When I left high school, I didn’t have many skills I could trade in for money. But what I did have was all the time in the world. I started with a Gumtree ad offering cheap car washes around my neighbourhood. What happened after led to me trying to grow out my very first business.
In a span of 3 months, I turned my side project into a bustling car washing engine, washing up to 5 cars a day. It wasn’t a money printing machine, but it did make me enough to go to Korea on holidays.
With that said, I want to share with you today what I learnt and how you can replicate success for your business.
Owning your own business can be a highly rewarding endeavour; waking up in the morning knowing that you are your own boss is a feeling like no other. But it can also be fraught with difficulty and risk. Thousands of new businesses, started by dedicated, hard-working people, fail because they were simply inexperienced in how best to set up a business for success.
Setting up your business for success isn’t a hard task, with the right advice and direction, but it does require work. Here are some top tips to get you started on the path to success:
Always Deliver Your Best
When working for yourself it can be hard to regulate the amount of work you take on. Signing on more business than you can capably handle may make some extra money in the short-term, but invariably your quality will suffer.
It can be tempting to think a small job may not be as important as a large one, but bad reviews tend to travel much faster than good ones. So whatever the job is, whatever size, always be fully committed to delivering your best possible work.
Stay in Touch
Even the biggest, most profitable corporations have room for improvement. There is always something that can be improved upon or a process streamlined to provide a better client experience. The only way to figure out where you have room for improvement is by staying in touch with your customers.
Collecting feedback lets you know what customers value. What aspects of your service they felt was good and worthwhile, and what aspects brought little-to-no value or were lacking. Collect feedback after each job and document any points raised. Review your documentation regularly to find trends in what can be improved.
Showcase Your Work
Social media is a powerful tool, and used in the right way can offer an amazing amount of free advertising. Keeping an active presence on social media will allow you to showcase your work to future potential clients.
People tend to assume you will only show your best work on social media, though, so involving existing customers by asking them to provide feedback on social media is a great way to blend reviews with showcases, giving your showcase a more legitimate feel and allowing potential clients to both see the work itself and the customers opinion.
Have a Marketing Strategy
Have a marketing strategy in place. Don’t be afraid to knock on doors and promote your service. Be creative with how you can help, for example, if you offer rubbish removal services, try going around local businesses, asking to help them to clean out their office.
A marketing strategy isn’t static, though. Regularly review where your customers are coming from to identify what parts of your plan work for your business and which don’t.
Communication is Key
Good communication is key to the success of any business. Issues can arise on any job, but you will find that most customers will be understanding so long as you keep in contact and explain what’s happening. If a part is out-of-stock let the customer know and check-in regularly. If a job is going to be more expensive or complex than original thought, explain to the customer the reasons why and their options going forward. If the customer feels you are communicating well they will ultimately feel valued and be more likely to give a positive review.