The day you open the doors to your new business, chances are, it doesn’t have a great deal of value – even if you’ve leased the ideal location and sell the best products or deliver unparalleled service in the area.
Your business is new. It probably has a few regular customers, but it lacks a reputation (positive or negative), and you haven’t had the opportunity or the time to demonstrate the quality of what you deliver to your client base.
Also, chances are, you’re cash tight. You’ve courageously invested in yourself, but in many cases, that cleans out the savings account and leaves you working from day to day hoping you earn enough from sales to make the rent this month.
However, you’ve taken a monumental step on that day you open the doors to your new store, your new restaurant, your new consultancy, or any business endeavour. You’ve taken control of your future earnings. Now, it’s time to add value to what you’ve started.
- Start building your local reputation. Word tends to spread quickly when your company serves a small region – a local neighbourhood, a small town, a region of a state or territory. Positive word of mouth (WOM) advertising spreads from neighbour to neighbour, customer to customer, and quickly, you’re the owner of the hottest new bistro in ACT.
Customers line up outside the doors to taste local fare and your new business takes off like a three-stage rocket.
Hold a wine tasting in your establishment to pull in wine lovers. Offer incentives like discounts on meals or a free appetizer with every entrée.
Own new consultancy? How about a free audit or consultation to get your foot in the door and spread that WOM throughout your business sphere?
A sound business reputation adds value to any business. It’s a trust builder that prospects (and potential business buyers) respect.
- Expand your service area. It may sound simple, but expanding your company’s service area takes careful planning, and may require an investment of capital.
Rent a satellite office a hundred kilometres down the road and operational expenses increase accordingly. Buy or lease a dozen new service trucks to handle the new business and you’ve added the cost of the vehicles, insurance, petrol – you’ve added value serving more people, but to gain those new customers, you’ve spent business capital.
- Add product offerings. If you own a store or restaurant, keep the stock fresh and add new products that appeal to your target market. For example, if you own a clothing store, adding high-end brands can bring in more buyers and more operating capital that can be reinvested in more floor space when the building next door becomes available.
In part 2 we look at four more ways you can add value.