Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Most 5-star hotels maintain customer databases detailing the room order choices of their guests. If a guest has asked for a particular beverage to be kept in the mini bar, the next time that guest makes a reservation at the hotel the staff ensures that the beverage is stocked in the room. Such small gestures go a long way in making customers feel important.

It is necessary to interact and communicate with customers on a regular basis if you wish to increase the satisfaction of your customers. In these interactions, it is required to determine the customer’s needs and then act to satisfy those needs accordingly.

Even if you offer identical products within a competing market, satisfaction provides high customer retention rates. It’s no secret that retailers offer frequent shopper rewards to increase customer satisfaction. Retailers do this for a reason— because it’s a no brainer if you want customers to come back. Many high-end retailers also provide membership cards and discount benefits so that the customer remains loyal to their business.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

There are plenty of graphic artist within the crowded market. If you have not found one yet, then ask a friend, family member, or stranger on the street. Chances are one of them will claim to be or know a graphic designer.

The right artist should not only be creative, but they should also understand how to create artwork that is marketable. Designing is the easy part, but knowing what to design, who to design for, and how to direct, entertain, persuade, and attract attention with your artwork is the difference between having good artwork and effective artwork.

We’ve all been there

Online exposure is generally about making simple modifications to portions of your website and networks. When viewed individually, these adjustments may seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other social and optimization efforts, they could have a noticeable impact on your social networking and online traffic.

If you’re anything like most new businesses, you’ve possibly created a brand new website or social network page and hoped that users would magically show up at your site and purchase whatever you were selling or promoting.

After a few weeks and with nothing more than a few stray people showing up at your page, you make the decision to try and “optimize” your website and campaigns with your main keyword in hopes that your site might rank high in at least 1 of the millions of search engines. Another few weeks go by and still no luck.

At this point, you might give up and choose to either rebrand your networks for a different target market or simply quit after losing all hope. Well, news flash, as you may have figured out by now, this is not the right way to go about fixing things.

The best thing that you can do for your “failing” business is sit back and develop a strategy for success.

Projects profit & Loss

The profit and loss statement (also known as the “income statement”) is the most common of the standard financial reports that bankers and investors will expect to see in a business plan. It shows the revenue, the expenses, and the net profit or “bottom line.”

Projected balance sheet

The balance sheet is one of the three standard financial statements. Unlike the profit and loss statement, which measures activities and their effect on profitability during a given period, the balance sheet is a snapshot of the business’s financial position.

Projected cash flow statement

The cash flow statement is a valuable tool for understanding and planning the organization’s cash flow. The cash flow statement is not a snapshot like the balance sheet. Instead, it measures the change in cash during a period.

Milestones cover the business’s major events and achievements that need to occur to keep the strategy on track for success. Milestone events are strategically important for your business and provides an outline of dates as to when the events should take place.

When developing milestones, have in order:

  • Name of the task / goal
  • Due date for the goal
  • Budget for the goal
  • Person responsible for completing the goal

Once your milestones are in order be sure to let your business partners know that you need to follow the milestones. Additionally, the milestones should be tracked and analyzed with real results.

Not sticking to the plan will cause your strategy to fail.

Effective Sourcing

Most all businesses have some form of sourcing to other individuals or companies. Strategic sourcing is an approach that formalizes the way information is gathered and used so that a business can leverage its consolidated purchasing power to find the best possible values in the marketplace.

Developing an understanding of your sourcing power will allow you to make certain that you are saving the most money by finding the most affordable sourcing opportunities.

Sourcing should not always focus on the financial savings, but should also consider tasks and quality of the service.

Things to consider when sourcing:

  • What are your buying needs
  • What type of professional do you need
  • What maximum price do you want to pay
  • What volume do you want to purchase
  • How do you plan to project manage
  • Will you be able to meet deadlines

There are plenty of products and services on the market from which your customers could choose to make their purchases. Customers that select your business to purchase goods or services do so because of their overall perceived value of your business. Consequently, your business must produce value that connects to, and positively influences, the customer’s perception. If the customer has a positive perception of your business, they are more likely to make a purchase and promote your services or product, which can translate into future sales.

Like most businesses, I assume that the goal of your marketing strategy is to generate profit and brand awareness; which means it has to identify the right type of customer. From a marketing perspective, there is no better customer than a repeat customer.

Considering the cost of maintaining repeat customers is less than gaining new customers, the additional revenue could be used for increasing your business’s competitive advantage. Consequently, building customer satisfaction and loyalty are paramount for retaining customers and increasing revenue.

— For more lessons like this, purchase your copy of Act Like a Business: Think Like a Customer by Dr. Elijah Clark from all major bookstores. —

How should you build your brand?

That answer is easy — you shouldn’t. Let your customers build your brand. What you like and what they may like could be entirely opposite. This is something I have run into very often — the client who sells construction services tries to design and market his/her own services. While it may seem proper to the client, it makes no sense from a design and marketing standpoint.

Get Help

The fact is that no one can do it all. You won’t catch a web developer or marketing engineer out building houses. Let the professionals do it. A good marketing company or consultant will research your industry and your customers and create a design that is ready for your target audience.

Build for your customers

Marketing and branding should not be about you; it should be about your audience. Don’t build for you and don’t let your graphic artist build for them. Build for the audience that is going to view your work. If you don’t know who your audience is, then you will just waste time and money by hiring a graphic artist or developer.

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