If you’re reading this, you’re probable a small business owner. That’s my audience and that’s who I serve. So it is very important that I share this message with you because if you haven’t already made these mistakes in one form or another, then I would like to stop you before you do. Because sometimes we make Big Business Mistakes that don’t make sense.
I’m not talking about the size of the mistakes, It’s about the type of mistakes for the size of your business. I see people making mistakes about how they create content, sell their products and service their clients. And the way these mistakes are viewed by their clients is they don’t have enough time; enough staff and they don’t care.
I’ll bet you’ve been to a large store and as you look around, the environment seems like everything is under control. In most cases it isn’t. Because when you look closely at the details you will begin to see the problems that exist, and you probably already have.
You walk in and nobody greats you.
Does that seem right? Not at all. They don’t see the value of being personable or they don’t think they have the time or ability to do that for most of their potential customers. Maybe a previous customer was not receptive, so they decided to stop making the effort. Either way, it’s not good.
This is virtually the same as having people engage with your content and you say nothing. You appreciate the recognition silently but fail to create a connection. Most people who take the time to comment on social media and don’t get a response rarely every comment again.
You can’t find what you were looking for or it’s out of stock.
Making the effort to go somewhere is an investment in time and energy, I’m sure you made that investment and have come up short. You truly expected to find that one thing from a store (brand) that you count on and trust only to be disappointed or frustrated.
This happens online when your branding or message is not in line with your business services/ products. People create an image in their minds of what you do or sell and then when they are ready to invest their money in you they find out you don’t offer what they though you did. It’s a huge miss.
The place looked clean but is actually dirty.
This one is awesome and I’ve experienced this firsthand. Everything looks fine until you caught a glimpse of their stock room, bathroom or change room. Then you see the clutter behind the counter and the dust on the fixtures or the dirty windows. Sure, if you stand back far enough you don’t see it. The problem is, people need to get really close to purchase the product, and if they notice enough dust bunnies, they don’t buy at all.
The digital business world may not collect dust but it needs to be maintained and if your social media pages and websites are not looked after, it’s a loss that could have been avoided (Believe me I know, I’m doing a complete rebuild). Broken links, images and videos that don’t work, updates that aren’t done and pages that aren’t operational, these are the things that make people believe there are problems beyond what they are seeing and it’s a big deterrent for online transactions.
The service was not what it should be.
I’ve shopped and found what I needed on my own, and then headed to the cash register with the only communication to that point being the amount I owed. I don’t expect people to celebrate me buying something. But why should I buy it from them when they made me feel nonexistent? Do they have so many customers they no longer appreciate them? Is business so busy that I should feel privileged to buy something from them? No, I walk out and don’t come back. I tell anyone I know about it too.
When I see the online business version of this, it blows my mind. If you’re so busy that you are struggling, that’s a good problem to have, but one that must be fixed right away. I’ve seen people lose clients fast this way. While they felt their work or product was growing in value, they started to devalue their customers because their customer acquisition costs went way down (from good things that grew their business originally). As a result, their brand takes a hit, a hard one. Because when people start to believe they aren’t valued, they think it doesn’t care either. It changes people’s world view of them. The way people need to treat their client and customers must be good/great and consistent. When your 200th client gets treated much worse than your first 10 did, that says a lot about a business owners’ real motivations.
These problems exist in big businesses because management stops looking at the details. Things are moving so fast and in large volume it seems like a hard ship to steer. And most of the time their huge revenues can make it seem like it’s acceptable. But for the small business, it just shouldn’t happen.
We should all be looking at the details. We should not believe for a second that we have the same margin of error the bigger businesses have. Sure, we hope to grow our businesses, but not so we can outgrow being a good business. Taking care of the details and every client is vitally important, your reputation and brand depend on it, and therefore your business does.