Tried and True "Trends" for Business
Google the term “new trends for business” and you’ll get dozens of hits. You’ll see the fastest growing industries, the fastest growing career choices, the hottest new businesses to start, new social media platforms to try, trends to help companies thrive in the “new normal”, predictions, things to watch… Every business expert (or keyboard warrior who thinks they’re a business expert) has an opinion and statistics to back up what they declare to be the latest and greatest.
While these things can be helpful, let’s not forget those tried and true business best practices that have served us well since the beginning of time.A high standard of customer service.It doesn’t really matter what your business does or sells. If you have great customer service, your business has a much higher chance of success. And we don’t mean status quo customer service, but what is the thing that sets your business apart? These days, people expect great customer service- so find ways to surprise and delight your customers all the time, not just occasionally. It creates customer loyalty and raving fans!Do the right thing.We’ve all heard the old adage “The customer is always right.” Wellllll… not necessarily, and we can all think of examples when that wasn’t the case. Better may be “The customer is always the customer” and without customers, we don’t have businesses. So make a point to always do the right thing by your customers. Even if they aren’t right, you still treat them as a valued customer. Find a way to say “yes” and turn a potentially negative situation into a positive one.Relationships and networks are always important.As fast as the SAW region is growing, it’s still a small town. We live in a community where people know each other and want to support each other in business. Supporting local businesses is obviously very important to the Chamber of Commerce and it’s important to our members. We want to know who we’re doing business with. Making and maintaining great connections is important for so many reasons, plus you create a network of people who will advertise for you! You never know where your next customer will come from!Be in charge of your story.Your reputation isn’t what you say about yourself or your business; it’s what others say about you. Make sure you know what the “word on the street” is and be the person who controls that narrative. Don’t give customers (or potential customers) any reason to bad mouth your business. Be clear on the values and priorities of your business and make sure your employees understand this too.Don’t forget to work ON your business, not just IN your business.It’s really easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of running a business and neglect all the big picture stuff. Before long, we look up and months have passed with no thought or planning for the future. Whether you’re a business owner, manager, or independent contractor, it’s important to set aside purposeful time to focus ON the business of your business. Make weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual, and long term planning a priority. Maybe you set aside time during the week where you are solely focused on those things. If you don’t plan and prepare for growth, guess what? It won’t happen.
What would you add to this list? What tried and true best practices work for you?
Not a member of the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce? We’d love to chat! Chambers of commerce have been around since 1599, when the first one was established in Marseille, France. The first chamber of commerce in the United States was established in 1768 for the state of New York. The first local chamber of commerce was founded in Charleston, SC in 1773. So you might say being a member of a chamber of commerce is definitely a tried and true business trend!