As we have seen demonstrated, there is no such thing as a business too big to fail. The biggest and the brightest may get a few more breaks before they do fail, and can cushion more blows, but they can still go. By the same token, smaller businesses can make big impacts.
But while bigger business’s most egregious risk is thinking too big, a small business has the opposite problem. If you want to make a mark, you can’t be shy about saying so. You need to be ready to act like a bigger business if you want to open up the larger income streams.
Above all else, you have to think about customer service. Even if you have the same experience many of us have, of rotten individual customer service, it is a central plank of business. Some companies may continue to make profits despite errors in this area. Usually this will be in cases where a business is already established and wealthy. In such cases they can weather customer dissatisfaction.
As a small business, you don’t have that option unless your product or service is so vital to the customer it’s literally indispensable. And frankly, unless you’re a drug dealer, it’s hard to think of any way that will be the case.
You can roll the dice and be half-hearted about your customer approach, and see how it goes. But if you want to be a success, you need so many things to go your way. Why risk one you can control, when there are a lot that you can’t?
Make The Customer’s Life Easier
One rule that every business should live by is “Always make it easy for customers to give you money“. There can be any number of reasons why you’re in business. You may just love what you do, and feel very positive about your customers. But businesses need working capital, and without income that runs dry fast.
If you haven’t already provided for merchant card services, for example, why not? The number of people who pay in cash is ever-shrinking for a number of reasons. Every customer you tell “I’m sorry, we don’t take cards” is one who is less likely to come back.
And if you already do take cards, are there ways you can make it easier? A quicker, smoother experience with no queuing makes you attractive to customers.
There are certain ways that bigger businesses act that make it easier for them to make money. That money is the lifeblood of their business – of any business! And there’s no small business get-out clause. If you think you’re too small to worry about customer service and integrated solutions, then it’s not your business that is too small. It’s your thinking.
No-one’s saying you need to become Gordon Gekko and look at people as dollar signs. But for a small business every bit as much as for a big one, repeat custom matters. Become a curiosity that people try once, and they won’t have the chance to make it twice.