Advice Blog

5 Clever Business Tips For Owners

1. Keep track of competitors. How well do you know your competitors? If you haven’t been researching your competitors, you should certainly start today. Sam Walton was the master of research. He stressed the fact that the competitive research starts at the top. Not to underlings or consultants, because only the person who will use the information can catch the nuances and traps that may escape others. If you don’t know where to begin, here are some ideas:

(a.) Subscribe to competitors’ newsletters and follow on social media accounts
(b.) Use Google Alerts to be notified of any news or updates
(c.) Use their products or services from time to time

2. Don’t be afraid to fire your customers. Customers are very important, but not all customers are equal. Some people are just complainers and some look for ways to find negativity. Just because he or she is a customer that doesn’t mean he or she can ruin your day. Don’t you wish there’s a way to sort them out? I have an idea for you. Divide up your customers into 3 categories – (A.) customers who take up most of your time but very profitable for your business, (B.) customers who do not take up much of your time but not much profit, (C.) customers who take up lots of your time but very little profit to you. Then, try increasing prices on B and C types: a little for B type and a lot for C type. As a result, you’ll experience the following: (1.) some B customers will now be your A, (2.) some C customers are now gone, and some are now considered A customers, and (3.) now you have rooms for new customers. Businesses exist to make money, so don’t waste your valuable time to customers who don’t value you.

3. Hire a sales rep. who already has a relationship with potential customers. Hiring the right sales reps can really boost your business tremendously. When I was hiring sales reps for my 1st business, my focus was on hiring someone who was professional, reliable, witty, and with several years of sales experience. However, I noticed that it took several months (if not more) for them to get settled and bring in new businesses because they had little to no relationship with potential customers. Rather than wasting time, look for sales reps who already has a relationship with potential customers. This way, the sales rep does their magic right from the get go.

4. Don’t agree to lower your prices without changing the terms. Most business owners tend to lower prices on services or products when approached by a customer who wants to negotiate. I’m all about negotiating but you should consider changing the terms of the deal. If a customer wants to pay you less, it’s perfectly reasonable to give them less. This way you can earn some new business without sacrificing your time and money. If you don’t feel comfortable about ‘changing the terms’, try adding something extra. Add a small value to your current service or product to keep the price as is.

5. Introduce mystery shoppers. You’ve probably heard about mystery shoppers. Whether you own a business of selling products or providing services, you can utilize mystery shoppers to your advantage. Before you implement this, however, you must do 3 things. (1.) inform all employees that there are mystery shoppers evaluating, (2.) remind employees of their expectations, and (3.) share those evaluations and results with your employees. By doing so, not only you’ll be able to understand your business more thoroughly, but also keeps all employees focused. If you think all of your employees will work diligently even when you step out for a few hours, you’re hugely mistaken.