Survival, competition and domination in the market are three must-have traits in any business; whether big or poised for growth. Being a business leader, manager and revenue generator in a challenging economy like ours will most often cause you to be idealistically oblivious of an approaching threat until it is too late to respond.A classic example which has seen businesses shift radically recently has been the price hikes of services and products at alarming rates.
This is a learning curve for any business that while following the tide has it pros and cons, ultimately your goal as a business leader is to make sure that you remain in business at all times.
You and your team need not burn out. Rather, manage the energy levels at all times, at the same time making sure your competition is not taking a swipe into your market share.
As a matter of fact, you need to be bold and stubborn on out-marketing your competition. Failure to do so will see the marketplace discipline you and your business and yes, that is quite a painful experience.
Adaptive management versus technical change is the order of the day. Pointing fingers and playing the blame game is a futile exercise. Rather, find out how you can address that predicament you find your business in since your business mandate is to remain relevant and revenue driven.
While the latter may at times seem to be at the expense of safeguarding your customers, it is a necessary evil. It may at times seem that you need to look for an entirely new customer group, but that would be a pretty expensive exercise right now.
The bottom-line is you need to protect yourself and your business. This has to be your survival guide. We will share some key strategies which drive to assist that.
As a brand owner and service provider, it is your moral obligation to never take the status quo with your customer for granted.
Such an attitude elicits feelings of disloyalty emanating from not feeling valued.
The end result is they will take their money and worth elsewhere. Customers will resist the change in services if they do not understand the rationale behind it.
They may even eliminate that particular brand from their favoured list.
You cannot say you are in business when you do not know what is taking place. Business leadership is an improvisational art. You may be guided by an overarching vision, clear values, and a strategic plan, but what you actually do from moment to moment cannot be scripted.
Allow me to say the response is event driven by unfolding cases. I say that to address this key strategy which is our focus for this article. You need to identify and work your current and past customer lists.
This will strengthen your marketing activities and multiply your results. It’s not rocket science.
Once you have developed a customer, you have the most cost-effective, direct access to the single best source of future business there is.
Current and past customer lists are trusted loyal citizens who have given you a chance with their money in exchange for your service and product offering. You didn’t disappoint because they returned for another engagement with you, and repeated the act again and again.
However, for past customers, somewhere along the way they disappeared or pulled the rug from under your feet because of something or someone within the business who short changed them and did not give the same support and expectation they initially were accustomed to.
What you have to do now is intelligently work that list and rework it. By intelligently we mean logically.
Contact the customer by email, phone, or in person. I wonder how many business organisations take the time to inform their regular customers of their decision to change prices or even shut down their business.
Acknowledging the customer’s importance and making a powerful and compelling case as to why the customer should be interested in taking advantage of the product or service you are offering, or informing them of a late delivery which will inconvenience them will see the customer appreciating you more
and sticking with you because of the contact.
Communication has journey of completion, much like a sale — it is only a sale when the money is in our coffers. Just the other day a certain brand took time to inform me that they currently do not have the specific engine oil for my car which will be due for service in 20 days. They then advised me on a possible solution. I trusted them more after that call. They did that because they value me as a customer.
Lead the customer to action. Imagine you see people in a queue. The first instinct under the circumstances is to join the queue then ask what it is for, right. Well the truth of the matter is if the signage and communication stated what the queue was for from the start you would have the option of either waiting or proceeding. The same principle applies to a buying customer. They need to be told why and how to buy, what they should buy, and why they should do it now.
Putting your focus on these critical issues as a business leader is important for survival in these challenging times.
We will catch up on where we left from in the next article as we focus on the business drivers to make you out-market, out-think and out do your competition.
The views given herein are solely for information purposes; they are guidelines and suggestions and are not guaranteed to work in any particular way
Robert Gonye is a Business Growth Expert and Influencer. He writes in his personal capacity. Comments and views: [email protected] Twitter @robert_gonye