You’ve done what most people only dream of doing: opening a business. The thrill of new entrepreneurship is often the heady elixir of day dreams coming true and things falling into place at the right time. Over time, the strains of entrepreneurship can be stressful, however by following some very simple rules you can rise above others and see your business start to grow exponentially.
According to Business Insider, approximately 543,000 businesses are established each month in the U.S., but only a quarter of them will last 15 years from now with over half of them failing in the first five years. Some of those failures might attribute to poor management, poor financial practices, or a plethora of other details that were not anticipated in the beginning. One potential contributor that is impossible to ignore is the competition that businesses face for consumer loyalty.
How Do You Beat out the Competition?
If only there were a fool-proof formula for beating your competition, everyone would be a successful business owner.The good news is: There are some things you can do for yourself to give yourself an edge on your competition.
1. Be Visible
According to Reuters, “Consumers bought an estimated 84 million [fitness] tracking devices in 2013.” What does that mean for you? As a fitness organization, you have to enable the tech-savvy masses access to you and your business at all times.
Having a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account is no longer enough. Everyone expects accessibility when they’re paying a business for their services. By using programs like HealingRadius and HealingRadiusPro, you will be able to monitor your online reviews, respond to customer inquires, and book online appointments. Being accessible to your customers will allow them to share your information with their contacts and give you additional free promotions.
Spring for the banners, logos and professional photos that will advertise you to consumers as a person who knows their business. Beyond that, think outside the box when it comes to advertising. Sponsor a local charity event or host a competition with winners partaking of free services. Most importantly, track what is working for your business. Did the new photos bring in more people? Did your sponsorship? There are a plethora of methods out there for checking the financial viability of ad campaigns. Use them so you make every nickel spent on advertising count.
Consider whether or not a personalized app for your business is worth the initial investment or use a program like HealingRadius & HealingRadiusPro to enable your customers accessibility through their app. Creating an interactive platform will enable you to remind customers of your presence at all times.
Enable customers to send personalized messages to instructions and offer digital advice on tips and tricks for your business.
Be personable when interacting with customers because it will enable them to feel comfortable with you and your services, ensuring that they want to use your services again.
According to The Guardian, “It is important to get your employees engaged because customer engagement is a shared responsibility across the enterprise…Every employee must be empowered to recognize a customer engagement opportunity and act on it.” The employees of your company are representing you and your brand to the outside world. Exceptional customer engagement will ensure customer reviews and repeated interaction.
Make sure that whoever answers the phone calls, social media posts and all blogging interactions understand proper business etiquette.
For example, when I moved to a new home, I needed a new gym but was unfamiliar with any around me. There were eight listed on the search engine and after narrowing down the search to three (with the better reviews), I decided to give them a call. I was already nervous about calling because they didn’t offer online appointments or booking options like I could’ve found on HealingRadius, so professionalism and the ability to make me feel relaxed was necessary for my business. The first one who answered sounded miffed that his day was being interrupted. I didn’t take the service and wouldn’t have, even if they’d been the cheapest available because I didn’t trust that they would answer my questions and concerns in a professional manner.
Answer all reviews with politeness and courtesy. This one may be the hardest to master. Even if the review is negative, apologize for the experience and offer to have a private discussion with them to address their problem. Most people have far more respect for businesses who take the time to address customer concerns than those who either ignore or call customers out on rude behavior. If you’re a fitness or wellness center, it’s easy to answer reviews through HealingRadius & HealingRadiusPro, so it would b a great system to use to handle customer interactions.
3. Create a Buzz
What does that mean? Be creative! Don’t just follow the steps of successful businesses before you, make a few adjustments that enable you to offer something unique to your customers.
For example, If you own a business that specializes in nature hikes, once a week or once a month, offer an official bring-your-dog-to-walk day. It will encourage your pet-loving customers to use more of your services while providing a good bit of fun for everyone involved.
Sponsoring a charity event or hosting a competition is a great way to create a buzz. Pairing your name with a worthy cause can tie your business to the community with the idea that you want to make a difference. Who knows, it might become an annual event that ends up doing a lot of good, in addition to bringing new customers to your door.
Don’t forget to advertise what separates you from the average fitness or wellness center. What do you offer that is different? Do you have a digital Q&A with your team fitness coach on Twitter Mondays? Don’t keep it quiet! Let people know it’s there. A recent Reuters article in the Business Insider stated that boutique studios that “offer a more personal approach to fitness and a softer ambience” are a large portion of a $22.4 billion industry in the U.S. Show your customers that your facility offers an experience for every individual rather than a membership for one of many.
4. Don’t Fail to Use Your Connections
Most business people know far more people than they think and are missing out on opportunities to promote themselves and their businesses. Give your connections business cards, ask to display your logo in their lobby, or maybe just ask for a shout out on their website, blogs, personal pages, etc.
Give your existing customers the incentive to promote your business. For example, for so many referrals, a customer can earn a free spa treatment, and for so many promotions on social media, a customer can earn a free water bottle.
Running a business is never easy and requires dedication to be successful, however, making your mark requires a bit more creativity. Just put your thinking caps on and think outside of the box. If you’re a wellness or fitness owner and are looking for a program to help you on your way to success, don’t forget to check out HealingRadius & HealingRadiusPro to see if these business management systems could work for you. Good luck!
I hope that the tips and tricks you’ve read above help you achieve the success you are looking for!
Allison Barfield is a content writer for Span Enterprises and has been writing since she first learned to hold a pencil, shortly after birth. After graduating from the University of South Carolina in 2013 with a B.A. in media arts she fell in love with marketing. She's been copy writing and managing multiple blogs ever since.