When owning a business, the most important thing to have is customers. No matter if your business is in sales, or services, the customers are what makes a successful business. However, many new business owners have to eventually shut down their store because they didn’t think about one important aspect – approachability. Being approachable in business is important because the customers will more likely follow someone who is open, humble, warm and effective than someone aloof and arrogant. Customers should get the feeling that they can interact and connect with the business in a pleasant way, even if they have a complaint. To help you achieve your goals as a growing business, we’ve listed 5 tips to make your business more approachable.
Interact with your social media fans
Social media is one of the most utilized ways of advertising a business, at the same time being the most direct. Through social media you can give your company a voice and decide which way you are going to continue – satirical, humorous, polite or humble. Share pictures of events, your staff, new products or finished business plans. Add some catchy captions to them and you got yourself an ad! Another use of social media is free advertising through your customers. Retweets and shares or reposts are an excellent way to include your customers and even give rewards for the most successful of them. Use social media to talk to your customers, ask questions, make quizzes, have fun. The people using your services or products will more likely engage with you if you are present in social media.
Sponsor events and get involved in the local community
For a new and upcoming business, especially local businesses, this is a valuable opportunity to make your business approachable – through non-profit ventures. With this type of advertising, your goal is to show that your primary objective isn’t making money, but connecting to people and being interested in their lives. By sponsoring events such as charity, fundraising or community events, you can show not only that you are interested in your customers and community, but also how trustworthy and empathetic you and your business are. Another plus is that while you are sponsoring the event, you can advertise your business by networking with potential customers and interacting with existing ones. Advertise also by having portable counters with your logo on it, where people can see the name of your business, web address and social media names, and interact with you – it’s like having a giant business card out in the open. Take plenty of photos of you, your employees and your customers, and use that material to further advertise on social media!
Stay competitive, but not cutthroat
One of the most important things in owning a business is to be competitive. However, every business owner needs to be careful not to be too competitive, or they will lose customers. On the other side, if you are not competitive enough, you are unlikely to see success. So what is the middle, where you will succeed, without being hated for it? The word is – humility. Be humble, stay nice, don’t badmouth your competitors or ever write one bad thing about them. There are many ways in which you can succeed, on your own, not through someone else’s work. You can out profit and out-market your competitors by making smart investments and funny ads. You can live off of reputation that you already gained with good product or service and satisfied customers. This is much more valuable than being cutthroat because your local community will not appreciate that.
Stick to one specialty
Many new business owners make the mistake of branching out the second they open their shop or start offering services. Why is this a mistake, you may ask. People generally don’t like to have many options and choices. They get confused easily, and the more you offer, the more confused your customers are going to get. It is much easier to start with one to three products or services that are connected than to start with 10. Many options also make you look untrustworthy, making your customers doubt your experience and knowledge in the field. For example, if you sell food, start with one type of food – fast food, a la carte, street food, vegan, vegetarian or meat included. Later you can add more types if you wish, but by establishing only one type of product or service, and then adding more, people will have already learned to trust you and thus have a positive feeling about the new product.
Ask your customers for feedback
Your customers are your best advertising tools. Therefore, you need to hear what they have to say, in order to be even better. However, be prepared to get some negative feedback – that is always present. And when you do get negative feedback, don’t try to cover it up and solve it behind the closed doors. Use it to solve a problem in a most public way you can – using your website or your social media. Show your customers that you not only care about their opinions but also care about solving a problem quickly and in the most satisfying way for them. By doing this, you are ensuring to have lifelong customers who will keep you and your business booming. Any feedback is feedback – so ask your customers why they approached your business, what they like, what they don’t like. Let them be your judge and then see what works, and what needs changing.
All five of these tips can’t exist one without the other. You can’t have feedback without social media, and you can’t have social media without presence. We hope that you gained a more full picture of how you can make your business more approachable and liked. We wish you success in all your endeavors!
Neil White is an HR specialist from Sydney. He has worked in HR for over 10 years in multiple companies all over Australia. He has been interested in people his entire life and that is why the part of the job he particularly enjoys is employee relations.