By Aimee Woodley
We often go about our lives, running our business with the philosophy that as long as we’re not losing money, that everything is good to go. That may be all well and good, but do you really want your business to be mediocre? Don’t you want your business to be the first one people think of when they need the goods or services you offer?
Not all business owners have gone to business school or have creative minds to come up with stellar business plans.
That doesn’t mean you can’t come up with solutions and opportunities to help your business grow. You can turn to the people around you – your customers!
How many times have you been searching for a restaurant and hopped online/on your phone to check for reviews to help you make your decision? Scrolling through, you see a review claiming someone had the best meal of their life. It’s hard not to let that affect your decision on where to go for dinner tonight. But restaurants aren’t the only type of business that people review on Yelp! these days. And Yelp! isn’t the only review service out there anymore. You might be surprised that your industry could have its own review service or app. Hop online and check it out. Let your customers know that they can leave reviews about your business, its goods, and services. Potential customers might be looking for a business just like yours!
But don’t let it end there – you can take it another step further. Mark Zuckerberg said, “People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral is the holy grail of advertising.” Referrals can expand your business exponentially, but most consumers don’t realize that. Encourage your clients to tell their friends how amazing you are! Add a little note on the back of your business cards or appointment cards asking for referrals. Or delve into a fun referral program – something like 10% off of their next visit when they refer a friend who makes an appointment. Do a little cost analysis and see what fits your business best. Social media contests are hot right now. People love taking selfies and “checking in” – turn that into an opportunity for referrals.
With referrals out there online and your customers talking about your business, are you listening to them?
The reviews on Yelp! and Facebook may alert you to something you may not be aware of or great new opportunities to help your business flourish. But again, don’t let it end there. How about straight-up asking your customers what they like and don’t like? Customer surveys and suggestion boxes can help you gain information that you never knew you needed. Isn’t the point of being in business to create value for your customers? It seems to reason that knowing what your customers find valuable would be…well…valuable.
Don’t let these opportunities get away from you. Your customers are the life-blood of your business – let them help you help your business.