When you own a small business, your reputation is everything. If you make a mistake or don’t please a customer, your reputation can be destroyed online and within your town. It takes a lot of work to avoid the issues that come along with a bad reputation. Below are a few ways to keep your reputation in good standing and manage your reputation when it gets hurt.
To help your business have a good reputation, consider creating a mailing list. Have people sign up for your list by offering them an incentive such as a coupon or a discount. You can also give a reward for referrals to further increase the names on your mailing list. The reward can be anything from a coupon to a video offering a tutorial that your customers will find useful.
If you have a sale or a promotion that is private, keep it that way. If you are in the process of rectifying a bad situation, this is especially important. Otherwise, people may try to take advantage of your business.
Many times, customers will leave feedback online. When you respond to them, make sure you call them by their name. Your customers want to be treated as an individual by your business rather than just another customer on your long list. Calling them by name helps them to feel like you value them.
Give a survey to your current customers. Many times, the suggestions they give you will help to improve your products or your company overall. There are many ways to give them a survey. The most prominent ways are to send a survey to all the customers that are on your mailing list or to add a suggestion box somewhere accessible at your business.
Though it may be tempting, never post fake comments or reviews just to make your business look good. Most customers can recognize when they are being tricked and they will no longer trust your company or you. This will likely cause you to lose more customers than you gain.
As stated before, your reputation has a lot to do with how successful your business is in the future. The best way to keep your reputation in good standing is to repair any issues as soon as you can to the best of your abilities. Following the tips above will help you to keep your good reputation both online and in your town.
Those of us in a creative business will often stop to realize just how saturated the market is with the product or service we offer. What we need to learn, though, is that the only thing that separated us from all the others is ourselves. We all have our own personality, quirks, and vision for what we are doing. Showing those qualities is how we can stand out from the rest of the businesses out there. One of the best ways to show our uniqueness is through a business blog.
The secret, though, is to blog about things that are really close to your heart. Maybe you will blog about your children, trips you have taken, your dog, etc. When you post about those personal things, they tend to draw in more readers who become engaged in what you are saying. I will often find that people who don’t even know me will ask about things in my life because they read about it on my blog!
A personal blog post will connect you to the people that buy your services or products. They will be more likely to invest more into your work, and in you. These days, people love to know the heart and story behind the things they put their money into. They want to believe in the services and products they buy. They can feel that connection through your blog when you get personal with them, and they will tell their friends about you too.
It is one of the easiest ways to build your business. Perhaps you see the need to share more about yourself in your blogs, but don’t know where you should start. Well, how about just start with one personal post and see what happens from there.
Here are some ideas of personal things to blog about:
Are you remodeling or purchasing a new home? Let them keep up with the progress with you
Dedicate a post to your spouse or family member for their birthday
When you go on vacation, blog about your adventures
Discuss some of your favorite things in your blog. Maybe some of your favorite places to visit, your favorite foods, or favorite things to do.
It doesn’t have to be difficult to bring your personality, and yourself, into your blog.
When you allow your clients have a peek into your life, they will feel more of a connection with you and what you offer. It increases the chances, as well, of you attracting more ideal clients to your business.
Most of us start a business with the thought of serving others with our product or service. No business is inherently selfish, otherwise it will fail in today’s economy. People these days are more inclined to look deeper into a business before spending their hard-earned cash.
If you want to grow your business successfully, you must be willing to go out of your way to support others around you. This needs to be done in a way that is selfless without expecting anything in return. Chances are, people are a lot more willing to help you out if you have helped them with something in the past.
There are times in your business life that you will enjoy a lot of growth and see that your work is making in difference in the lives of your customers. These days will typically follow the ones where you have helped someone do something they could not have done without help. This creates a ripple effect that has a huge impact on you and the ones you help.
Many online gurus will say that you need to provide some sort of value to your tribe. There are many ways to do this. Maybe you put messages on social media platforms or teach online classes. I have personally found, though, that directly helping someone has a lot more impact on how they support your efforts later in life.
It is true that you will not be able to get to know each of your clients on a personal level if your business is a decent size, but the connections you do make can happen without much effort. Cherish these connections. Support them and help them out whenever you can.
Through helping others, you inevitably help yourself. It doesn’t make sense how it happens but, trust me, it does. When you have genuine human interactions with others through your business or personal life, it makes your business stronger and people will come to you more.
When it comes to small business, the goal is to have a system that is both efficient and effective. We want things to work well and work fast. If they are not, we need to figure out a way to do them differently.
Making your systems both efficient and effective helps to keep your business stay afloat, even when it is hectic. Whether you do landscape or you are a doctor, we all need the time savers that help us get things done. It can be a challenge, though, to commit to making a system that is efficient and effective, but the time you spend building it will be well spent. Yes, there is effort that must be put in on the front end, but there will be many rewards in the end. Besides, you owe it to yourself to make your business exceptional.
There are a few things you will want to do to make your business effective. Some of them include:
They are replicable. When you go in to edit something, be sure to follow the same process again and again meaning that, every time you edit, you become faster and better at your edit.
Your system is scalable. In our business, we have a client management system that we have used for years. In the beginning, it could support a few clients and, now, it can support fifty or more. If you use a good system, it will have the ability to grow with you over the years so you will not need to reinvent the wheel each time your business grows or somehow changes.
Make what you do teachable. The best systems out there are the ones that you can teach to others. For instance, if you hire a studio manager, you want to be able to easily teach them how to design your albums or do your edits so they can do them well.
After your system that is effective is in place, you can begin the process of automation. There are many tasks each day that you do repeatedly. Perhaps you must answer the same questions again and again for your clients, follow up with client emails, design albums, post something to social media, sent out invoices and contracts, or even import and export your images in the same way. A lot of these tasks can be automated, saving you time. It is almost like magically adding more time to your day. Those minutes can quickly add up to hours and days that you can use doing other things that you enjoy.
Maybe you want more time with your family. Well, go for it! Automate more of your work so you can have more time living. Making your business more efficient and effective will help you to get the most from it. It is the smart way to grow and become better.