Many people are lured into establishing commercial business, lured by the prospects of high profit and flexible income. While this is indeed a legitimate attraction, success depends on placing the customer first, a clear-cut business plan, focus on the core business activity, and resolving diligently the many challenges that business throws up.
Put the Customer First
The cardinal requirement for running a successful commercial business is to put the customer first. This goes beyond being polite to the customer. A good business is that which identifies real needs and tries to fulfill such needs in the best possible manner. The people with such needs constitute the core target group of the business.
A successful business reaches out to such a core target group and convinces them on how the product thy offer would allow them to fulfill their pressing need. When doing so, the business would do well to engage the customer on their terms and conditions, and position the product in a way that it appeals to the customers most.
Businesses would also do well to strive for a long-term business relationship with the customer, rather than make one-off transactions. It is far easier to retain existing customers than make new customers, and return customers are the lifeblood of almost all successful commercial enterprises.
Provide Value for Money
Regardless of the business, making sales is highly challenging in today’s highly competitive business environment. Customers are now spoiled for choice, and have access to a wide range of products of a similar nature. The spread of the Internet has demolished the barriers of information, and customers have ready access to whatever information they require. Most customers do exercise such options, and seek out value in what they buy. As such, businesses that offer more for less, or rather high quality products at a reasonable price, stand to gain. On the other hand, businesses that try to profiteer or cut corners are invariably exposed.
Have Sound Systems in Place
Efficient systems can make or break business. Some of the essential systems that a successful commercial enterprise must have include:
• A sound accounting system that allows the business owner to control every all expenses and revenues.
• A good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that allows the line managers and customer care executives to see what each customer is doing,
• A sound inventory management system, aligned to the production or supply process, to ensure that the business is never caught on the wrong foot, by advertising for products it cannot provide.
• A good Human Resources Information System that optimises work to employees, ensures adequate use of their skills, and identifies gaps in competencies that require remediation by training or other interventions.
• A comprehensive IT policy that takes cognizance of network security risks and customer data protection.
Above all these factors, a key requirement for success is dedication and focus from the part of the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur or the business manager cannot afford to take a laid back approach, and needs to take a proactive approach is solving glitches, and nipping issues in the bud before it grows to submerge the business.