Regardless of your business or circumstances, you certainly want to achieve small business success and maintain it in the long-term. Here, Stephen Vokins of Big Brand Beds provides his tips for raising a strong, healthy business and keeping it that way.
Business in practice is never quite what we expect it to be in theory. You may experience a sluggish start that builds over time, perhaps after an initial rush of demand, you’re falling flat. So what can owners do to maintain long-term success?
All good businesses start with a good idea and a strong vision of where things are going in the future. You will have nurtured your idea with plenty of market research and investment, as well as time and energy. Your core vision, and the brand values you build around it, should always be central to your business strategy, and evident to anybody dealing with you.
As they always say, a good company’s greatest assets are its people, and this is essential for a long-term small business success. Not only do you need people who are qualified and have the skills necessary to do their job, but people who share your vision for a strong company and assist you with it, not out of obligation or financial reward, but because they are passionate, and respect you as a leader.
You’ve already got a good half of your business network web – you are the driving force, with your team of colleagues there to back you up and lend a hand. Now complete the line up with suitable clients.
Think beyond their need of the product or service you provide – why do you enjoy working with them, and why would they enjoy working with you? Ideal business relationships are very much a two-way street, and mutual respect from people who will appreciate your ideas is important.
Cards on the table
When negotiating your latest offering or deal with a client, make sure absolutely everything is transparent. Do not allow room for any misunderstandings that could cause fracture to your business relationships. Clearly explain your terms and services and exactly what your client can expect, as well as specifying exactly what you need from them in return. Ensure all parties involved are in understanding about what work you will do.
Get some satisfaction
Although by this point in business you’ll probably be looking forward to just doing a job and getting paid for it. But don’t lose steam at this point. Now it’s time to get creative and think about how you can go above and beyond for your customers and make yourself memorable. It’s these personal touches that really leave an impression, and are likely to attract repeat business.
Custom can be taken for granted, but don’t forget – they didn’t have to come to you. No matter what your business, it is likely that you face some direct competition, and if you fail to “wow” your clients, they could run off into the sunset with your opponents.
Not only should you do plenty for your client, but be thankful for their custom, and show that you are thankful. Again, this will be remembered and they will be eager to work with such an approachable and friendly company again.
Stephen Vokins is managing director of Big Brand Beds, a family-run business that has been retailing for over 130 years.
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