Running a business is a marathon, not a sprint, and the path can have its share of obstacles. Your personal vision for success may be centered on growing revenue, increasing your physical footprint by opening a new location, or simply expanding your staff so you can redirect your energy and focus elsewhere. Knowing how to run a successful business starts with applying some tried and true strategies.
Taking a customer-focused approach that targets the right audience can help small businesses be more successful.
Online and digital marketing can help to increase visibility if you’re focused on social media channels where your target customers spend time.
Upgrading technology and making sure your website is up-to-date can ensure a better customer experience, which may lead to increased sales.
Focus on Your Customers
Successful small businesses are customer-focused, which means they understand the needs of their current customer bases. Satisfied customers can drive profits through repeat business and referrals.
The latest American Customer Satisfaction Index shows an overall downtrend in satisfaction, which means that businesses who understand the needs of their customers have an advantage. Between 2010 and 2019, around 70% of the companies that ACSI tracked had flat or declining customer satisfaction scores, and things have only gotten worse. By the fourth quarter of 2021, nearly 80% of these companies had failed to increase the satisfaction of their customers since 2010.1
The good news is that there are numerous ways to turn the focus back to your customers to retain their business.
Possible solutions include:
Starting a loyalty program that rewards customers with discounts or other incentives
Launching a referral program to encourage existing customers to spread the word about your business to friends and family
Hosting exclusive events to engage with new and existing customers
Asking customers to complete a survey to help you better understand their needs
Training staff members on how to provide quality customer service
Bottom line? Customers want to feel as though they’re valued and important to your business so they’ll come back.2
If you set up a customer loyalty program, you’ll be able to collect a lot of data on your customers. As a result, it’s important to understand the applicable federal and state laws regarding the collection of personal data.
Expand Marketing and Advertising
One of the most important aspects of how to run a successful business centers on marketing. Your advertising strategy can make or break you since it can determine how visible you are to your target audience and whether your business’s message is conveyed clearly.