Is there a specific event, strategy, advertising method, business partnership, etc (or maybe pure luck and timing) without which your online business would not have reached the success you have today? (in terms of increase in revenue and profit)
I can give you the standard answer, brand, audience, marketing and half a dozen other things. You can spend thousands on any or all of those three things but if you don't grind, get better all the time and learn. You've wasted your money and time.
The reality is just grinding away every day. 14-15 hours a day 6-7 days a week, not for a month, a year, 2 years... whatever it takes. Never say die attitude.
Whilst our competitors are on holidays or just slacking off. We're still working stealing their customers. If you don't keep grinding away you'll never succeed. Of course just grinding away isn't enough.
2. Continuous improvement
Never settling, learning from mistakes, recovering from it and just keep grinding away. Just focus on just getting better all the time.
What has made us successful, (4x) was just getting better. Better at knowing our customers, better at producing the product. Better at communicating with our audience. Better at customer service, better at everything that matters to our industry, our market.
3. Finally, it's self-education. Being open minded to new knowledge. Learning from others, learning from customers, learning from competitors. Learning from successful entrepreneurs in other industries. Constantly learning new skills and learning to be a better entrepreneur.
If you really want to succeed. Grind, work on getting better and keep learning. Everything else may be helpful but if you don't do these three things you are relying on luck.
I had to define my perfect client and focus on that niche'. It is about having the idea and following through with it. I had to become known for helping a certain type of person and getting them the results they wanted and over delivering. You need the wow factor and keep on learning about yourself and your business.
In every business I've ever been apart of, it has to be customer service. From the very earliest times, treating every interaction with customers and potential customers proved invaluable. Paying extra careful attention to their needs and problems allowed us to turn them into our biggest advocates, which in turn result in free marketing (the best kind). Repeating that only cost us time, but yielded more than if we would've invested in more traditional marketing mediums (like SEM).
Success is not a destination, it's a journey. Know that you won't know everything; be humble and be willing to put in a lot of hard work. If you're a founder of your business, your business is going to be an extension of you in a lot of cases. For us, it's really trying to measure value creation outside of your usual metrics (number of sign-ups; conversion rate; leads generated; etc.). Finally, treat every customer as if they own you, because they do.
Currently, I have a bookkeeping business that is primarily done virtually. What makes it work is utilizing everything at my disposal to communicate with my clients.
Customer service though becoming increasingly automated is still about connecting and building loyalty. A testament to what's working is repeat customers. What I offer is not just number crunching but I anticipate needs in a way that has garnered me and my company the trust of those whom we serve.
It does take time but it's worth it. Regardless of all the bells and whistles of marketing and offering the latest and greatest product or service, without a connection, folks won't continue to buy. People tend to be loyal to folks they know, like and trust. Matter of fact, I heard Ali Brown, Multimillion dollar entrepreneur who built her business online say something very similar. She also said that we have to be in front of a potential customer at least seven times before they buy from us.
I have taken this advice to heart, am getting results and would love to talk more about ways you can connect with your clientele. Contact me at www.suzetterhinton.com for a free consultation.
Sales is king. It's the only think that can grow a business and also save it. Companies are like people, everyone does things slightly different. Some things work great for some companies, and for others it can be a complete flop. By some of the answers I see on here, there are a lot of praise for design and proper branding. However, I've seen a beautifully designed and incredibly branded company fail miserably; and I've also seen a brutally branded company flourish with millions in revenue.
The only difference was that one produced sales, and the other didn't. It doesn't matter how you get there (of course it needs to be ethical), but companies need to produce sales. It depends on your sales strategy and approach to marketing. A business with poor branding must have a strong sales team. Vice versa, a company with fantastic modern branding must execute creative marketing strategies to bring in sales. Including partnerships, email marketing, paid advertising, and others.
Moral of the story is that the one thing that works best in my company isn't going to be the best thing in yours. The only differentiator between good and great companies is customer service, or, unwavering service in general. You must make your customers and clients love you.
Let me know if you have any questions. Just message me. I'll help you develop a winning sales strategy. That's all I do.
When we started TakeLessons, the first thing we had to do was understand if our product resonated with users. There were a lot of different strategies and partnerships that lead to our ultimate success, but first and foremost is ensuring your product meets a need in the marketplace.
Focus on customer satisfaction. In the early days, you treat each customer with a white-glove approach. Speak to them. Help them. Learn from them. What did they like? What didn't they like? What could you do better?
Then, take their feedback and iterate your business/product around it.
Once you've made some changes, go back to those customers and ask how you did. Get their feedback. Then repeat the process, but include new users, with fresh perspectives.
What this does is two things. First, it gives you direction on how to build a better product. Second, and maybe more importantly, it shows your customers that you are there for them, and willing to put in effort to do things for them. These customers will turn in to advocates of your business, spreading the word about it, (ie increasing sales), and help to increase your customer lifetime value as they keep using it.
Keep doing this, and over time, you'll have a great business, with customer-focused products.
Happy to discuss more in depth.