For any business to survive in the competitive corporate world, there are certain things you need to get right. You might receive conflicting advice on what these essential things actually are, and when it comes down to it, every business is unique and should have an individual strategy for survival and success.
However, we believe that the following five points are applicable to any and every business. Do these five things, and focus on doing them well – and we guarantee that your business will thrive as well as survive.
1. Develop and maintain a strong brand.
Branding is absolutely essential for every type of business. Your brand is who you are as a company – it’s how your customers and clients come to identify, know and rely on you. In order to build and maintain a strong brand, you need to develop a brand identity that appeals to your intended audience – one that they can relate to and trust in.
The values, ideals and ‘personality’ of a company will often have an effect on the type of people it attracts. This means that you must know your audience well, and communicate a business identity with which they’ll identify and ultimately decide to trust and follow.
2. Provide impeccable customer service.
As with your brand identity, your service models must always be focused on the customer or client. They are the people for whom your business was created, and they are the people you should prioritise and serve to the best of your ability.
In the end, your customers are the people who have the power to decide whether your business survives or fails. So be sure to listen and respond to their needs, and to keep your company’s focus on them at all times.
3. Have a well-designed website and an effective user experience.
These days, a business without an online presence is really no business at all. It’s hard to retain a competitive edge over other companies without a solid web presence – and that involves two main things: a well-designed website and an easy-to-navigate, effective user experience.
A well-designed website will become an essential part of your brand. As we discussed above, branding is everything, so ensure that your website capitalises on this by employing aesthetically appealing design that’s in line with your brand.
It’s not all just about design, though; you must also ensure that the user experience is as smooth and effective as possible. As we discussed above, your customers should always be at the forefront of your business decisions, and that’s more important than ever when it comes to designing an online user experience.
4. Remain consistent and authentic.
Customers and clients want to engage with businesses they can trust and rely on. In order for your business to foster this sense of trust, you need to remain consistent, transparent and authentic at all times. But what does this mean, exactly?
To start with, consistency and authenticity involves sticking to the message and values of your business/brand. If you make a promise to your customers, you must deliver on that promise. If you promote a certain message or sense of personality through your brand, you must remain true to it through every aspect of your business, every piece of content you create, and every product or service you deliver. A trustworthy, authentic and consistent business is a valuable one in consumers’ eyes.
5. Take advice from the right people.
When you’re a business owner – especially the owner of a small business – you’ll have advice thrown at you from all sides. But it’s important to remember that not everyone’s an expert, and that you should pay attention to those who are.
Heeding advice from those experienced in your industry, as well as professional advisers and influential investors, will stand you in good stead when it comes to business longevity. The Australian government even provides advice for business owners and entrepeneurs.
To maximise your business’ potential, don’t forget to listen to the advice of those who matter the most: your own customers.
There’s no magic recipe for business survival and success, but following these five simple instructions will ensure that your business develops a solid foundation for a prosperous future.