Corpcentre's Blog

May 4, 2010

How to Make Yourself Invaluable to the Customers

Let’s face the facts. If you ever believed that attracting new customers was your biggest business challenge, you were sorely mistaken. Winning customers is less than half the battle. The bigger challenge, most business owners would agree, is how to keep them. After all, if you devoted most of your energy in trying to attract a customer to you, logic dictates that someone else is also trying. Therefore, you have to work extra hard to retain that customer, rather than their moving to the competition.

But, how do you put that theory into actual practice? If you have developed a successful service or product, chances are very good that your competitor is working on an improved version. And, the improved version just may sway the customer from you to the competition.

The human aspect is a vital component of success. You have to create an environment that a customer will regret leaving. Certainly, business is about sales and strategies, finance and finesse. It’s also all about people. Becoming more than a supplier of goods and services is the secret link. Learn to appreciate that your customer has needs outside of normal office hours. Be ready to go the distance for your customers and they will remember. Make their concerns your concerns, even at the risk of having a major headache. Also, think outside the box. How can you help your client’s business, above and beyond what you already supply? Work hard to make yourself an extension of your client’s enterprise. The customer should know and feel that you can always be counted on, no matter what or when, even if they only need advice. True, talk is cheap but it can be an investment with a fantastic return.

From the first time a new customer comes through your door, approach the moment as the start of a long term relationship. If you proceed along those lines, you will have laid the foundation for a bright future.

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November 8, 2009

Is the Competitor Your Enemy?

Running your own business comes complete with its own set of headaches and worries. Virtually every business owner has had a few sleepless nights. However, the question must be asked if perhaps we sometimes imagine problems that aren’t really there. Perhaps our minds and imaginations create threats that do not materialize.
     A popular misconception in the world of business is that the competition is our chief enemy. While it is true that both of us are targeting the same market, it may also be true that there is enough business for both if us. Moreover, it may also be true that, perhaps, neither of us can effectively service the entire market. Furthermore, each of us may have a slightly different approach for promoting our business and both approaches are effective.
     The bottom line is that sometimes we expend a tremendous amount of energy in attempting to thwart the competition. But, if we were to view the competition as an ally in the business world, we could invest that energy in promoting our business.
     The truth is that some business leaders have learned that developing a relationship with their chief competitors can be most beneficial. After all, if the competitor wants information about your business, he will obtain it. Why not sit together and share ideas? We all can learn from others. Who is better to learn from than someone who has the same problems that you do? The old saying that “two heads are better than one” does not necessarily only mean you and your assistant. By working together with the competition – sharing ideas, establishing territories, setting standards – you can help each other conquer the world.

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