As a small business owner, you need to understand the success of your business depends on one thing. It depends on you being able to communicate a clear message about the business to prospective customers. Keeping in mind that first impressions matter, the message needs to be clear from the very beginning.
Remember, every business needs to be ready to compete with other companies that are offering the same consumer goods or services. Very rare is the business that doesn't need to compete. With so many available choices, consumers need enough information to help them make their decisions quickly.
All of this points to one very important question: "What is it prospective customers want to know about your business?"
The following discussion is going to focus on five things you need to convey about your business. The companies that can address these five things effectively and efficiently will likely be the same companies that succeed.
What Goods and Services are Available?
Why is your company in business? In other words, what goods or services is your company trying to sell?
If your promotional efforts can't convey an answer to this question almost immediately, the business is going to struggle. Prospective customers don't have a lot of time to waste on research. They already know what kind of goods or services they want to purchase. What they don't have is time to deal with merchants and service providers who are slow to describe what's for sale.
All of your advertising and promotional efforts need to get right to the point. These efforts need to tell consumers what the business is offering in very specific detail.
Once consumers know your business is offering what they want or need, the next question in their minds is predictable. They are going to want to know the pricing of the goods or services the company is offering.
There can be no ambiguity here. Consumers want specific details about what it's going to cost them if they decide to make a purchase. The pricing details should include tax and shipping. Size and color information (when applicable) should also be readily available along with pricing.
Availability of the Products or Services
The current business environment has morphed into one that doesn't allow a lot of room for patience. Consumers tend to wait until the last minute to make purchases. When they are ready to pull the trigger, they want to know how quickly the company is going to be able to deliver.
The reputation of your business is going to turn on your company's ability to deliver as advertised. Consumers want to know when the company's goods and services are available and how they will be delivered to them. You need to provide the real answer, not what you think customers want to hear. Customers will make their purchasing decisions accordingly.
Warranties and Guanrantees
A business' credibility is usually tied to its efforts to stand by the quality of what it's offering by way of goods and services. Consumers get a lot of comfort from knowing exactly what kind of warranties and guarantees they will be getting with every purchase. This is information that should not only be easy to find, but it should also be promoted through advertising.
Referrals and Testimonials
There is a good chance every new customer that comes your way will know very little about you and your business. The best way to convey this information is through a series of referrals and testimonials from other customers. Over time, this kind of information will create a reputation your business can use as a promotional tool.
If you want your small business to succeed at all levels, communication with prospective customers should be a top priority. If you only get one opportunity to get it right, consumers will usually respond positively if they get quick answers in these five areas.