5 Feb 2020
If you run your own business, you can never show it too much love! With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we thought it’d be a nice idea to take a look at some of the ways you can heap affection on your company and help improve its chances of success.
You’re never alone in business. In fact, you’ll be liaising with other companies every day, whether it’s suppliers, contractors, clients or potential clients. By building good long-term relationships with other business people, you will be helping your own company in terms of goodwill and loyalty.
They say that ‘people buy people’, and the personal relationships you have with others will have huge knock-on effects on the success of your company. Word of mouth is probably your most important marketing tool so the better your relationships and the more trust you build, the more likely it is that people will buy your products or use your services even if they’re not the cheapest, and also recommend your company to others.
A good working relationship will also pay dividends if anything goes wrong – people will be more forgiving, happy to give you advice and maybe even lend a hand to help you sort out the issue. This kind of goodwill simply cannot be bought.
Whatever your line of business, there’s always competition. This means you have to work hard to build relationships with your clients and customers, creating loyal fans who’ll go out of their way to shop with you rather than any of your competitors. There are a number of ways of achieving this:
Customer service excellence – by going the extra mile for your customers, you’ll earn their loyalty and respect. If you make great customer service a priority and make sure your staff are fully onboard with your philosophy – providing training if necessary – you’ll get a really good reputation which in turn will lead to referrals and repeat business. Always bear in mind that it’s a lot cheaper to retain customers than attract new ones.
Social media – regular posts on social media accounts are a great way of engaging with customers. Make sure everything you post or share reflects your brand values, and don’t make them overly salesy because that will put people off – a good ratio is one marketing post for every four general interest ones.
Supporting the community – supporting charities and local community projects will always be a great way of forging relationships with your clients and customers. Many companies adopt a charity of the year and will organise fundraising activities or do some volunteering work for it. Not only is this a rewarding thing to do, it will also be appreciated by staff and customers alike. Shout about what you’re doing on social media – and make sure you tag the charity on every post.
Show your staff some love – they say that people are your greatest asset, so prove it to them! It takes a long time and a lot of hard work to recruit the right staff, so make sure you protect your investment and ensure they stay with you by supporting them, listening to them, and helping them reach their goals. Providing a flexible working week and a comfortable working environment with modern facilities similar to those at the UOE Hub will also help to make them feel valued and so they’ll be much more likely to stay with you for a long time. And a happy workforce will bring more customers!