Business is an art. It requires critical but constant thinking to succeed. Hence, several works, lectures and seminars have been put together to address several key issues in business. However, it’s a common knowledge that the basic reason why anyone is in business is to make profit. Profit-making remains the fundamental yardstick to measure which business is successful or not. Every other thing you do that does not directly or indirectly affect this aim positively is actually affecting it negatively.
How then do you make sure that your business runs on profits? How do you remain competitive in this era, when everybody is striving for monopoly? Aside making sure that your business is built on your passion and not just ability, there are quite a few more things you may need to know.
My friends and I live in the city; as bachelors, once in a while- nights especially- we stroll to a nearby junction to patronise a particular roadside food vendor. For a plate of whatsoever meal, the least is price 300 Naira, the cheapest around.
The more we patronised her, the more we complained about her services. The more we wished competitors would emerge to create more options. First, you risk a chance to stay in a queue for minutes and not a single soul will talk to you. You won’t get as little as the customary “hi customer, please what would you want to be served?”
If you become tired and want to leave you will soon remember that the nearest restaurant will charge you double the price at the same or less quantity and quality. Complaining never worked either; you can talk all you care while the waiters go about serving who they want. So, most times we would just relax and enjoy the scene, while new customers complain to their own frustration.
Second reason why we were looking for an alternative is that many of their meals are served smoked. They cook at the open spot with charcoal, so you understand the thing if you have stayed in the village where firewood or charcoal is the fuel for cooking. Trust me, that’s not the quality of food we paid such an amount to eat.
Now it has been months since, and five other direct competitors have emerged at the same spot. There are no more queues: she has lost many of her non-satisfied customers. Options are more than plenty. All cook better, and some even sell cheaper.
I simply used the above story to capture the three most common mistakes that entrepreneurs make. Your industry, products or services may be different from what was narrated but the lesson is just same.
Below are the four most basic things to do and you will not run short of customers and profit.
Create a Quality Product/service
Let your brand speak for itself against similar brands in the market in terms of quality. You want a brand that will leave customers talking about the products and even be able to refer to friends.
This is very crucial because at the end of the day you want to make profit by selling a certain product or service. You have to make sure to produce a quality product that can stand comparisons to similar and criticisms from customers.
Keep Workers Comfortable
The mood of your staff and the general emotional and psychological behavioural pattern in the company affects the way they treat the customers. Studies and researches support this fact.
Train your Staff
It doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t need Brian Tracy or Fela Durotoye to make the training worth it. All that matters is that your staffs are exposed continuously to new and better ways to do their job.
Your workers have to learn what’s new in the industry. Most importantly, they have to be updated and have their minds refreshed on customer relationships. If you have the best product but your staff is rude to your customer, you’ve simply moved a step forward and two backward.
Satisfy your Customers
The aim of every business is to make profit. It’s not enough to sell your products/services once, lose your old customers and start all over to prospect new customers. Profit will be made if old customers are retained while prospecting new ones.
Like in my experience, the woman lost many of her angry customers to her competition- an avoidable phenomenon.
This how many businesses has folded, in just any industry. Nigerians will say, “It’s from the village” and I begin to wonder if lack of common sense is from the village too. There are many other good things to consider in order to make your business a success- have a good knowledge of the business, draw up a great plan, hire knowledgeable staff and so on- but none of these is as basic as the four discussed here.
You’ve had similar experiences? You are free to share it through the comment box below.
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