When in the business field, or when you have an interest in business, you like to talk about success and how to succeed, but the truth is a lot of new small businesses fall short. Understanding how to distinguish when things start to go wrong is important in any type of business.
If you find that customers are drifting away, there could be a general reason (or reasons). A good suggestion is to contact and talk to each departing customer. Learn why they are leaving. Offer something reasonable to save the customer relationship. You may end up hanging on to a customer that you would have lost. At the very least you’ll learn some valuable information from them, which might allow you to rein in when similar outcomes happen with other clients. This could mean the difference between staying in business and not.
If money seems to be the exclusive issue, you may need to look at your expenses. Bring in help if you’re not as good with finances as you thought you were.
You may need to begin investigative business finances weekly rather than every month. Catching problems earlier can make a huge difference.
Would switching to upfront customer invoicing help your cash flow? Would a SEO monthly package help your company recuperate cash?
Also, a more recurrent supervision of your expenses can help you determine services that you have simply just stuck with, which you could easily decrease or cancel in order to reduce your overhead. Switching internet providers and phone companies can save you massive amounts of cash.
Are you just slipping in the business world and taken your eye of the ball when you didn’t notice? Are you not being original enough (because your competitors are, let’s face it, always coming up with new creative ideas)? Do you seem outdated?
Ask some trusted customers these or similar questions:
Are you providing a service that is pioneering, fun to work with and is keeping up with the times?
What do they see as your missing link? What would they like to see new from you? What are the three main things they don’t like about the business, or would remove from the business?
Do they feel well connected to you? Do they feel that you are approachable? If they weren’t your customer, would they buy you a coffee? If not, then these customers may be your next clients to leave.
If the metaphorical ship is sinking, in other words, if your business is going under, there very well may be nothing you can do about it. But since it’s your business you will want to do everything you can (within reason) to save it. Start by getting some facts and taking a hard look at the little things you may be overlooking. These actions and how you react to the information you get may make a huge difference and actually save your business. You should look at what worked for you before, and go back to the basics.
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