For upstart companies or small businesses, client acquisition and retention is at the top of a long list of priorities. Indeed, a huge portion of a small company’s budget will likely go toward servicing clients and attempting to strike deals with prospective leads. And more than that, it’s likely that nearly everyone at a small operation is involved in one way or another with bringing in new business. So with all this attention paid to client acquisition, why do so many small businesses fail to offset their expenses? Plus, why do so many clients jump ship after a short time on board? To answer these questions and more, here are a few ways in which small businesses are alienating their clientele –– and how you can correct these bad habits:
Poor Lead Generation
In order to bring in a new client, every aspect of a small business must work in tandem to complete the deal. The first step of that process is attracting leads, or prospective clients, to your business. At this point, landing a client is a numbers game more than anything else. Your marketing goals should be to draw as many leads to your website as possible –– whether that be through advertising campaigns or through the implementation of content marketing tactics. Not creating enough quality leads at this stage will afford your sales team little-to-no room for error –– and likely cause you big headaches down the line.
Faulty or Outdated Web Design
Once upon a time, a business website was a novelty; now it’s a necessity. Not only does your website need to be functional (a basic requirement), but it really needs to be a cut above if you’re aiming to impress potential customers who land there. The good news is, it doesn’t take weeks or months to create a top-notch website anymore. Simply taking a few hours to learn how to operate a basic back-end website program will give you the edge over your competition.
High Turnover Rates
Change is the only constant element. That precept has never been truer in the business world than right now. Not only do employees change careers more often than ever before, but companies themselves undergo drastic changes in short periods of time. When you consider that most businesses are constantly in survival mode, and can’t afford to fall behind in any regard, it’s not surprising that so many business relationships stop and start at the drop of a hat. Note though, there are ways you can mitigate against clients leaving your company by incentivising their contracts and structuring deals that reward their loyalty.
The Eye Test
While some things in business are constantly evolving, other essential tenants remain the same. Even if a company manages to bring in a healthy amount of leads, their website operates smoothly, and they have good initial contact with a possible client, they still can lose out at this final (critical) stage of the process. That’s because, for better or worse, the eye test still matters greatly. Dressing appropriately is one way to ensure you strike a good chord with a client, but even that isn’t always enough. Sometimes the very location of your business or the layout of your office can scupper a deal. (For help on alleviating that problem, you can contact an office design company near you.)
Not Understanding the Competition
One of the greatest errors small business owners make is to underestimate their competitors. Not bothering to research what your rivals do and how they operate is a sure-fire way to lose out on clients. A well-positioned company should recognize its own strengths and weaknesses –– as well as those of their closest competition. Only then can you craft a strategy for success that has any chance of taking effect.
Losing a client from time to time isn’t the end of the world; rather, it’s the nature of the business. But developing sound strategies and good business practices will help any small company hang onto their most prized assets. Fortunately, most small business owners already have the work ethic needed to achieve their goals. And going the extra mile from time to time will make all the difference in impressing –– and retaining –– important clients.