SMEs have a lot of external factors influencing their success, credit control being the main factor; however internal mistakes and issues can have a huge impact on how successful you will be. These internal issues all centre around one common theme – complacency.
At Commercial Domestic Investigations we wanted to share some of the most common mistakes made by SMEs so that you can try to avoid them.
Poor customer service levels
No matter what industry your business is in, customers should be your number one priority. Customer retention and loyalty are huge factors when it comes to bringing in sales. People are more likely to continue working with a brand that they have previously dealt with, rather than spending their valuable time researching and building a relationship with a new supplier.
By providing your customers with an outstanding experience you can ensure that your clients are satisfied. With the rise of digital, customers can now raise queries and complaints both online and offline. It is a good idea to provide an online platform for your clients where they can voice these issues, a social media page or an FAQ site is a great solution.
With people voicing their opinions online, other customers can see their comments so how you respond to them is very important. Try to respond as quickly as possible, remain professional and answer the question to the best of your ability.
Focusing on competitors
Whilst it is good practice to research your competitors and gain of understanding of their USP and what they are doing well, it is crucial that you don’t get bogged down following them. Keep in mind your own USP and your own values; this is what makes you different and what will attract customers. Avoid using all of your resources trying to compete and focus on building your own brand.
Spending too much time on unskilled tasks
With SMEs that are just starting out, staffing is usually a concern and so the business usually operates with minimal staff, meaning that your team have to take care of multiple aspects of the business. Regularly assess how your business operates and ensure that you are working efficiently and as cost effectively as possible. Your skilled staff shouldn’t be spending too much time taking care of administrative or reception tasks, it might be worth recruiting an admin assistant to take care of these tasks so more qualified members of staff can focus on the more important tasks.
Not having a cash buffer
In both our personal and professional lives it is always wise, where possible, to have a certain amount of money set aside as a safety net. It can be difficult to find the funds to save, especially as a new business so try to budget a buffer into your business plan, this will provide you with a safety net if something happens outside of your control, like a customer failing to pay you.
Not credit checking
Unfortunately, every business will experience a late payer at some point, but regularly dealing with these types of customer can damage your cash-flow. Running a credit check on your new and existing customers can provide you with an insight into your clients’ payment history. This will help you make a decision about extending credit terms or asking for a deposit.
At Commercial Domestic Investigations we can take care of the external factors affecting your business so that you can focus on the internal operations. We offer a range of services to ease the pressure on your business, from credit reporting to invoice collection. We take the time to understand your business and find the best solution for your requirements. Contact our friendly team on 08444 159200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.