What does it take to make a business successful? A good Entrepreneur with adequate capital, attitude and skills…….
Well as a start-up owner in recent years, I have had the first-hand experience on what works and what doesn’t. During my corporate stint as a risk professional, I have always had to distance myself from the subject matter to undertake an independent evaluation of scenarios, problems, and projects to provide an unbiased take on the risks involved and efficacy of the controls proposed. One of the key factors that I would consider is what is the primary objective or core purpose of the activity being done or proposed to be done. Responses would range from Improve revenues/profits or build a product portfolio to compete effectively in the market place. I always felt a key component was missing.
Customer Centrality is a key factor in the success of any product or service. What does this mean. It means you keep the Customer at the Center of all your endeavors, plans, strategy and actions. What do customers expect when they look out to people for products or service. Good Quality, Timely Delivery, Attractive Pricing and open transparent dealings with the supplier. Is it difficult to deliver? Yes if your focus is not Customer Centrality, No if it IS.
Simple focus areas:
- Maintain the best quality of the goods or services you deliver, take your time to ensure checks and controls to ensure quality is working fine and delivering the expected results. It reduces anxiety for you as a business owner and your customers. Be open to regular and even repeated quality checks by your customers, after all, they have a right to understand and evaluate the quality of your product and services from time to time.
- Time is money, the customer is investing in the major part of their time in generating revenues. When you support the customer with your goods and services, keep a focus on the customer needs with respect to the timing of delivery, turnaround time, prompt feedback, prompt alert in case of anticipated delays and be honest with your commitments. Commit what can be delivered to retain the customer. You would agree, not meeting commitments is one of the key reasons that customers change suppliers.
- When a customer looks out to you for delivering a product or service required to them, remember it is a cost to them. This, in turn, impacts their pricing structure for their customers along with margins. Hence, the customer is right in looking out for the best rates for the quality and nature of service required. The best way you can meet the customer expectation on pricing is not by trying to undercut your competitors, but to look at your own business model, reduce your costs and expenses to the maximum, this in turn will allow you to price your customers with your targeted margins and believe me you would be very competitive.
- Finally, trust is built with time and interaction between parties. It, therefore, helps to be transparent and have open communication channels with your clients. This makes the client comfortable and also more demanding as they would start looking to get more value out of the relationship well beyond the products and services being procured from you. In my Opinion, this is a good sign of the quality of customer relationship. Do your best to meet the customer requirements and be transparent with the customer they will also appreciate it.
These basic focus activities result in building a customer portfolio which will be stable over the economic and market cycles. You do your best to partner your customer to be successful, your business will also succeed. So now you have the secret of entrepreneurial success
From the founders desk.