The last 10+ years have seen a tremendous shift in the way we do business. Days of traditional media seem to be slowly fading as the digital age has stepped in to offer a new strategies and solutions for marketers. Although there’s a few basics that most of us lose sight of when it comes to doing business in today’s competitive market. Business relationships remain of the utmost importance and should be nurtured with extreme caution.
How can you ensure that your business competes in today’s transparent world? Will you brand survive a changing economy? These are some good questions and perhaps some you’ve already asked yourself.
Strategy – Have Something That Other Don’t
Prior to engaging a potential client you need to have a strategy in place on how you will execute and deliver. This can be difficult to brainstorm around particularly if you’re completely foreign to the client’s industry. Believe me when I say this that we’ve all found ourselves in a similar situation. If you’re unfamiliar with a specific industry do yourself a favor and don’t act like you’re an expert in it. Instead ask questions that will help you form a fortified strategy in an attempt to create an effective game plan.
Likability – It Matters!
You do business with people that like you. Business will be unsuccessful and a failure for you if the likability factor is non-existent. Being personable, approachable and friendly are a few characteristics that you can utilize in order to better acquaint yourself with new clients. Potential customers want to know who they’re dealing with. The establishment of a comfort level between you and potential clients can server as a cushion in a newly developed business relationship. In some cases it make take some time before that likability factor actually occurs thought although an important element in the development of a business relationship.
A vital component to any business relationship that’s going to see the light of day. How do you establish trust between yourself and potential clients? It’s actually quite difficult and even more important especially for small business owners. Why? You really only have one true chance to prove to future clients that you’re worth it and they can count on you. Proven success such as case studies, portfolio, testimonials, etc. typically can provide the leverage you need. Although maintaining trust typically requires a great amount of servitude and commitment to your initial promise.
Your Service – But You Promised!
One of the most common mistakes businesses make in today’s competitive market is to uphold their end of the bargain. The minute a new client signs on the dotted line next to your name then you’re both engaged in an agreement. It entails of a service or promise that you’ve promised to deliver. The execution of such promise says a lot about who you are, how you do business and where the business relationship will go beyond completion of service. Remember it’s crucial that you fulfill this promise and complete it to the best of your abilities.
Communication – Social Media and Web
Over the last several years it has become extremely important for businesses to communicate virtually with their target audience. Various social channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn provide a robust infrastructure for brand awareness, engagement and monitoring. If you’re new to social media then you’ve got lots to learn…quickly. As you’re out there leveraging new business opportunities and relationships I would advise you to tap into the social space to keep tabs on your brand. Current, former and future clients are most likely discussing your brand to its fullest extent. As a business owner you should pay close attention to the communication and address any issues with professionalism.
During 2011 there were a vast amount of changes that have affected the way businesses perform in today’s competitive market. One great resource that I came across the web was the Doing Business 2012 – Doing Business in a More Transparent World article which talks about how transparency affects global business. An informative read that outlines different countries and shift in specific economies.