We all want to be at our best, and do our best, at all times in business. That principle does not change for those choosing to work-from-home. Whether you are a life coach, franchise owner, or service provider, anything you can do to stay at the top of your game will be beneficial to the long-term health of your business.
But success doesn’t come wrapped up in a tidy box with a snappy little bow. It takes hard work, persistence, and a drive to do things better than everyone else. So what does it take to rise above the crowd? What can entrepreneurs and work-at-home pros do to attract (and keep) their ideal customer?
Here are six power tips that will be beneficial to top performers and anyone striving for success on the right path.
1. Be Accessible
We all know that communication is a huge part of business growth. But if your customers or clients can’t find you when they need you, they will seek assistance elsewhere. Accessibility can take many forms but the most common is as simple as supplying your customers with your email address or phone number. Other effective ways for customers to connect with you is via social media and Skype. Be available whenever possible, but also know when to draw the line with clients as well.
2. Set Yourself Apart from the Pack
Take extra steps to not look and act like every other brand on the market. The online and offline world is flooded with businesses and experts squawking promises to “help you take your business to the next level!” Develop your own style and identity, and then own it. Remember back in the ’80s when all the hair bands started looking and sounding the same? People started losing interest in this cookie-cutter-like effect with music so when grunge came along it was bub-bye hair bands.
Today’s customers appreciate authenticity and individuality as well and nothing kills an entrepreneur’s success efforts faster than trying to do “what everyone else is doing” just because they “heard it works.” Customers these days can sniff out fake, fraudulent and inauthentic brands or people like a metal band sniffing out Aqua Net, and quite honestly, much of today’s online marketing tactics are getting very close to being in danger of the 80’s-hair-band fate. Work-at-home women should strive to discover what it is that makes their business unique, deliver it in a genuine way, and look for the roads less traveled for new opportunities and clients. Be known for your exceptional ideas and ability to be an early-adopter when new tools, apps, or software comes onto the market. The key is to be real, be effective and be memorable.
Related Content: Boosting Your Work-at-Home Image, So You Get Hired Like a Pro
3. Be Yourself, But Be Frank Too
Part of being authentic is speaking the truth at all times. Continually spewing fluff, hype, and overly exaggerated claims won’t get you very far in today’s business world. Customers want your knowledge and expertise and want it delivered in the most honest and straightforward way. Don’t tell your customers what they want to hear, tell them what they need to know. Respect comes from giving straight answers and speaking the truth.
4. Be Seen. Be Visible
Business success these days so much more than, “Build it and they will come.” No one wants to deal with an unknown company, product, or salesperson, so visibility is the key to success no matter kind of business you are in. Your business could have the coolest widget in the world, but it won’t mean much if no one has heard of you or knows your widget exists. With one simple click, the buying public has access to thousands of options and choices.
Strategies to grow your business apply to almost everything you do. Have a strategy in place to leverage social media, to network online and offline, to grow your mailing list, and to find new ways to gain visibility in your industry. With proper strategies, your products or services catching the eye of the customer will not just be a happy accident or “right place, right time” incident either. Your strategies are like your roadmap for success and also help to give direction and purpose to everything you do.
5. Don’t Forget Why You Are In Business
Through the daily quagmire of business, some solopreneurs get so focused on the almighty bottom line — they lose sight of WHY they do what they do. Any business professional that has slipped into the trap of feeling annoyed by customer service inquiries, needs to give themselves an attitude adjustment. By taking the time to reflect on the reason they went into business, and remembering the passion that inspired the creation of the business, will help erase any negative misconceptions and remind them that customers are the reason for their business, not an interruption of it.
6. Always Look Ahead
Flying by the seat of your pants may be your “style,” but it is not a good ingredient in your recipe to success. Create your own future by constantly planning and looking into the future. Join brainstorming groups, set aside planning days every month or utilize tools like MindMeister or Bubbl.us to get your thoughts and planning in visual form. Businesses with hopes, dreams, and goals are also the ones most likely to have longevity. Take some time to plan your business’ future.
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Rebecca Flansburg proudly left a 30-year stint in the 9-5 world three years ago to work full-time (from home and on her own terms) as a virtual assistant, freelance writer, and blogger. Rebecca is the Cover Girl writer for HERLIFE Magazine Sacramento & Central Valley, is an avid blogger on her own veteran blog Franticmommy and is co-creator of FREElance FREEdom-a site dedicated to helping women discover life beyond the cubicle.