By Dr. Kiran Nair
Dr. Kiran Nair is an associate professor. He is an International Marketing Professional with over nineteen years of experience in Marketing, Management, Human Resource Management, and Supply Chain Logistics Management.
We live in a dispensation of time in which our lives, technology, health care and even businesses have experienced tremendous changes and transformation- The Jet Age as it is often called. Because of how advanced and competitive businesses are these days, it is essential to have a winning business strategy that will ensure that you not only remain in business but also thrive and succeed. Nobody wants to make losses or remain in a stagnant position without any positive results.
Most times, young entrepreneurs and startup companies seeking to go into business or beginning new businesses face the fear of how they would either survive in the market or match up to the standards laid by other bigger companies. If you are an entrepreneur or a business owner and would like to make positive progress in your business, these few tips will help you in building a winning business strategy:
UNDERSTAND YOUR BUSINESS NICHE
Before you begin to function fully in the niche of business that you have chosen to operate in, The first step to being successful is having a wide understanding of this business niche as a small entrepreneur. You see, there is the need to understand the peculiarities of the business niche that you’re getting yourself into. Is it an already existing market, or is it a market that you’re trying to create by yourself? Is it a market that you want to make obvious changes to or trying to rebrand?
This is where research comes in, it is expedient to carry out surveys and tests to understand what is obtainable in the current business niche that you have chosen to operate in. The results from your research and surveys will help you in making the right choices and decisions for your business.
UNDERSTAND HOW YOUR BUSINESS NICHE RUNS
After you’ve a clear understanding of the niche of business that you have decided to work in, the next thing would be to understand how your business niche functions or operates. As an upcoming entrepreneur, you will need to understand that sometimes, what is obtainable in a particular niche of business may not be appropriate or obtainable in another business niche or environment.
Take, for instance, the way an automobile business niche operates, is not the same as that of a fashion business niche, their target markets(including countries or cities), age ranges of who they intend to sell to, way and manner of reaching out to clients differ in various ways. This also means that the place of research cannot be overemphasized in your journey as an entrepreneur, because researching will enable you to discover a lot about how your niche operates.
EQUIPPING & DEVELOPING YOURSELF WITH THE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE FROM YOUR RESEARCH
So now that you have understood your niche properly and how it operates, plus done a couple of market research and skill acquisition (where necessary), the next thing would be for you to equip yourself with all the knowledge, information and skills that you have gathered from your research.
From there you ensure that you continue to develop yourself and build capacity with all you have gained through experience and research and learning. Because it is one thing to acquire knowledge and another thing to develop yourself with the knowledge acquired.
A classic example could be that of an artist, he can possess the skills of painting, but if he does not take time to develop himself by studying or putting into practice the instructions from a more experienced artist, he may remain stagnant at a particular position. You need to ask these questions; how well am I meeting my targets? How good am I, as concerning my business? How satisfied are my clients with my service? How flawless are my works? Answering these questions would help you determine if you’re getting yourself developed or not.
Now that you have something to offer as an entrepreneur, you need to see where you can stand in the market. You have to make your own business stand out and be distinct from that of others. You need to discover ways to do business better and be different from others. When people see how unique and different your business concept is, they will be curious to reach out to you and ready to do business with you.
MAINTAINING YOUR CREDIBILITY
This step is a very important step that can cause your business as an entrepreneur to rise to the next great level. The reason a client will continue to do business with you or even decide to patronize you in the first place is that in their hearts, they trust you and believe that you have what it takes to give them the value that they desire.
This is most likely due to how you have portrayed your business to be and the good testimony of other clients who have worked with you. It would be a wise decision as an upcoming entrepreneur to maintain your credibility from the start. Most big businesses have made their mark and obtained names and a reputation that have been respected over the years, hence, the impact of any negativity that can affect their businesses won’t hit them hard as it would do on you who is a small entrepreneur that seeks to find a place in the fast-moving market.
Your credibility must never be affected in any way. At every point in time, people should be happy and comfortable doing business with you.
EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE
As mentioned earlier, we live in a highly competitive world, where things are advancing every day. If you want to remain a winner in your business then one great strategy you must implement is providing exceptional customer service. Your clients must be able to see that you value them and are concerned about their satisfaction.
When you make promises, you ensure that you keep them or even surpass their expectations as the case may be. Most businesses in the same niche are generic, hence what differentiates them is their mode of service. Why should a client do business with you, when other entrepreneurs are doing the same business as you are doing? Your service matters. Your clients and customers are “kings” and should be treated that way.
Carry out periodic surveys to try to find out if your customers are still satisfied with you or require a different approach or style of service. Their Loyalty and trust matter a lot too. The goal is to get to the point where your clients become the ones who market your business for you. This can be achieved when they are satisfied.
Every big business once started small, so if you are a small entrepreneur and you have the desire and passion to expand and take your business to the next level, just be aware that it is possible, but your consistency, integrity and understanding about the market play an important role in your success. Keep your focus high and be the best you can be.