Meeting the consumer demand of ‘value for money’ is the primary goal for most business owners.
In fact, improving the quality of products and services ranks among the top strategies for growing a business.
It is best to begin by focusing on existing clients and their general needs. Talking to your customers will help you find out their views on:
- The products they buy from you and what has the most value.
- Ways that you could increase its value or make it more useful.
- What it would take to encourage them to buy more from you.
Making Changes Based on Client Feedback
Small business owners should never underestimate the value of customer feedback. It can help you identify ways to improve what you are already offering to current clients. In some cases, customer responses may also:
- Encourage you to increase the prices you charge to existing clients.
- Focus your efforts on attracting new customers by meeting their needs.
As a rule, making these kinds of changes would mean investing some time and money into the business. It could even mean getting extra funding to bring them to fruition.
You will need make sure the investment is worthwhile. Ensuring that any changes made also increases sales and profitability should be part of the plan.
You want to make sure that any unpopular changes do not harm the business. Customer feedback will be crucial. Try testing out prototypes of any improved products or services with a few ‘trusted’ customers.
Note: Ignoring feedback could be bad if you recently set up a business. It can also affect established companies, after bringing something new to market, or when improving an existing product or service.
Selling Products and Services Online
You could be losing extra profits if you overlook selling your products or services on the Internet. In most cases, selling online:
- Helps to improve efficiency and productivity.
- Reduces overheads and costs.
- Helps staff members communicate better with customers and suppliers.
Note: Using website analytics software helps you understand how customers interact with your site. The feedback you get also highlights areas for attention and improvement.
The Cost of Selling Online
Despite reducing your trading costs, there are extra fees associated with selling online. Some of the setup and running costs can include:
- Computer hardware, software, training, and services.
- Information technology (IT) maintenance, support, and upgrades.
- Website design and hosting.
Note: Providing your customers with certain information is part of the new Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 for distance selling.
Online Protection and Security
You must protect your business and your customers if you sell online. The data protection rules for businesses explains measures to keep data and systems safe from hackers and theft.
ALSO IN THIS SECTION
Attracting New Customers | Learn fresh ways of finding new customers for your products and services.
Developing New Products and Services | Make sure there is a real demand for what you plan on selling.