In this series of posts I am focusing on 9 challenges that every business faces.
I will post one of these challenges every week. These are challenges that I’ve seen as I’ve begun consulting various businesses over this last year.
The more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve come to believe that these are the same challenges that any/every business faces – no matter what product or service they sell.
I also believe that successful businesses in any arena are successful BECAUSE they have overcome each of these 9 challenges.
Each post in this series will give a brief description of one of the 9 challenges that you face as a business owner.
Let’s look at the eighth challenge every successful business overcomes.
In my last post, I talked about the fact that if you only sell to each customer one time, you’re going to have a really hard time staying in business!
Because of this fact, I said the 7th challenge was getting customers to buy from you a second time.
But let’s be real.
Having customers buy from you a second time is needed and important, but if they only purchase from you twice, then you’ve only delayed the stress and struggle you would’ve had if they only purchased from you once.
After that second purchase, you’ll still be back to the problem of needing to find new prospects to convince to become your customers so you can keep your business open. There’s another challenge after that second purchase and it’s this…
8. You need to get your customers to buy from you regularly and create raving fans.
Getting customers to purchase from you regularly does some really important and transformational things. It creates a stream of income from each customer instead of just a small surge of income. It creates financial stability in your business.
And not only that, it gives you the chance to build strong relationships with your customers, so that they become fans and THEY spread the word about you and your business to others.
Think of any successful business whether it’s a “mom and pop” diner or a big company like Apple.
This is how they are stable in or out of a recession. They have people who keep re-purchasing because they were so satisfied and happy the first time.
They have people who purchase new things from them, because they love that past product and the experience so much.
They have people who will tell anybody and everybody how great their business is because they’re so pleased with it.
This gives them a stable income AND new customers!
The second purchase is important, because you have to have that second one for your customers to become “regulars”. But you have to move your customers from purchase number two to regular purchasers!
What are some of the things it takes to do this? Here are a few of things:
- You need to have a product that is continually needed, or you need to create “add ons” or new products and services to sell.
- You have to have something great and unique about product or service to cause them to want to buy it again instead of some similar product or service.
- You need great customer service before, during and after each sale. You have to treat your customers in such an amazing way that it will make them want to come back to your business instead of others.
- You need to have a consistent experience that you provide your customers each time they interact with you. If it’s a great experience the first time and a lousy experience the second time, guess what the chances are of them becoming a “regular”?
Let me just talk a little more about the first thing I mentioned…
A common problem many businesses have is that they don’t have other products or services to sell after the first or second purchase.
If you don’t have a more products or services to sell, or ones that need to be repurchased, then you’ll never overcome this challenge.
To be honest with you, I’ve had this problem myself.
In one of the niches I’m involved in I sell an ebook and that’s it. I haven’t offered anything else. Recently I offered a special sale and had a previous customer purchase the same ebook again.
I emailed him and told him that it wasn’t a new product. I told him it was the one he already bought a year ago and offered him a refund. He wrote back and thanked me and told me he thought it was a new ebook.
What does that reveal? It reveals that this person was just waiting for me to offer something else for them to buy! I decided from that moment on that I would create new ebooks and products in this niche.
What about your business? How many customers are waiting and willing to buy from you again, but they’re just waiting for you to offer a follow-up product or service?
Successful businesses that overcome this 8th challenge have “regular” customers who continually come back and purchase from them.
Not only that, they have FANS who spread the word and bring in new customers to those businesses. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of promotion you can use. Plus, it’s a low-cost or no cost way to grow your business!
If you want your business to have a chance of succeeding whether the recession is over or not, then you have to have “fans” who purchase from you regularly. That’s your 8th challenge.
Next, I’ll post the 9th and final Challenge that every successful business overcomes. Stay tuned. I’m trying to post them every week, but sometimes.. it’s more like every other!
In the meantime, if you have thoughts about this eighth challenge you want to share, then post them in the comments.
- What do you think?
- Do you agree?
- What has your experience been with this challenge?
Post your comments, thoughts and even questions – if you have any!
Oh yeah! And speaking of twitter…
You are following my NEW account on Twitter right?
If not, you can now follow me @rampbusinesses.
If you enjoyed this post, spread the word! Link to it. Tweet about it. Blog about it. Send smoke signals… Thanks.