Here are a few ideas that may be useful as you consider what you can do to become a star performer in the eyes of your customers.
In a solo business, it’s easy to understand why most customers don’t differentiate the owner from his business.
If you, the owner, treat the customer poorly, your business stinks (even if the customer actually likes the products you deliver.)
And when your offerings disappoint, you, the owner, take the black eye and your customers disappear forever.
It’s understandable since the customer sees you and the business as one and the same.
Here are ten suggestions to consider as you seek to find ways to help your customers and stand out in their minds as the expert in your niche:
1. Be extremely focused.
Know where you are, where you’re going, and how you’ll get there. Write down your goals and objectives. Understand how you’ll generate revenue. Understand your highly focused niche.
As much as possible, avoid jumping on your horse and riding off into the sunset with the hope of figuring out where you’re headed as you gallop down the path.
Your customers want direction and they want to follow a focused leader.
2. Be realistic.
You’ll be cheating yourself if you don’t research and study your customer’s wants, the market for your product, the competitors in your space, the trends and preferences on the horizon, etc.
If you’re just guessing or have a “hunch” that something will sell, you’re bound to be sorely disappointed.
Assume business expenses will be three times what you estimate, revenue will be half, and it will take twice as long to accomplish everything – then double that number. Just kidding . . . but not really! (I hope you get the point I’m trying to emphasize.)
3. Be a student of your business and niche.
Stay plugged in to the latest advancements, innovations, trends, and news in the industry.
Take as much of the guesswork and “gut feelings” out of your business as you can.
4. Be an innovator.
We briefly mentioned this already, but stay on the leading edge of technology in your field.
Use the tools and resources that are developed in your niche to make business easier, better, and more streamlined.
Not only will this help your business operation, but it will brand you as a leader among your peers and you will let your customers know that you want to make their time spent with you as efficient as possible.
5. Be frugal.
You may have heard it said: “The success of any new business is inversely proportional to the size of the owner’s new desk.”
Conserve your cash. Save for the future.
One of the very best strategies for reducing risk is to put very little at risk in the first place.
With a conservative solo business strategy, you will be able to do that!
6. Be flexible.
Many of today’s most profitable and successful ventures started down the business path with a different focus or direction.
Be open to ideas and strategies that you’ll come across that may be more profitable than what you first envisioned for your business.
If you anticipate making changes and modifications, you’ll be able to migrate to new opportunities without shutting down and having to begin all over.
7. Be a doer.
No advice will be more important to your success. Business doesn’t just happen. Taking smart action is critical.
If you are motivated and can put forth consistent and persistent effort, your risk of failure will be greatly reduced.
I can’t think of an endeavor where consistent execution is more critical to success than in small business.
8. Be detail oriented.
If you have difficulty bringing yourself to pay close attention to the little things, you’ll be a very challenged business owner. Someone has to mind the details.
In “regular” business, the owner can hire others to fill this role. But in solo business, you are the chosen one. Little details unattended become sores that fester and quickly turn into debilitating ailments. If not treated and removed, they will kill you.
9. Be balanced.
I mean keep your perspective on life, the importance of your family and friends, take care of your physical health, have some diversions and fun in your life, and step away from the business regularly.
Chances are, you went into business on your own because it would afford you a lifestyle of your choosing.
Don’t put everything else that’s good in your life at risk for your new business.
10. Be giving.
You’ll reduce your risk of failure if you give back a portion of all that comes to you.
This principle is a little hard to explain, but I have seen it bear fruit over and over again in many people’s lives.
Call it charity, donation to the needy, community service, tithing, philanthropy, you name it.
Get in the habit of giving generously and you will become successful.
To your online business success,