Get Connected: Simple And Easy Ways To Help You Connect With Your Customers

The key to any successful business has always been, and will always be, its customers. Without customers then all you have is a very expensive hobby. No matter how many different facets there are to your business, in the end, it always comes back to your customers. So then, why do so many businesses fail so spectacularly when it comes to connecting with their customers? For all their importance, many companies seem to forget that their customers are people, not just faceless numbers. Without that human connection, you could have the best product with the biggest marketing budget in the world and it won’t make the slightest bit of difference. The first and most important thing that you need to do is to connect with your customers. Here are a few simple tips to help you do just that.

Market Research
Market Research

Know who they are

You can’t connect with someone if you have no idea who they are. Shocking, right? The first step in connecting with your customers needs to be to do as much research as possible. Make sure that your market research is rich and detailed. Don’t just think that a vague idea of the age and gender of your target customer will be enough. You need to know the other businesses that they use, what their interests are, what really makes them tick. You should do so much research that you would be able to pick your target customer out of a line-up in seconds.

Coffee Shop Idea
Coffee Shop Idea

Get personal

The personal touch is a seriously powerful tool when it comes to your customers. Customers aren’t interested in faceless companies. Surprise, surprise, they want to connect with other people. Look at the ways that businesses that include a lot of face to face contact do things. Retail and coffee shops often have extremely close relationships with their customers. Check out some coffee shop ideas as a way to get inspiration for how to connect with your customers on a more personal and human level.

Relationships With Customer
Relationships With Customer

What do your customers want?

If you really want to connect with your customers, then you’ve got to have something to offer. Now, you’re already at an advantage because you presumably have a product that you’re sure they want. But go beyond that. Figure out what kind of businesses they connect with already. What are those businesses offering? If you can figure that out, you’ll have a great idea of what it is that your customers want from a business. Do they want a strong ethical or moral stance? Are they look for something that represents family values? Are your customers after a business that pushes forward in socially progressive ways? This worst of questions can be the difference between a business with a great product, and a business that customers will walk through fire to support.

Remember that your customers are all individuals, and you should treat them like that. The last thing that you want to do is treat your customers like a single, monolithic entity that will respond in exactly the same way to everything you do.

In Manufacturing, Time Is Of The Essence Every Second Of The Day

It’s simple. When it comes to manufacturing, you want the best quality goods produced in higher quantities in less time. But the steps to get there aren’t always that simple. They require you to take a look at the individual processes throughout a product’s lifecycle. They require that you’re able to get back on your feet when you suffer a setback. They require real planning and time management. But those requirements don’t have to be difficult to match. Here, we’re going to look at how you use every second to its utmost potential in your business.

Increase Revenue
Increase Revenue

Make efficiency your goal

If you haven’t heard of the lean principles of eliminating loss in manufacturing, now is the time to start. The more effort you put on looking at the overall process of the business, the more you can spot opportunities for loss. Loss like damaged goods from poorly maintained equipment. Loss of time due to having to transport goods around obsolete equipment. Improving the manufacturing process itself increases your revenue. It reduces the cost involved in every single product you produce. So make sure you’re learning and applying lean principles every day. Don’t stop after you’ve made a few changes. Spend some time each week looking at improvements you can make.

Machinery Repair
Machinery Repair

Get things back up and running

We can’t assume that you’ll always be able to avoid risks of loss, however. Sometimes you miss something, sometimes there was just no way to catch it. In manufacturing, one of the most dangerous to your business is when your machinery has a fault that halts progress entirely. It’s a time-sensitive task to get things back up and running. That’s why you need to make sure you’re choosing the right services. Particularly, look at your suppliers. Suppliers like Pirtek don’t just deliver hydraulics and fluid transfer parts. Good suppliers also have repair and replacement services that can get out as quickly as in one hour. Meaning you’re not losing hours and even days more of productive time waiting for a fix.

Work Interruptions
Work Interruptions

Beating work interruptions

Another risk comes from the employees themselves. Internal work interruption isn’t always down to employee laziness or lack of engagement. It can also be down to how communication is carried out in the workplace. For instance, if they’re being given new tasks constantly, the paradox of choice can come into play. They can be so unsure as to where their priorities should be that they get very little done in the end. Make sure that everyone in the business follows a code of your making in regards to task priority. Using time management tools can also help them digitally keep track of and organize tasks, meaning they don’t have to focus on a hundred things at once.

Keep track of the time your employees use and how they can better use it. Know the people who can get you up and running as soon as you identify a problem. Keep changing the progress of workflow to eliminate as much loss as possible. That’s what will make your business more time effective than ever before.

Financial Feng Shui: Position Your Business For Success

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art which brings harmony to your surroundings. It aligns your environment with who you are and where you want to go. And to achieve this ‘flow,’ all you have to do is re-organise what’s already there.

The same goes with financial Feng Shui. You don’t need to make massive changes. Just reshuffle your people, skills, and equipment to sync your business with your ambitions.

Business Investment
Business Investment

Invest in your people

Whether your business is a handful of staff or a hundred, you need the right people with the right skillsets to succeed. Say your social media strategy is floundering. Is there someone with a different job title in the office with social skills who could pick up the role? Could you invest in their training? Or take an online course yourself to get up to speed? In the meantime, you could hire a freelancer until you or your staff are trained up.

Startup Business
Startup Business

Go 2.0

If archaic software or on-the-blink machinery is slowing your business down, consider equipment financing to get things moving. By sidestepping lengthy bank approvals, you could get the money you need within 24 hours, and install your new laser printer within 48 hours.

Flexitime
Flexitime

Re-think 9-5

Is 9 to 5 the best solution for you and your staff? By allowing flexitime – where people work their contracted hours at more convenient times – you could see productivity soar. Flexitime lets staff fit in leisure time, pick up their kids from school, and avoid long commutes when they could be working. Interested? Explore the benefits of flexitime.

Remote Working
Remote Working

Look beyond the four walls

If you’re struggling to find the right person with the right skillset, or want to hold on to an employee who needs to work from home a couple of days a week, remote working could be the answer.

Skype calls let you stay in touch, and business apps such as Basecamp let you work on projects in real time – wherever you are. And by extending your workplace beyond the office, you can recruit the best and brightest from around the world. Here’s Virgin’s take on remote working (and that business does okay.)

Financial Feng Shui
Financial Feng Shui

Raise morale

If you don’t win a pitch for new business, lose a client, or you’re struggling to meet the deadline of a product launch, office morale can quickly take a nosedive. Happy employees are productive employees, so it’s key you keep that positive Chi flowing.

There are ways to raise office morale. You could take your staff on an away day. Celebrate individual successes at a weekly meeting. Or take everyone on a long lunch on a Wednesday afternoon. People aren’t the plant pots you rearrange in financial Feng Shui; they are the energy that powers success.

The art of Feng Shui is about balance and always assessing your environment. (Feng translates as water, Shui as wind.) Your business is a changeable force too, so keep assessing what it needs and rearranging your resources for maximum flow and success.