Have you ever looked at a piece of furniture and wondered how the craftsman become so skilled as to create something so unique? Have you ever looked at a business or person and wondered how they became so successful? I can not pretend to have all the answers but there are a few basic things that are required if you are going to build a lasting and successful business.
First you have to decide that you want to be the best, that your name or your company name means something. When I finish a product, when I send out a purchase I sign my name to it...literally. If I am putting my name on it then I want it to be the best product, the best service and a memorable experience for my clients.
Communicate with your clients. Sounds like a no brainer but I can tell you from experience that most companies are not diligent about following up on initial inquiries and therefore lose the opportunity for business at the get go. Acknowledge a purchase, notify clients through the process, verify and track shipping, follow up after they have received their purchase to be sure they are satisfied.
The next one is most important and most companies fail at this one: Make and keep deadlines. I have experienced failure of this one basic tenant of business so many times over the past two years that I have lost count. Your clients make plans based on the product or service they are purchasing from you. The commitment you make to provide a product or service by a certain time is vitally important to the future of your business. As entrepreneurs building a business can be a balancing act between home, kids, maybe a part time job and a myriad of other commitments. If you are to build a strong business that will grow and prosper, your word is invaluable. If your client finds you unreliable, unable to make deadlines and full of excuses, they will not return. Even worse, they will tell their friends or, the very worst, they will give your company a bad review.
I have always had one motto: Exceed their expectations. When someone purchases a product or service they anticipate to get what they paid for and they leave satisfied. If you add special touches, maintain excellent communication, come in ahead of deadlines, then they leave with a wow! That customer? They will be back and they will tell all their friends.
The secrets to a solid business are really no secret just good solid business practices done everyday.