees to perform better and own their work, give them room to work with timelines. Constant scrutiny has a negative impact on work and overall performance. Your intent might be to help, but micro managing only hinders progress.
Trust your team members to do their jobs instead of constantly inquiring about routine assignments.
5. Stop compromising on your vision, purpose and core values. Be flexible and adapt, certainly keep improving how you deliver your product, but don't compromise on your core values and purpose as a business.
Ask your employees if they know the vision of the company. A clear, concise vision of a common goal motivates your employees to achieve. If you know where you are going, it's a lot easier to get there.
Hiring decisions and the people you hire can wreck havoc on your company culture. Your culture can attract the right people to your team and determine your retention rate.
Don't compromise on your core values. As your company grows, it will be hard to maintain the core values that makes you team unique. Build an awesome culture by rewarding success and learning from failures. Employees must understand your culture and why it's key to your success. Communication is essential.
Copyright © 2013 Entrepreneur.com, Inc.