Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
When it comes to business, there are so many different elements to get right. Each of these areas should work independently, as well as in harmony with everything else for your business to function. It’s comparable to a machine in that if one part goes wrong, the entire thing will stop working. There are so many different plates to keep spinning as a business owner, however, there’s one thing that should never be overlooked and that’s whatever it is you’re selling. Your products or services are what people have come to buy, so everything else could be perfect but it won’t do well if this is wrong.
Get Your Product or Services Spot On
To get things right from the get-go, you should spend plenty of time doing market research. Make sure what you’re selling is in demand- and it’s at a price that people want to pay. If you’re manufacturing a product (or using a third party to do this for you) make sure you’re perfecting things like the design and materials until it’s exactly right. Things like PCB design software, for example, can be helpful if you’re dealing with electronics, as it allows you to create accurate models. That way you can see the finished product exactly. This gives you chance to make adjustments and alterations before going into production. You could make mockups first, and get people’s opinions of what you want to sell before churning out the mass product. If you’re offering services, be sure to test everything out before launching so you know it all works. Whatever it is you’re selling, this should be the focus. There are lots of other things to get right in business, but this should never be left as an afterthought- it should be the very best it can be.
Check Your Reviews
Hopefully all of your planning, hard work and preparation work will have paid off and you’ll have created something that people enjoy using. But you will start getting feedback once customers start purchasing. Don’t be afraid to check your reviews. If you’re noticing a running theme with any complaints then this is a cue that something probably needs adjusting. Market research is essential but the real test comes when people use your business. Do customers find that your products are easily broken or bad quality? Do they find that your services are slow? Whatever it is, get problems resolved quickly. Look at your competitors reviews too, and find out what kind of issues they are having. There could be a way for you to avoid these yourself or perhaps offer the customer something that they’re missing. The competition for customers is fierce, so keeping an eye on what similar companies are doing can be helpful.
If you’re selling services, the delivery of your product will be the employee who is selling them. This means excellent customer service is a must. You will need staff members who are friendly, efficient and knowledgeable so ensure everyone has the right training. If you’re selling physical products then the packing, handling and shipping is something to bear in mind. The last thing you want is to create an excellent product and it arrive at the customers home either in the wrong style or color, broken or past the quoted delivery date. In some cases, outsourcing your fulfillment can be the best option. Here a third party experienced company will deal with picking, packing and delivering so you can be sure that everything is being handled correctly. Otherwise, make sure you’re hiring good employees to do this for you and the best delivery company you can find. Some delivery companies are notoriously bad, with drivers leaving parcels everywhere from in bins to thrown over gates. Do your research, find one with great reviews. If you sell items that are a higher value, you could consider using a company that provides live tracking information on the day and sms alerts. If your items are smaller or lower value, using the postal service could be the best option. Either way, don’t overlook this because as well as having great products, they need to arrive at the customers homes on time and in one piece!
Whatever you’re selling, the creation and delivery of these products and services needs to be top notch. Otherwise, it defies the whole object of your business.