Some MD’s may well say they do, others will say their departmental heads are generally responsible for the day to day running of their business. It’s our opinion that businesses will continue to move forward with the help of a whole host of people, some of which you will never get the opportunity to meet!
It is important to understand what keeps a business going and to appreciate those that help it to flourish, even if they are doing so in their own interests. Here, we outline who we feel are the key stakeholders that are responsible and what you can do to ensure they continue to help your business be the best that it can be.
You – the business owner
Most business owners work extremely hard, often putting in more hours than they really should and as a result they invariably neglect themselves, their social life and more importantly their family environment in the process. Unfortunately, stretching yourself to capacity will ultimately do more harm than good in the long-term, both as an individual and for the business as a whole. This is especially true when they’re responsible for key decision making, ensuring government regulations are being followed, keeping finances up to date and the many other important tasks that come with running a successful business.
No matter how busy you are, it’s always important that you take a break as the more you overwork yourself the less productive you will become. It’s a vicious cycle that many people find themselves in but just don’t have the forward vision or the required confidence in others to avoid. The most effective way to ensure productivity is maintained is to fully utilise and empower your existing employees as at the end of the day, that’s what you have them for. If you are already doing this and you still find yourself struggling then perhaps it’s time to consider outsourcing some of your workload to a call answering service. Phone calls can take a considerable chunk of time out of your day. Outsourcing is another great way to save both you and your employee’s additional hours whenever the need arises.
Other businesses – Supplying you with everything you need at the right price?
Whilst you are effectively their customer, they still play an important role in the day to day running of your business as every single product or service provided is more than likely to enable you to run your own business. For example, if your telephone lines or internet connection goes down this will have a direct impact on the service you are providing to your customers, especially if you decided to outsource, as they will in most cases be communicating directly with your customers meaning that they are acting as an extension to your business.
Whenever entering into a business relationship with an external agency whether it’s for a one-off purchase or for an on-going service, it’s hugely important that you do your homework. This may well sound like an obvious observation but the importance of this should never be underestimated as the consequences of not doing so can be both time-consuming and extremely expensive. Make sure that the business you chose has a good reputation and their product or services are of the quality that will best represent your own business. It’s a common mistake to put too much emphasis on cost rather than quality only to be left disappointed and end up spending even more trying to fix the problem. Work towards maintaining a good, mutually beneficial relationship with your preferred suppliers and ensure you are receiving all of the available benefits with any service you use.
Your employees – We often refer to them as the heartbeat of your business!
Your employees should always be an extension of you and the standards that you wish to portray to your customers. They are often your customer’s first and on-going point of contact, meaning they are the people that will represent you and your business. Therefore it is essential that you choose them wisely and once you’ve found what you are looking for; you do your best to keep hold of them.
You can do this by providing a great working environment and by being a good and fair person to work for. Expect high standards from the start but don’t expect them to be as driven as you initially. Once an employee has bought into the business brand values and ethos you will find their commitment to succeed for you will follow. Overworking them will only result in the quality of their work decreasing and staff morale being affected. If you feel that their workloads are too heavy, give them a break and outsource some of the work.
As we previously mentioned, using a virtual assistant will save them hours every week by minimising distractions and allowing them some quiet time to focus on the things that will make a real difference to your business. You can also use this type of service to give you time to treat your staff, maybe just enough to take them to lunch every now and again or even an annual day of fun with team building activities allowing them to bond with their colleagues and develop good working relationships.
“When employees feel that the company takes their interest to heart, then the employees will take company interests to heart,” says Dr. Nelson, a clinical psychologist, bestselling author and business trial consultant.
Your Customers – A business without customers isn’t a business at all!
Customers are now cannier than ever when it comes to customer experiences. Do the job well and customers will spend more and remain loyal – get it wrong and the clock is ticking while they are busy finding another company to spend their money with.
Always aim to exceed customer expectations, take the time to listen to them and then make a point of doing everything you can to meet their requirements. Customer Experience plays a massive part in the way your business is viewed by consumers and sometimes supersedes the actual product or service you are selling. The best way to keep your customers happy is to be ready and available whenever they need to contact your business. Although it may not always be practical for you or your staff to be available 24/7, it is still possible to offer your customers an around the clock service with the use of customised call handling. According to IQPC’s Executive Report, 79.7% of respondents said that an outsourced call centre had a huge role in defining their customers overall experience.
Your Competition – They keep you on your toes!
Although you may dream of ridding yourself of competitors, having them there will help to define and improve your business. It’s always good to have something to compare your business against and an incentive to keep pushing the boundaries to help you stay ahead in the race.
As already mentioned, competitors have the potential to pick up any unhappy customers but let’s not forget that you’re their competitor too and if you’re getting customer satisfaction right, you will invariably be the one picking up the strays!
It has been reported that 62% of organisations view customer experience provided through the use of professional outsourced Call Centres as a highly competitive differentiator and many businesses now use them as their front line support for their customers.
Get the best from everyone involved…
So there you have it, we have tried to identify the many people that will help to keep your business afloat and move forward into the future, some of which you will never get to meet personally. If you ensure you take the time to get the best out of each and every one of them, you will already have your feet firmly planted on the road to success!