In today’s society, small businesses are notably trendy. According to recent 2014 statistical reports, there are approximately 28 million small businesses in the US; many of which are home-based businesses. Home-based businesses are definitely cost efficient, as there is practically no overhead expenses associated with operating one. Many small and home-based businesses are productive and successful with regards to the products and services that they provide. However, an area that often goes unnoticed and lacking in small and home-based businesses, is client communication and follow-up. Effective and timely communication and follow-up is crucial in any level of business; and small home-based businesses are not exempt.
The business market is very competitive, and a simple failure to timely and effectively communicate; or timely follow up with a client or potential client, can actually result in losing a client. The measure in which a small or home-based business responds to initial client contact with a potential client not only determines whether the business will secure the client for present or future business transactions; but it also determines whether the client will give a positive report to others about that initial contact with that particular business. Each client lost, is income lost. And, no business should be in business to lose income – but rather to gain income. There are some simple steps that small home-based businesses, or any level business, can implement to ensure existing and potential clients are wholly satisfied. To name a few:
- Respond to client inquiries within a 24-hour timeframe.
- Always use proper and effective verbal and written communication skills when communicating with clients.
- Follow through on stated commitments.
- Never “casualize” business relationships with clients – even if you know the client personally.
- Always exercise ethical business concepts.
Timely and effectively communicating and following up with clients or potential clients, can actually dictate the growth of a small home-based business; and such business owners should never under estimate or undervalue an existing or potential client’s influencing power. A small home-based business can be labeled with a not-so-good reputation for simply failing to effectively and timely communicate and /or follow-up with clients. Such reputation can stigmatize the business, and interfere with its growth.
Small and home-based business should strive for wholly overall client satisfaction in communications and follow-up, along with the products and services that they provide. One wholly satisfied client can effect growth in a small or home-based business, especially if the client has a large network and possesses the power of influence. Effective communication and follow-up with clients will increase client satisfaction and strengthen a businesses’ status in the competitive business market.