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How do I... Know the Signs of a Successful Small Business?

Discussion in 'Growing Your Business' started by Small to Feds, Jan 11, 2018 at 11:37 AM.

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  1. Small to Feds

    Small to Feds MVP Member

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    1. Delivering what they promise.

    2. Housing dequate resources permitting a solid reputation for good performance.

    3. Not telling the customer what he or she wants to hear; instead telling them what they need to know and being respected for it.

    4. Networking constantly on professional sites such as Biz Warriors. Hitting the "Answers" feature and accumulating an "Expert" rating from peers.

    5. Blogging like there is no tomorrow. A blog is quite different than a web site. Providing good, solid information free of charge and using blog searches for synergistic businesses with whom to team. Teaming is an absolute necessity these days.

    6. Being prepared to provide information, samples and valuable service gratis as a marketing tool. Introducing the company and then immediately engaging the client with presentation tools available to bring expertise to whatever topic interests the customer.

    Letting the client take them where they want to go with their concerns and their needs. Applying presentation tools and expertise dynamically on the fly in a sincere manner to those concerns and needs and as a result becoming in demand for follow up business.

    7. Quoting and billing what the client can afford and growing with him (in content and resources).

    8. Being dedicated to working the company out of a job with a specific customer and having the client take over by training him as he recommends the company to 10 others.

    9. Knowing that growth is a function of persistence and foresight. Understanding where the market is headed and getting their first - then writing and speaking about the company success indirectly by helping others. Demonstrating humility and a satisfaction in helping others succeed. Clients find ways to give them credit. Knowing there are ways of tooting the company horn without making peoples' lights go out.

    10. Developing word of mouth advertising from pleased clients as a sure ticket to success.
     
    Edvin and djbaxter like this.
  2. djbaxter

    djbaxter Administrator Moderator Member

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    Excellent post, Ken! :)
     
  3. Edvin

    Edvin MVP Member Top Contributor

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    Hi Ken,

    These are great points; but, how do we make sure we live up to these points, especially if we depend on employees.
    Below is my attempt to wrap my hands around the ideas.

    • Create a system in place that solicits customer feedback/survey on regular basis (say weekly)
    • Use online tools like google alerts and social listening with hootsuite to see what's going-on.
    • Take the time to create Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
    • Use technology (i.e. CRM) to minimize dropping the ball
    • Schedule regular training and use some kind of learning management system to validate reinforced practices
    • Okay this is a hard-one. How do you transfer this knowledge.
      Perhaps, keeping track of a knowledge base.
      I suspect that we can start seeing a regular cadence of internal KB articles per category.
      Divergence from regular cadence can serve as a red-flag for corrective action.
    • We can use this KB as to remind our employees via training system (see last bullet on point 2)
    • Okay, I'm uncomfortable suggesting this; but, one strategy is to strive to meet two or three new people in a week and track them in your contact management system (i.e. CRM)
    • Automate the scheduling of followup (i.e. send birthday card via vista print)
    5. Blogging like there is no tomorrow. A blog is quite different than a web site. Providing good, solid information free of charge and using blog searches for synergistic businesses with whom to team. Teaming is an absolute necessity these days.
    • Again, a reasonable cadence need to be set for the business
    • Failure to meet cadence can serve as a red flag
    • Use effective blogging strategies
    • Document blogging procedure for your employees
    • Tie blogging as a measurable goal for employee performance appriasal
    • This is a grey area, and I don't know how to come-up with SOP.
    • I think this is walking a tight rope.
      For example, we can blog a step-by-step guidance for the service
    • However, do we tell them about our suppliers, vendors, online/offline competitor.
      The employees that said "I shouldn't tell you this but you can..." always lost my business because I could get similar service for less
    Again, how do we quantify this. I don't want to put it in my employee appraisal for number of customers that we send to our competitors or help DIY. Nor do I want SOP customer interaction include statements like: "If you want to do it yourself you can...". Where is the fine line?​

    • Budget for and attend relevant conference and trade-shows
    • Blog about the new discovery and experience on your media channels (website, facebook, twitter, etc)
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018 at 10:10 PM
    Small to Feds and djbaxter like this.
  4. Small to Feds

    Small to Feds MVP Member

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    Edvin, Thanks for some great additions on practical ways to achieve the 10 measures of success with employee insights.
     

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