In today’s world, it is widely believed that setting up and running a successful business has become easier. In a 2019 report, it was found that 45.5% of Americans think that starting a business is easier.
Going by this number, it is understandable why so many Americans want to be an entrepreneur. In a 2019 annual report released by Freshbooks, 24 million Americans want to be self-employed.
And we are witnessing a massive influx of entrepreneurs in every field of life. About half a million new businesses are launched each year in the US.
These statistics should fill the entrepreneur inside all of us with a lot of hope. The environment is conducive; people are launching businesses left, right, and center, becoming their own bosses.
But this is an incomplete picture. There is a flip side to it.
Yes, there are tons of businesses coming out, but not all of them are thriving. At worst, so many of them are failing and even closing down.
A Bureau of Labor Statistics reports said that 20% of businesses fail in the first year of inception, 30% in the second year, 50% after five years, and 70% in the tenth year.
So, what differentiates a successful startup and a failed startup? What is it that the survivors are doing that the failures are not doing?
Forbes says that “effective differentiation” is one of the main challenges faced by small businesses in their quest to compete with big businesses. How can you make your business stand out from the competitors? If you can answer this, you can prolong your business’ survival period and multiply the success.
This blog talks about how a business can stand out among its competitor and find its differentiating element.
Be honest about your product and service
The most basic principle of a business is simple: you are offering a product or a service that you say will fulfill your customers’ needs and solve their problems.
The customers, in return, are trusting your product or service and hope that it turns out as well as they thought before deciding to buy it.
It can only happen if you are selling what you are showing. Being honest and upright about the nature, qualities, benefits, performance, and results of your products is the first thing you can do to win your customers’ trust.
Customers do not need brands to go out of their way to make them feel valued. The basic courtesy of honesty and trust that customers will receive the same product or service that they are being shown is enough to earn loyal customers.
Make the life of your customers easy
In today’s world of information overload, it is easy to perceive that customers want to be more involved with businesses and companies. So, businesses send them messages, land into their inboxes, and flood the webpage with popups.
However, this is not entirely true. A Harvard Business Review article by Patrick Spenner and Karen Freeman said that “the rising volume of marketing messages isn’t empowering—it’s overwhelming.”
It also stated that the ill-conceived and relentless effort to engage customers pushes them away rather than pulling them into the fold.
So, instead of going overboard with marketing, businesses need to let the customers make their own choices. If they are coming to your website and they want to buy something. Let them do that in peace.
You can moderately tell them what similar products you have, which will only ease their buying decisions.
Likewise, promotional messages also need to be scaled to a level where they do not irk them. Occasionally messaging the customers on important events to inform them about discount deals and sales is fine. But, daily messaging, that too on every platform, result in more losses than gains.
Ensure customer satisfaction
Every business exists because of its customers. Businesses that are receptive to their customers’ concerns can increase the prospects of growth and success.
According to Dimension Data, an information technology company, 84% of organizations working to improve customer service report increased revenue.
Breaking it into actual revenue figures, another report by Convince and Convert states that a moderate increase in customer experience takes the revenue up by $823 million over three years with a company whose annual revenue is $1 billion.
82.3% jump in revenues only if you make efforts to provide good customer care.
Good customer care not only make you a preferred brand of people, but they will also recommend you to their friends and family members. In today’s world, where there are thousands of options for customers, good ‘word of mouth’ can help your business stand out.
Manage your finances
The most basic idea of business management can be described with a ‘circle.’ Here is how:
Customers will bring you money, but you first have to put in the money to bring customers. Any business can survive, for any length, if its finances are sorted. No business can survive without a healthy financial outlook.
A study by the US Bank states that 82% of business failures are due to poor cash management. The financial management of a business is multi-dimensional. It involves various aspects like sales records, banking transactions, bookkeeping, tax filing, asset management, etc.
If you fail in even one aspect, your business finances can suffer badly, increasing the capital crisis for your business.
Many accounting software takes care of everything to ease small, medium, and even large businesses into finance management. You can opt for all-in-one accounting software that can manage books, keep records of banking transactions, manage investments, create financial outlook reports, and calculate taxes.
Using this software to manage your business’ finances can relieve you of the stress of following your money. This will allow you to focus on innovating your products, improving product delivery, and improving customer service.
In this cut-throat business world, merely starting a business and taking care of day-to-day affairs is not enough. You have to think out of the box to come up with new solutions for your customers. Carving out a positive brand reputation and standing out from the crowd helps you become a preferred choice of your customers.
Marziano is a seasoned tech expert with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and multiple certifications, including CompTIA A+, Network+, and Cisco’s CCNA, he has a well-rounded and robust understanding of various aspects of technology.