When it comes to starting a company, developing a solid customer base as soon as possible is best for success. These are the people who pay for your efforts, after all. Not to mention that early word of mouth is the most crucial starter marketing you could hope for.
Sadly, though, some customers also pray specifically on new businesses like yours. If you’re too much of a soft touch, that could lead to a great deal more time and effort during this crucial period.
While you need to appreciate your first few customers, then, you also need to make sure they know you aren’t a pushover. If they think they can get money or benefits out of you, they definitely will. Be clear that isn’t an option by keeping the following in mind.
The importance of a professional front
Presenting a professional front the moment you open those business doors isn’t easy. Whatever you do, though, don’t let customers see that. If your shop floor seems disordered, customers may make complaints, or try to get money back where they aren’t entitled. Equally, clients may attempt to avoid paying invoices if they think you won’t notice. Avoid these issues by putting a clear returns policy in place from day one, and also using an invoice generator to develop professional invoices which show you aren’t messing around. You may well be melting down in the backroom, but these gestures make it a lot less likely that customers will try to take advantage.
The benefits of employing experienced staff
Many business owners make the mistake of employing cheaper, inexperienced team members to start. Sadly, a new company with a young workforce is asking for trouble. Rather than employing a lot of people who don’t know what they’re doing, then, think about offering higher salaries to a limited but experienced team. Even if you’re new to this, qualified individuals will be able to keep things afloat. They’ll certainly know a thing or two about dealing with advantageous clients.
The importance of remembering your worth
You’re probably so keen to grow your business that you’re willing to do whatever a client asks, even if that means completing the same work ten times, or adding little extras without asking for additional pay. The trouble is that habits like these die hard, and customers could push you to your limits if you know that you’re a ‘yes person.’ Instead, always remember the worth of your work. If you make mistakes, by all means, redo work until it’s up to standard. But, if a client is asking for further efforts with no valid reason, then put your foot down and be clear about any extra fees. In many ways, this is like a game of chicken. You may assume that a client will go elsewhere if you challenge them like this, but that’s not necessarily true. In reality, they’ll likely stick around and respect you more for your determination. That, my friends, is how good business reputations begin.