Welcome to the September 2022 edition of Thryve Tidbits. This month’s tips will improve your customer service, improve your profitability and build your network.
Lessons Learned: Take action and learn
Many small business owners don’t take action because they are afraid the change will not work. They focus on the probability of failure instead of the potential for success.
Considering the risks of various strategies is prudent, but not to the point of freezing your business. Take small steps to test out various opportunities that could increase your sales or improve your profitability. Keep tweaking as you discover which steps worked and which did not. Add resources to those successful moves to exploit the opportunity fully.
The attempts to improve that did not work as planned were not failures. They helped you to refine and perfect your next attempt until you are successful.
Book: Choose your Customer by Jonathan Byrnes
Jonathan Byrnes explains how smaller companies can successfully compete with the digital giants. The fast pace of technology change has left traditional business models in many industries (including accounting!) at a severe disadvantage. The author proposes that smaller businesses flex to target specific service and customer segments to supply more value and experiences to those individual customers compared to the more automated, uniform service model of the digital giants.
The key lessons of this book for me were:
- Industry shifts and changes in the economy represent opportunities for businesses willing to adapt their business model. We just need to keep our eyes open for the opportunities.
- You won’t be profitable if we serve all customers. Your strategy is defined by who you say no to. Choose the customers that are profitable and match your strengths.
- Continue to look for ways to add unique value to those specific customers
- Steps to success: Choose the customer and then identify or build capabilities to serve those customers effectively.
Questions for you to ponder:
- Who are the biggest competitors, digital or traditional, in your industry? What is their brand known for and how do customers benefit buying from them? Are there weaknesses in their service model for certain customer segments or types of customers that you can target?
- Do any of your current services help with this customer segment’s pain points? Can you change any of your services to specifically respond to the pain point?
- How can you shift your branding and marketing to target that specific customer segment?
Technology as a tool: LinkedIn
Do you use LinkedIn’s capabilities to build your business? Many people have created a profile in LinkedIn, but do not have a strategy to optimize their benefit from the platform’s vast reach. The key is to view your brand and network building as a long game that will continue over your career.
I am admittedly not an expert on LinkedIn, but I do see the power of the platform. Here are some ideas and strategies that I have learned from others.
- Complete your profile. Fill in the sections, such as About, so others looking at your profile can understand what you bring to the table and your ask from them
- Receive reviews and recommendations. Each of the comments help to build social proof of your expertise.
- Under certain subscriptions, you can search and filter people by job, employer and location. You can use these filters to refine your targeted outbound marketing.
- Post your videos and articles to a ready audience of connections. Use these pieces of content to display your knowledge and credibility in your area of expertise.
- Consistency is key. Keep building your personal brand.
Wishing you continued success and growth this month!