When you run a small business, it can be so easy to get caught up in numbers, facts, and figures that you often forget what is (or should be) at the centre of your efforts: people. At the end of the day, you can focus a whole lot of energy into developing new products, improving your services, or keeping your business’ outputs on the cutting edge, but if you haven’t considered your target market or put anyone’s ideas other than your own at the heart of each project, you’re not going to make a whole lot of money. There’s a reason that there’s a saying along the lines of “the customer is always right”. If the customer doesn’t like a product, they’re not going to put their hand in their pocket in exchange for it and this is, at the end of the day, what your business relies on to function and make you profit. So, it’s about time to start basing your company around people rather than cash or products. Here are a few places to start.
Understand Your Customer's Experience
Customer experience with a brand is essentially the way that your brand makes people feel. What appears in their mind when your brand name is mentioned. What kind of feelings are stirred by your logo, colour scheme, or theme? This can be particularly important when it comes to user experience, a subcategory of customer experience. It generally focuses on individual customers’ experience with use of your website if you are operating online. Request feedback on your site from people who have visited it. This could easily take the form of a quick questionnaire or survey. Offer rewards such as discount codes or free shipping for those who interact by giving thorough feedback. Work with an agency who are capable of empathising with the end user in order to create products and pages that prioritise positive interaction, making life as easy for the customer as possible.
Sure, we’ve all experienced a particularly difficult customer once or twice. But it’s so important to be patient and tolerant with all of your customers, no matter how demanding they may be. Remember that people have worked hard for their money and some will have put much more time and effort into gaining their disposable income than you might have to. So, if someone is asking lots of questions, seeming hesitant, or attempting to return something, be empathetic. Not only will this make them feel more comfortable in your presence, store space, or in their communication with you, but chances are that they will eventually find exactly what they want and will leave the transaction with it remaining a positive experience. They are also more likely to return to a company that has catered to their needs rather than begrudgingly dealing with them.
Donate a Percentage of Profits to Charity
There are so many people out there in the world who are in dire need of help and assistance that we couldn’t possibly even consider fitting all of their plights into this one article. If you’re making money and generating profit, why not consider donating a proportion of your earnings to charity. This can be taken straight from the account that people pay into. Choosing a charity can be difficult with so many out there doing such great work. But if you do your research and find out exactly what given charities do, it won’t take all too long to find one that pulls particularly tight on your heartstrings. Even the smallest donation from each of your sales will quickly mount up and make all the difference to those who receive it.
It’s important to always keep people at the centre of any business venture. At the end of the day, they are the individuals who you are interacting with in order to make sales and they could ultimately see your business skyrocket or alternatively fall flat on its face. So you want to ensure that not only do they like your stock and services, but you will also want to ascertain that they like the way your business functions, what it prioritises, and how it makes itself adaptable to different individuals’ needs. It’s always worth donating a portion of your profit to those in more need than you too. After all, if you’re turning over a profit, you’re doing a whole lot better than many people in the world are right now. Be generous and kind. Remember that what you put out into the universe will return back to you!