WORKING ON YOUR BUSINESS

A NOTE FROM OUR BUSINESS ADVISOR:
JANET CRESSWELL

Like everyone else in business, we are looking at how technology can help us through this time. The Millin Charity has set up online ‘Ask the Business Advisor’ sessions, which connects fledgling business women with each other and with myself. A theme for the last two sessions has been about using the internet for research into our business ideas and how to connect with customers to sell either online or to build a potential customer base, so that when you are ready to trade you have a good start point.
Whether you are working online or face to face, the same business principles always apply.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CUSTOMER
Your customers decide whether your business grows or withers away. So, everything you do must be customer focused. Make it an easy and pleasant experience to buy from you. You can do this through researching who your typical customer is.

WHO IS YOUR CUSTOMER?
Give them a persona: For example, Mrs A is a busy mum working part time. She has a small budget to treat herself and buy treats for her family and friends.

Then think about where Mrs A might go, either to buy or to see promotional material. This could be online through social media sites, or by visiting craft fairs and markets, or meeting friends for a coffee, etc. Those places that Mrs A visits, either for real or online is where you need to be promoting your products and services. Promotion must sell the benefits of doing business with you. What sets your business apart from other similar businesses?

KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH CUSTOMERS 
When it comes to making the sale, make it easy to purchase from you. And where applicable, follow up. If Mrs A is buying from you face to face, a simple thank you will be part of the transaction; but you could ask if she would like to follow your social media page, or join a mailing list. Similarly, if selling online, sending through a thank you message with the links to social media and joining the mailing list might also be a good plan. But again, make it easy and sell the benefits of doing this.  If Mrs A likes what she bought, she can then share your social media page with her friends. Mailing lists and social media can be used to inform people of any events coming up that you are attending, any special offers or any new products, and keeps the connection with the customer, who may then buy from you again. You can find out more about creating a Facebook business page by clicking here.

MARKET RESEARCH
There are lots of easy ways that you can connect with potential customers using social media. How about try using free tools such as creating a Poll to find out which of your products are most popular? Check out this short tutorial for further details. 

Back next time with some more tips for great businesses! Janet x

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