In the latest instalment of our 2020 Back to Work Tips series, Jan Strassen of One Stop Order Processing discusses who to be authentic in your business and remain real to your customers:
Why do some new companies thrive and some fail? I can see two businesses start at the same time, one does really one and the other flounders. There are many practical reasons for this, business knowledge, luck to some extent, efficiency, pricing but I also believe that authenticity is a big player in the success of some businesses.
Here are my five steps to being authentic:
- Truly understand your USP
What does your company have that makes you better than your competitors. Really understand what it is that matters to you and to your customers is and take time to find the thing that you have that Different markets require different USP, it could be quality, service, uniqueness, any number of things but invest time nailing down the thing that is going to help you to sell and make you stand out from the crowd.
- Be the expert in your area
Research everything that you can, make sure that you can answer any questions that your customers ask. You will build confidence in your customer base if you can quickly answer queries from your customers. You can also add value to your website by adding resources that your customers can use to build their knowledge.
- Practice what you preach
Think about everything you do and make sure that it matches your USP, I saw a new plastic free shop opening recently and they had a free raffle to celebrate opening, the prize was a lovely gift set packed with their products and wrapped up in plastic with a nice big bow on the top, that gave completely the wrong message and made it look as if they didn’t really know what they were doing.
- Don’t be tempted to sell outside your area
If you find a bargain product, it is tempting to sell it but if it doesn’t match your brand it will dilute your business message and increase your cost of selling. Even if you love the product, just don’t do it, stick to your core product range – do sell complementary products, so if you sell soap for example, sell soap dishes but not sinks.
- Don’t be too authentic
If you are really passionate about your business you may have a deeper understanding that your customers do. Don’t be preachy when you deal with your customers, try to understand their needs and help them to find what they need.