From our experience in dealing with a variety of projects, we have compiled here some vital steps you want to take to ensure the success of your business activity.
These are basic principles. We hope you can give them some thought and find a practical application in your case, especially if considering to shut down.
TIP 1. CHOOSE YOUR IDEAL CLIENT.
Probably you realize that you can not provide your service to everyone. If you open up a pub you need to have clear in your mind what kind of people you want to visit it. That will condition the decoration you choose, the brands you sell, etc. This is obvious. The same should be for any type of business you open. Choose your ideal client and sell your service to them. Your ads, your offers, etc will depend on this choice. Of course, you will welcome anyone initially, but your clientele target should be clear.
Trying to sell to everybody will result in a waste of resources, lack of effectiveness in your advertisement, and promotions. The more you know your clientele the better you can serve them. Targeting too large a group will make it nearly impossible to follow the next tip.
TIP 2.BE AN EXPERT.
It is essential that you know well your product: What makes it different or unique. Your potential clients have to perceive you as an expert.
Subscribe to at least one specialized magazine in your field. Know what is on the market. If you sell computers, for instance, customers want to be assured that they are buying the right thing that matches their needs. Would you buy a computer from someone that gives the impression that he does not have a clue of IT?
TIP 3. BECOME VISIBLE.
You can be the best professional in the world, but if your ideal clientele do not know how to find you, what is it worth? In some cases being visible is all about the location of your premises. This reminds us of the true story of a family bar and restaurant, well located in a prominent place for which, obviously, they were paying a high rent. The business was doing well and they have some money to invest. The idea: buying nearby new premises and move the business there. Telling the clientele that now they were round the corner and saving money from the high rent. The result: Closing down in less than one year. This teaches us that it may be worth paying a higher rent if it is where everybody can see it.
For others, being visible is about good, regular advertisement. The truth is that people forget us easily. In the existing economical climate, when everybody is looking for new clients, we need to be on the top of the wave, or will pass away.
This does not mean that you have to spend a lot of money in advertisement. It is true that it would be great to be in every box of cereals but this is not necessary. Where are your ideal clients? Do they read a specific magazine? Do they visit a particular area ?
In LimitConsulting we are specialized in Ex-pats. All our adverts and website are in English. More and more people trust in us for a quality service, and so, we become more acquainted with their special needs and concerns. In turn, we write posts like this, aiming to serve them better.
TIP 4. REACH MORE PEOPLE.
Though it may seem so this tip is not the same as the previous one. Become pro-active. We hope this is not the first time that you hear this: Every entrepreneur has to be a sales person. Give your card at every opportunity.
Not only must you sell your product, service or idea of business to your clients. On occasion you will have to do the same with investors and bank managers.
TIP 5. FIND GOOD CO-OPERATORS
Associating with others is a great way to offer full assistance to your clients. If you run a small business you probably can not afford a big business structure. Who do you know that shares similar customers to you but you aren’t in direct competition? Find some of these business people that you can send referrals to and them to you. That can make you look big though being small. Besides, it makes it easy to follow the next tip:
TIP 6. ADD VALUE TO YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE.
Think out how you can offer more than they pay for. Offer post-sale service, organize how-to courses,…
We know of plumbers that not only fix the pipe but get you the water contract. Try to offer the complete service; yourself or by means of your network.
When serving a client think of the many others to whom they can recommend your services. Every client is the tip of the iceberg. Many others can come after him, especially if you…
TIP 7. CREATE A FACEBOOK PAGE.
Are you at ease with computers? You should be. No matter what sort of business you run. Your customers and potential clientele should be able to find you in the worldwide web.
A fan in facebook is 3 times more likely to become your customer than someone who is not. Why? Because your fans already know you and have a measure of trust in you.
Try to get your clients engaged in conversations on your facebook page. Are they happy with your service? Why not ask some in whom you trust to say something nice about you in your wall. Not only it will remain as a recommendation to whoever visits your page but it will also appear in his or her own wall, visible to their facebook friends.
Depending on your type of business you should post something everyday or every week. But don’t let your fans feel abandoned. Don’t try to sell all the time. Provide an information service.
TIP 8. FIND MORE THAN A GOOD ACCOUNTANT. FIND A BUSINESS CONSULTANT
A good business consultant will not only see to it that all your obligations are met but will know the way through the Spanish red tape. He can save you a lot of money doing the things right at the first attempt.
It is true. Your business consultant will not run your business for you but you can address him with your ideas and he will be more than happy to share with you his experience.
TIP 9. CONTROL YOUR CASH
This point is self-evident but we still think it needs clarification. When one is starting a business many will come to you trying to sell you things that you don’t need. It is true that if the premises give a poor impression, for instance, having our office in bad conditions, that it will be detrimental to our business. But do you really need to spend much in decent and neat furniture? Do you really need so many computers? (Just to say something). A common rationalization is to think that we will need all this to grow.
Don’t try to have now all that you think that you are going to need next year.
Bear in mind that, when you are starting up a business and even more so when wondering if closing it down, there is only one department that counts: Sales Department. Put your efforts there without delay.
TIP 10. START SMALL. THINK GREAT.
Yes, you have a small business, but nobody says that you can not copy the successful behaviors of big companies. When you see other companies doing well, ask yourself. What can I copy of what they do? The neat dressing and smiling staff? Their use of promotions? Use of technology? If it is working for them it can work for you.
All our best wishes!.