Starting and running a small business is no easy feat. The types of business practices you use will define the success of your organization. In order to establish a strong foundation for your company and grow your market share, be sure to fully research and understand the common business practices in your industry.
Filling a Need in the Market
Businesses exist to solve a problem. What is the ultimate goal of your organization? Understanding how your business fits into the economic landscape will help you determine what is unique about your company and why customers should care. You may have many local and global competitors that offer the same products or services that you do, so you have to clarify for consumers what makes you different.
The need that your business fills in the market should be unique to you. This helps customers understand the value of your offerings and persuades them to pay money for them. Use your unique value proposition as the foundation for all your business’s messaging, from your company mission, vision and values to your external advertising, promotion and public relations efforts.
Serving Customer Expectations
One of the most important examples of business practices is to keep customers happy. After all, your customers determine how successful your company will be. Conduct careful research to understand who your customers are and what they want.
Common business practices include developing an avatar or persona for the ideal customer. This persona helps businesses to effectively cater their offerings and their promotions to attract their customers. Creating a customer persona requires market research. Be sure to understand your ideal customers' demographics such as their age, gender, geographic location and income.
Assess their needs and wants. What kind of problem are they trying to solve, and how can your business help? What do they fear will happen if you cannot solve their problem? Once you have a deep understanding of who your customers are, you can effectively serve them with your offerings.
Engaging Employees Through Company Culture
Some simple business practices include engaging employees and helping them grow with your organization. Regardless of whether you have a staff of two or 20, it’s important to establish a company culture where your employees can thrive. The people who work in your business represent your company to your customers, so you want to ensure they are always putting their best foot forward.
Examples of business practices companies use to engage employees include incentive programs, rewards, education reimbursements and internal career-track programs. Build a company culture where employees feel a sense of loyalty and dedication. When employees feel fulfilled at work, they will be more inclined to better serve your customers. Better customer service leads to higher rates of customer loyalty and increased sales.
Using Successful Management Practices in an Organization
As a business owner, it’s critical to put effective management practices into place so that your business grows. Successful leaders inspire employees, invite innovative thinking and remove roadblocks so their teams can get the job done. The kind of leader you are will affect the way your employees interact with each other and with your customers.
Common business practices for successful leadership include providing clarity around the big ideas, such as why the company exists and what you are trying to do together. Leaders also actively create an organizational culture where employees work well together. This may include providing training or tools to improve productivity or build on key skills.
Leaders also show a human side of themselves to junior employees by getting to know them. Instead of remaining an unapproachable management figure, effective leaders show interest in their employees' lives.
Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.