Categorized | Business

Customer Centered

By Tom Irmen

Because your customers will ultimately determine whether your small business will succeed or not, it remains a mystery to me why so many entrepreneurs appear fixated on other, more traditional areas of concern.  Your entire business, if it is to achieve its full potential for success, must be totally customer focused.  Your website, marketing efforts, hours of operation, promotions, and different client payment options are just a few of the many areas where a customer centered business owner will allocate the largest portion of their company’s resources.

Far too many small business owners obsess over their competition, pricing strategies, and product and service mixes.  Not that these areas aren’t important, but if they become a greater priority than knowing and understanding your customer inside out, you may just have become your company’s largest obstacle to success.

Success in business is not merely achieved by duplicating the efforts of a successful competitor.  While the success of a competitor’s business may provide helpful insights that can guide you, whether launching a new enterprise or enhancing an existing business model, the wise entrepreneur will invest considerable resources to ensure that they outmaneuver their competition by becoming even more customer centered than their competition.

Outdated or difficult to navigate websites, business hours that serve your own personal lifestyle and not that of your customers, inconvenient payment terms, and marketing efforts focused on what you do instead of how your customers benefit from the features that your products or services provide can be a bigger deterrent to your success than the competition.

If you have the greatest products and services in the world but communicate a message to your customers of insensitivity or detachment, you may have to settle for a level of success in business that is far less than what you might have originally envisioned.  If you can remember that it’s all about the customer, you will have overcome perhaps the single greatest barrier to success that most small business owners will encounter.

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