We asked 200 business owners what the top four business concerns they face in 2019 are.
These concerns are listed in order of priority as:
- Attracting new high value business clients
- Declining sales growth and profit margins
- Capacity and time constraints
- Transitioning from an expected to an exceptional business model
I can’t say I’m surprised with this list, as a business coach I’ve spent years solving the burning issues of business owners. So looking at the current business landscape, just as with a bit of research and insight you can identify the trends that provide opportunities for businesses to capitalize on, you can also see what’s set to challenge businesses.
In this blog, we’ll address 2 of these issues and will also offer solutions to overcome each challenge. So, here we go, let’s start with attracting new high-value business clients.
Attracting New High-Value Business Clients
From our survey, it was apparent that businesses are now hungry for growth and that their staff need to be motivated and focused on growth through exceptional practices. The next step is taking action.
The survey also pointed out that business owners don’t believe they have the right relationship with their existing clients. Only 64% believed that they had enough relationship and product trust with their clients to grow their business services and sales. This underlines the highest business concern, if owners don’t believe they can grow their business with existing clients (which costs 1/6th of the cost of getting business from a new client…), they will clearly lack confidence in attracting new business clients.
Business owners also do not have a system for delivering improved business services and products. Without having a system that streamlines the process of implementing continuous improvement and staying ahead of the market, they risk falling behind. Business owners also don’t know how to market these services and products well.
Customers are more price-conscious than ever, and constantly shopping around for better prices. They look at expected services to be a commodity, and as such, they don’t see why they should pay more for that commodity with existing businesses. Unfortunately, business owners are dropping their prices in order to retain these clients. And competing on price is not how to grow a business. Competing on price is competing to get to the bottom first. The latest price competition has had a detrimental effect on many businesses profits as profits have been declining over the past two years.
Reducing price is not going to grow the business. The key to growing a business is differentiation. Do something and separate your business from all other businesses by offering a unique selling proposition (USP). And not just the stock standard sales pitch such as lowest price, best quality, great service etc. When I say different… I mean different! Think about delivering marketing strategies and tactics (the message) that will help your small business,
overcome cash flow problems, and take your business to the next level.
Clients would never leave an accountant that helped them to grow their business. And these clients will refer other small business owners to the accountant as well. By offering a USP that will help your clients, you will not only retain quality clients, they will also attract new quality clients through the inevitable stream of referrals that comes with an exceptional offering.
There are many strategies that business owners can implement in order to grow their business with quality clients in 2019 onwards.
Transitioning From An Expected To An Exceptional Business Model.
From the business owners surveyed there were 50% of business owners that believed major changes were required for their business to grow but did not have a plan to implement those changes. Business owners want to grow and improve their business. The next step is to achieve it – and business owners are not sure that they will succeed in taking this step.
There are 58% of business owners that believe that they are OK in offering expected services and products to their clients, while 33% stated they are not so good. We are all capable of providing good service, to do it every once in a while or even most of the time is something that comes with the territory of having a passion for what you do! However, Business owners don’t have the tools required to deliver exceptional service every time. Nor do they have systems to ensure the consistency of good services. Business owners think they just don’t have the time or resources to deliver improved services, but that’s not true…And that actually means they don’t prioritize improvement in this area.
A business owner needs to differentiate themselves from all other similar businesses that offer the same vanilla product or services. Differentiation is the key and business owners must create an apples vs oranges comparison between themselves and their competition. They must do something different and unique and it must be something that the customer wants…and simply cannot live without.
There are clear opportunities for the business to satisfy the needs of customers by improving their products and services. Let me explain…
When you ask small business owners the two things that could really help them with their business right now: they almost always respond with:-
- More customers and…
- More revenue
And if a business owner wants to increase their customers and revenue, they need to offer more than just expected services or products. Expected is not going to help their customers or grow their business and take it to the next level…business improvements towards being EXCEPTIONAL in operations, marketing, service and sales will. When a business helps their clients meet and exceed their needs, the business will increase revenue and profits and improve cash flow, they will have loyal clients for a long time. Have a think about it… why would any customer even consider leaving your business that has exceptional services and helps them exceed their needs or grow their business year in and year out.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog where I’ll address the next two concerns of business owners. In the meantime, if you’d like to attract high value business clients and transition from an expected to exceptional business book a chat with me and let’s work together to make your business 2019-proof.