Starting a small business is a big step for anyone to take, as it may require leaving the comfort and security of a regular job for a more uncertain financial future. Small business success may also require a great deal of planning, enough initial capital to sustain the owner during the start-up period and possibly a bit of luck. These are a few key reasons why people make the decision to start a small business.
When you start your own business, you have the opportunity to earn an unlimited income based on your own efforts and the success or failure of the enterprise. This differs from working for a company where your income may be limited by a salary structure or the evaluation of your performance by your superiors.
Pursuing a Passion
Starting your own business allows you to make a living while pursuing something for which you have a strong passion. You may have a special talent, such as writing, playing music or repairing automobiles that you've enjoyed as a hobby. By turning it into a business, you may find more enjoyment and fulfillment in your work life that can lead to a happier life in general.
A Good Idea
You may have an idea for a product or service that meets an unfulfilled need in the marketplace. By turning your idea into a business, you can be the first to meet that need which can result in a profitable venture. You could profit even more by teaching your idea to others or by creating a business model, which you can turn into a franchise.
Starting a business can be a way for those who are tired of the "9-to-5" grind to leave the corporate world and enter into a more flexible lifestyle. Depending on the type of business you choose, you may be able to work a more flexible schedule, which can allow you to spend more time with family and friends. A business can also appeal to those who enjoy making their own decisions without direction from others.
Owning a business allows you to be more creative and express yourself. You are not restricted by having to follow a set work methodology, and you're free to change your work processes if you wish. You can also create additional products or services to meet customer demands.
Creating trusting relationships is crucial in all areas of the business world, and especially when it comes to customers. You could be the most passionate and knowledgeable paint and decorating retailer in your city, but if your customers and clients don’t trust you, you probably won’t receive their business.
Match Their Style. Within the first few moments of approaching a customer in your store, take a few seconds to try to gauge their communication style. Does it seem like they’re in an open, friendly mood, or do you get the impression they would rather side-step the small talk and get down to business? Every customer is different and some might not have a lot of time to politely talk about the weather before explaining what they need to purchase. They’ll appreciate if you match their style to make their shopping experience as quick and efficient or as relaxing and leisurely as possible.
Get To Know Them. From the moment the customer walks into your store, your first priority should always be to make them feel welcome and special. If the person is open to chatting (see No. 1), there is a great opportunity to build a strong foundation by asking their name and learning a little bit about them. Actively listen to their wants, needs, projects and problems in a friendly way so they’ll know you’re not only there to help, but that they can come back for more excellent service in the future with someone who knows their entire story.
Body Language. Let your customers know you’re actively engaged in what they’re saying by presenting open body language. Face your body towards theirs and nod along while they’re explaining their wants and needs. Since 55 per cent of your communication comes through non-verbal elements like gestures, facial expressions and posture, your customers can easily tell whether the salesperson is actually interested in what they’re saying. By remaining engaged in the conversation, your body language will tell your customers that you’re a good listener and value their business.
Solve Problems Before Selling Products. One of the best ways to build rapport with customers is to solve before you sell. If a person comes into your store with a particular issue and has a salesperson pushing unhelpful products on them, it could result in the loss of not only a sale, but also a future customer and the repercussions of bad word-of-mouth. However, if a customer notices the salesperson is offering helpful suggestions before and beyond a purchase, they’ll trust that you’re in the business to help them instead of simply making a sale – and likely pass along the good word.
Follow Up & Stay Connected. Building rapport with clients and customers doesn’t always happen in one visit. Take the time to send follow-up emails asking your customers how they enjoyed their product or how a certain project turned out. And if you have social media accounts, pay attention to the comments and direct messages from customers and inquirers, as most people use them as a way of communication with businesses they love. Social media engagements are a great way to not only market your business, but also maintain relationships with customers outside of the store.
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