BBB tips for building a better business
Many businesses continue to be tested and pushed in this ever-changing economy and pandemic. Some businesses were able to prosper and succeed, while others faced serious difficulties.
With the vagaries of COVID-19, supply chain issues, changing economies, and so many other factors at play, business owners need to have as many tools in their arsenal as possible. We always like to start by urging all businesses to familiarize themselves with the steps you can take to protect your business from cybersecurity threats.
One of the most critical insights we share is that the vast majority of attacks (over 90%) come from simple but genuine-looking phishing emails. Training your employees to watch out for suspicious emails and not click on links is a good start. Additionally, maintaining firewalls and software can make a big difference in preventing the theft of your data, ransom demands and the loss of trust your business has with suppliers and customers can be devastating. Remember the adage, “An ounce of protection is worth a pound of healing.”
Other tips to help you grow your business include creating your online presence. Help attract new customers and build brand loyalty by strengthening your digital footprint in 2022. Audit your website and social media pages honestly to ensure usability and accuracy. By being stronger online, customers will be able to engage and hopefully buy directly from you without ever entering your store.
Often overlooked, excellent customer service is vitally important to any successful business. Most of our successful companies take customer engagement very seriously. By communicating with customers about updated promotions and responding promptly to inquiries and feedback, businesses increase their connection and chances for future business.
A survey in HubSpot found that 80% of customers expect an online response within 24 hours. Always remember that it’s your business, but happy customers are the strength of your business.
As the world continues to change, especially in a growing virtual world, 2022 is a great year to continue embracing technology. Technology can make it easier for customers to connect with you online, which helps build trust and generate more business. Don’t let outdated technology cost you customers.
It is also essential to foster a quality work culture and environment. Positive environments and flexibility have never been more critical as the number of job vacancies continues to be on the rise. Large crops also contribute to better results and better efficiency and lower turnover.
Another inexpensive way to build trust and visibility is to leverage your customer reviews. Reputation can mean everything, especially to a small business owner trying to attract and retain customers. You want to tell customers that your business is trustworthy, ethical and transparent – and what better way to illustrate that story than through online customer reviews.
Another important business builder is investing in the community. By giving back or helping your neighbors, you can build relationships and show that your business takes pride in the community.
Consider getting more involved in your area. It’s a great way to boost your company’s reputation. Don’t hesitate to show how your brand is committed to making a difference.
Finally, make exercising transparency and building trust a priority. Working with openness creates relationships that turn curious browsers into buyers and buyers into enthusiastic fans.
It also builds customer trust and confidence, and satisfaction can make or break any business. In the age of the internet awash with information about every product or service, finding a way to establish a foothold of trust in a competitive market will give your business a leg up on the competition.
• Steve J. Bernas is President and CEO of BBB Chicago and Northern Illinois. He can be contacted at [email protected]