We are all drawn to some areas of life more than others. As an entrepreneur, you are likely to be bold, confident and hands-on. Some areas of business however are more complicated, though just as important as those paradigm roles of finding investment and product design. Here are some important areas that is important not to leave behind as you improve your new business.
Develop Your Website
Depending on what kind of business you have just started, there is a good chance that your website is currently at some kind of stop-gap stage between non-existence and some idealised notion of ‘completion’. This is a myth you need to dispel as soon as possible.
A bit like moving house, unless you are willing to spend a lot of money employing a decorator, how your website looks a few weeks after its creation is how it is likely to look until you move out. Now, if you have opened up a second-hand record store in a trendy area, your website is not going to be that important, and it may be enough to simply use your logo, display your postal code and give your opening hours, just to let people know you are still in business.
However, if you are doing something like selling a new app then your website needs to achieve a shiny, sparkling level of chic, ASAP. The website is the first stop for people who your marketing strategy has made interested. If the first stop does not look too appealing, potential customers will just get off the ride. Here is a great article from this blog with more tips on how to improve your website.
If you are making a lot of sales through your website, make sure you let people know the cost of delivery early on. The disappointment of a (+£5.00) at the till can put more people off than a warning earlier on in the buying process.
If they know all the info from the start, people will be more inclined to feel that accepting the delivery fee is their decision, instead of some hated, hidden extra charge. You can get an instant quote of how much delivery will cost big logistics companies like TNT on their website. The information there will let you know the cost of getting your goods to your customers. Of course, while being open about it at an early stage, it is also good to keep that delivery cost as low as possible, so shop around for who can give you the best prices.
Slow and confusing websites are a pain to navigate and frustrate otherwise happy customers. Making it easier to buy online will dramatically improve your sales. It is important that the buying process is simple and user-friendly, but also that it looks secure and trustworthy. Display any industry standard certificates you have won, and make your customer care policy easy to access and understand.
Even once you have made a sale, lots can go wrong. If you have dispatched an order, it could get lost. If you’ve sold software, the user might find a glitch (or even just not be able to use it). If you have provided a service, the customer may decide they are not satisfied. Mistakes can easily happen in all these areas. And to avoid featuring on the next viral article about customer services, you want to be able to placate, assure and even remunerate customers when things go wrong.
To do this, it is important to make sure you have a good customer services policy, stating how you will deal with various problems even before they occur. Looking after let-down customers is a great way for word to spread of your business. People remember when they are treated well, so having the means to be able to fix it quickly when things go wrong ensures that the customer will remember your good work for next time they need a service.