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I have an entrepreneurial spirit, and I come by it honestly. My dad has owned a small fence business for over 30 years. His business started out as a SIDE HUSTLE and later turned into a full-time career.
It all started when he was installing a fence in our back yard. Neighbors saw that he was building a fence and asked if he could build them a fence…and over time he gained more and more customers through word of mouth, hard work, and long hours.
I have worked in many different positions at my dad’s business in sales, the front office, driving material delivery trucks, and social media/blog manager. My dad has earned much wisdom over the years, and these are the 5 business tips that stick out in my mind as important for any business venture.
I think this is the most powerful word in business because anybody can do it. Put in effort every day to achieve your goals. Sometimes businesses grow and are successful because of timing. Doors open and things fall into place. But the consistent theme in ALL successful businesses is HARD WORK. Choosing to wake up early to work your business doesn’t require you to be super smart or talented. It requires work ethic and persistence. I think the fear of failure holds us back to really HUSTLE when this is what we need most for our business to succeed.
2. FIND THE PAIN POINT
My dad always talks about finding out what your customer needs and providing them with an answer to their problem. Your business success will depend on if you can target the needs of your customer. Can you find out what they need and create products or services that meet their needs and exceed their expectation? The way you find out their biggest problems is by talking to your customer. Build a relationship with your customer by asking them: Why do you want this? What’s wrong with what you have now? What do you hope to get out of this? Finding your customers “pain points” is really about asking good questions and being an even better listener!
3. CUSTOMER SERVICE
My dad’s business grew in the beginning through word of mouth, and it’s still that way today. Especially with technology and the way information is shared at such a fast pace. New customers are almost always referred by a friend who has received great service. Customers who receive quality service, their needs are met, and their expectations exceeded are your best form of advertisement. This relates to any business!
You know how a parent says something so many times that you can actually hear their voice in your head speaking that something to you. That’s how it is with my dad and education. He encourages me to take every opportunity to learn more about the field I am in and to use education as a way to launch the next step of your career or business. The key here is not thinking of education in a formal sense (ex. University/College) but rather every time you have the opportunity to learn new techniques, technology, or skills on the job. We should always be willing to grow and stretch ourselves to learn more. This keeps our business fluid and adaptable to the ever changing needs of our customers.
Education is also knowing your product or service inside and out. Always looking for the next area to improve on your product/service to better meet the needs (pain points) of your customer.
This last tip for building a better business is probably one of the most important ideas to being able to grow a business over time. I think advertising is one example of how flexibility and adaptability play an important role in business.
Over the past 15 years the way people look up information has drastically changed. If we want any information or entertainment it is literally in the palm of our hand 24/7. Even small businesses have had to adapt to this shift of how people receive advertisements. Social media plays a huge role in how people access information. Before I buy anything, I research on the web…I can find prices, styles, choices, compare prices. Most of the time I’ve already done the heavily lifting of a sale before I go into a store (virtual or brick and mortar) or meet with a sales person.
Even small businesses have had to adapt to this shift of how people receive advertisements. Social media plays a huge role in how people access information. Before I buy anything, I research on the web…I can find prices, styles, choices, compare prices. Most of the time I’ve already done the heavily lifting of a sale before I go into a store (virtual or brick and mortar) or meet with a sales person.
Companies that are flexible and willing to change with the times are companies that continue to grow. My dad has had his own website for at least 10 years now. The majority of his customers have already looked at his website before he even gets to the home for an estimate. He’s been able to include an incredible amount of information through his website, which has become a very effective tool in his “sales man” belt.
Technology for some can be seen as hard and challenging, but if your business is flexible then you can adapt to meet your customers where they are in their buyers journey. It makes business so much easier! Staying relevant means more long term success.