Business Process Tips
Below are a few common business processes you can implement in your business. These processes will help turn your small business from a reactive to a proactive state. I have found in my practice that you are missing these processes, because you are understandably focused on your craft. Business processes aren’t necessarily your specialty, but don’t worry because it is mine. By making a few small changes in your processes, you can drive potential customers to your product or service, instead of to your competitor.
Anticipate Your Customer’s Needs
When you are creating processes in your business, you should do so by anticipating your customer’s needs. This enables you to prepare to answer their questions and deliver the supporting items to help meet their needs. By taking this small step, it makes your customers feel understood, supported and safe doing business with you.
Create Business Policies
Many customers want to know their risk level upfront before they commit to doing business with you. Think about the things you want to put into place to protect not only your business, but your customers too. A few of the common policies you need to have in place are: refund/return/cancellation policy, payment policy, travel policy, etc. Think about the things you would want to know about a company if you were the customer and ensure you have those same policies and guidelines in place.
Frequently Asked Questions
Another area where you can anticipate need is by having a frequently asked questions (FAQ) list. You can easily build this list from the questions people regularly ask you. You can choose where you provide access to this information, it may be once a person shows interest in your service/product that you provide it then, or you may just list it on your website for easy access. I find this usually depends on your industry and whether or not you provide a service or a product. I personally don’t think there is a right or wrong answer, just do what works best for you and makes you feel comfortable.
Identify Customer Requirements
Place yourself in the position of your customer and try to think through the expectation or requirements they may have for your service or product. For example, a landscaper needs a customer to make specific decisions or provide specific information. This information will help you complete the job as expected by the customer. For example, how low do you want the grass cut, are there restrictions in your neighborhood, how often should you come, etc. By obtaining this information ahead of time, it sets the expectations and the requirements for the job. Creating customer information forms or questionnaires can help identify and capture these requirements from the customer.
This is an area that is often missed. Testing and looking for quality within your product or service is critical for retaining clients. You should test your processes in both a controlled and uncontrolled environment. Walk through your processes as though you are your ideal customer, to ensure you have thought through all the possible scenarios (or the top three) that could come up. Once you feel comfortable with your processes, have someone else walk through it without your assistance to see if they notice anything that isn’t right or to see if they have any questions about the process.
I hope you have found this information helpful. Feel free to watch the video below, which covers this information in a little more detail. I also encourage you to connect with us in our Productivity Toolbox Facebook group where we will continue the conversation about this among other productivity steps you can take in your business.