Taking your business to the next level is challenging even for professional entrepreneurs. Every experienced business owner will tell you that sustainable success and continuous growth are demanding goals. But with dedication, focus and strategy, they are entirely within your reach.
Regardless what your product or service are, your business’ success depends less on what you’re selling and more on how you’re selling it. Here are five universal rules that can help you set up a powerful business strategy and put you on the right track towards a prosperous venture.
Mobile internet is so prominent that ignoring this technology is simply unthinkable. It is expected that during 2014, there will be more mobile subscribers than actual human beings on the planet. In the meantime, mobile web usage is rapidly increasing and taking over more and more market share.
The future is mobile, and if you want your business to be a part of it, a powerful website that is optimized for mobile viewing is absolutely a must. This is even more true if your business has a physical location that customers can visit. Millions of commuters, passersby and visitors are browsing their phones each day looking for local shopping, services or dining opportunities. Having your business information pop up in a professional manner on their screens is the first and only way to let them know of your business.
2. Stand for Something
You need to highlight the added value of your business and demonstrate commitment to a cause beyond just profit. Beauty giant Dove is doing this brilliantly with their campaign on “Real Beauty”.
Does your business support your local community? Are you promoting healthy living? Do you encourage self-empowerment? By showing your customers that you stand for something bigger you can establish a long-lasting relationship based on trust.
3. Offer Solutions, Not Products
A truly successful business strategy does not end when someone pays for your service. To build a loyal customer base you need to offer people a valuable solution to a real-life issue. This means coming up with a strong solution concept to encourage customers to return or refer others.
Think of a company like IKEA, which successfully branded itself as so much more than a simple furniture store. They don’t sell kitchen tables, they offer a concept – affordable and aesthetic home decor. To achieve such powerful branding, you need to emphasize how your business can actually improve people’s lives.
4. Make Them Want More
“Easy to say”, some of you may be thinking. But really, what is the secret to retaining customers and have them come back for more? The first step would be to wow them with first-rate service and outstanding support. Personal and attentive customer care are your most important sales agents – before AND after you seal the deal.
In addition to optimal service, you need to have a creative marketing plan, utilizing platforms that are most natural to your type of business (social media, online ads, printed media, etc.). A mix of seasonal discounts, new product launches, special events and fresh brand messaging is an effective combination for keeping your customers interested.
For a prime example on how to make customers crave more, check out Oreo’s Facebook page. Browsing through their posts from 2013 is like taking a crash course in innovative marketing.
5. Ice the Cake (Give them More!)
When KMart came out with their “Ship Your Pants” campaign, they were on to more than just a witty pun. They were truly offering their customers an extra service to improve their shopping experience. Customers genuinely appreciate such campaigns (especially when backed with great creative behind them) and reward companies for making the effort.
In your business, you need to be able to provide customers with an incentive, something that goes beyond your usual offer. Make them feel like VIP clients, either by adding actual product enhancements (discount, quantity, gifts), or even by connecting your product to a desired sentiment – similar to what Internet Explorer did with their “Child of the 90’s” campaign.
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