We’ve all heard the stories of the successful startups which turned entrepreneurs running them into billionaires over the course of night. The truth is that such businesses make very small, if negligible number of startups. The rest are faced with the harsh reality that, according to recent survey, nearly 50% of small businesses fail within the first year of their existence, and 95% do not live long enough to see their sixth year. It is obvious that if startups want to find their place within those fortunate 5% they have to invest a lot of hard work, and avoid beginners’ mistakes which would potentially destroy them. Let us then address the latter set of responsibilities and see what kind of basic services startups must provide in order to be successful.
Quality Product or Service
Managing quality is the most important ingredient in one startup’s success story, if not for any other reason, than only because your customers expect certain amount of quality for the money spent. Failing to deliver this promise can only hurt your reputation and decrease customer satisfaction. Keep in mind that quality is also associated with consistency, so it is very important to maintain the same quality standards that made your customers happy in the first place. If you are not able to keep up the pace of your startup’s growth always insist on quality over quantity. You will be able to charge more for the products, which will compensate for the lack of covered ground. Your primary foothold will, however, remain uncompromised.
Reliable Customer Service
Customer service is the way how some company handles issues in stores, by email, or over the phone. In other words, customer service covers all the touch points between your company and its current and possible clients. Mishandle this aspect of your business, and everything else you have done well will fall into the second place to the bitter taste your customers feel while dealing with you. Avoid that by sticking to these few rules:
- Be available. If you are not there for the customers when they need you the most, you may as well lose them forever. Therefore, you should do your best to open several channels of communication and stay available 24/7.
- Offer knowledge and services. Being there covers only the essentials of good customer service, though. Being useful and offering free knowledge and free services is a whole other case.
- Comply with the deadlines. Or in other words, do not give the promises you are not able to keep. Offering the realistic deadline is less harmful than failing to resolve some issue in the promised time.
Safe and Simple Online Shop
As the time goes by, people tend to spend more and more money purchasing online, and for a good reason too. Online shopping is faster, more convenient, and sometimes even cheaper than the traditional one. Still, these benefits count only if your online shop is easy to use, and safe. So, if you want to kick-start your business, and instantly appeal to the 3 billion people using internet today, make sure you have an online shop which is optimized for access from mobile devices, easy to navigate, transparent, and of course reliable. Handling all of these issues can be somewhat demanding, but you can always visit some website where entrepreneurs and experts share their insights and knowledge, like ProOpinion blog, and exchange the experiences with other professionals in order to avoid learning on your own mistakes.
The fact that only 5% of startups outlive their first five years of existence may sound frightening at first, but it also further proves that success is achieved only through hard work and careful moves. Get the handle of the three services we mentioned above, and you will create a great foundation for both of them.
Guest Author: Nate M. Vickery
Nate M. Vickery is a business consultant from Sydney, Australia. He is mostly engaged in providing entrepreneurs and small business owners with management and marketing advice. He is also the editor in chief on Bizzmarkblog.com.
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