All business owners want their companies to be successful, and to become recognised as a leader in their industry.
When you first launched your venture, the chances are that you were focused on the future. You probably dreamed of creating your own business empire with an impressive flagship headquarters and offices across the country. Creating business success on this scale takes time and plenty of effort to achieve and certainly does not happen overnight.
While you may be impatient for business success and feel frustrated that you are making slow progress in achieving your goals, it is essential that you don’t rush. Businesses that expand fast and focus on growth above all else do so at a cost. Forcing your business to expand fast for the sake of owning lots of branches and becoming well-known can often backfire. An unwavering focus on the future and being in a hurry to get there can mean that corners get cut, and your business’ core values are compromised. The phrase ‘quality over quantity’ applies in this situation. It is far better to be amazing at what you do and to be recognized and respected in your industry than to expand at such a fast pace that the quality of your products and services suffer as a result. Many businesses that grow too quickly soon find themselves in trouble and under a lot of pressure to keep up with the costs and demands of running several offices. The reason that these businesses struggle is that they have not given themselves time to get the details right, and have instead focused too far into the future.
Achieving long term business success is a marathon, not a sprint. Starting slowly and focusing on quality will earn you an excellent reputation, which you can then build on. To make your company a success now, and to ensure that it is still thriving decades into the future, it is essential to focus on the little things and to get them right. On their own, they may not be much; but all these little things combine to make a big difference to the reputation of your company and make your business stand out from your competitors.
Here are some of the small things to consider that will make a big difference to your business:
Your corporate colours may seem like a small consideration, but they are actually pretty powerful. Large corporations focus plenty of attention on creating the perfect corporate colours for their business and work hard to protect them. Think about some of the world’s biggest brands that have enjoyed decades of success, Coca-Cola, Tesco, Asda, Argos, Ford, to name just a few. Each of these brands is instantly recognizable by their corporate colours. The striking red of Coca-Cola and Argos’ logos makes them easy to identify straight away. Seeing these brand names reproduced in a different colour would look strange as their identities are intrinsically linked with their corporate colour scheme.
When choosing the corporate colours for your company, it is worth considering colour psychology. Using colour psychology will help you understand which colours will work best for your brand. Different colours have strong connotations, so choosing colours that best match your business’ values and the image you want to portray is vital. You need to select corporate colours that will appeal to your target market and act as a shorthand that makes your business recognizable and differentiates it from your competitors.
If you need further inspiration for choosing your corporate colours, think about your product in position on a shelf in a store alongside your competitors. What small changes can be carried out to make your colour scheme look more appealing and attractive to your target market? Opulent metallic colours such as gold and rose gold are often chosen by businesses hoping to attract customers at the luxury end of the market. Ethical, eco-friendly brands tend to steer towards browns and greens for their corporate colour scheme. As you can see, colour may seem like a small thing, but it can make a significant difference to your products.
Logo and branding style
Your business does not need to be a multinational corporation to have a strong brand. Building a strong brand from the very start paves the way for your future success. Having a strong brand makes your business instantly recognizable and helps to boost the recognition of your products. Creating a recognisable brand is the first step towards your products becoming a household name, so it is worth taking your time to focus on the details now. Contrary to popular belief, a brand is so much more than just your logo. Your brand is built from many smaller component parts; your logo is one of these, but so is your choice of corporate colours, the signage you use in your offices, and the corporate values that your company portrays. Focusing on choosing each of these smaller components carefully is essential. It is these smaller parts that will create the overall impression of your brand, and represent your company to your customers. Combining each of these smaller details so that they work together to create a cohesive brand is essential. If the individual parts don’t work together, they can weaken your branding and attract attention for the wrong reasons.
Looking for small inconsistencies in your branding, such as a colour that doesn’t sit well with your brand, or signage that looks dated and unattractive, will pull your brand together and strengthen it further to create a greater impact.
While so much communication is carried out online nowadays, your printed materials still remain an essential part of your business. When your customers receive a letter in the post from your company, the quality of paper used and the sharpness of the printing are things that they will notice. Cheap quality paper and a faded letterhead will give the impression that your business is either struggling financially or that you are a low-budget option. In contrast, heavyweight paper with a watermark will portray your company as high-end and professional. Your choice of letterhead stationery may seem unimportant, but it does contribute to the overall impression that your customers have of your business.
Business cards remain an essential item that every professional needs. Having a tangible item to give out when you make new contacts is a helpful reminder and makes it far simpler for you to follow up and reconnect with useful contacts in the future. When you hand over printed business cards, you need them to convey a positive impression of both you and your business. Having business cards designed and printed will look far more professional than attempting to create your own. If you are giving out your business cards in the hope that people will connect with you, you need to make sure that business cards represent you in the right way.
So much is written about customer service that sifting through the mountains of information about what you should and shouldn’t be doing can seem like a challenge in itself. There will always be new trends in customer service delivery, and new ways to measure customer satisfaction will continue to be invented. However, cutting through all of this and getting back to basics is often the best approach. When it comes to customer services, most consumers really want to have a positive experience with your business. Most consumers are not interested in completing your customer feedback surveys and don’t really want to use the live chat function on your website when they have traveled into town to visit your office in-person.
Providing every customer with excellent service each time they have contact with your business may sound overly simple. However, it is the most effective approach. Covering the basics, such as dealing with customer enquiries promptly and not leaving people on hold for hours, saying hello and goodbye, and having a strong knowledge of their job, are the things that customers value. It is these simple, but effective methods of delivering customer service, that will keep your customers returning to your business every time and will ensure that you build a strong reputation.
Running a successful business that stands the test of time is not something that can be achieved in a hurry. In fact, the more you focus on realizing results fast, the less likely it is that you will build a sustainable level of business success. Attention to detail is vital when laying the foundations for long term business success. The small things like creating a high-quality logo that represents your business in a positive way and answering the phone to customers fast are the little things that make a significant difference.
The challenge is to continue to do the little things even when your business has expanded. Staying true to your values and continuing to focus on the small details that set your business apart from the competition will make long term success far easier to achieve.