A proverb about raising children is echoed in the business maxim, “It takes a team to make a business successful.”
Whether you are a music instrument retailer, accessory wholesaler, or services provider, a competent, friendly, and professional staff is the key to delighting your customers, and your customers are the folks who make the cash register sing, Cha-ching!
Good employees can make or break businesses and can in some sense be considered “internal” customers.
How Do Successful Businesses Treat Their Internal Customers?
When you first opened your doors—if you are like most music entrepreneurs—you probably were your only employee. But when your enterprise started building a customer base, you started thinking bigger. Growing a business begins with growing your sales, which likely means up-staffing.
So, where do you find good employees? A good place to start is developing a counter-intuitive mindset: You work for them, not the other way around.
Just as you need your customers more than they need you, the successful businessperson understands what makes top performers tick. Think of it as market research: you’re a building an internal customer base that is in sync with your business goals.
After that, it’s a matter of treating your staff just like you treat your best customers. Cultivate an environment in which they connect their personal success and fulfillment with your organizational goals.
- Are you providing channels that keep them motivated and wanting to excel?
- If you set up sales quotas, do you give them the tools they need to excel?
- Are you investing in advertising to support their efforts? If you’re not bringing in prospective customers, there’s no need for top-notch staff.
- Do you offer them training, information, materials, and incentives for achieving benchmarks or provide other value-added benefits for your business?
If the answer is “no” to any or all of these questions, you’ve got some work to do!
Knowledge Drives Sales
A key component of market research is the interaction and engagement between your staff and your customers. When combined with formal research, your staff is an excellent source for pinpointing customers’ wants and needs and validating audience demographics such as age, geographic location, education level, and income. This information is vital to developing and executing marketing efforts that will help support sales.
Meet Your Customers Where They Are
A brick-and-mortar firm without an online presence is begging to be put out of its misery … er, businesses. A LinkedIn article points out five important reasons to be online: increased visibility, increased trust, improved customer service, increased brand awareness, and cost-effective advertising.
If you’re not a tech expert and don’t have room in the budget for one, don’t be intimidated. Resources such as website vendor Wix provide templates and intuitive tools to help novices build great-looking websites. Setting up social media channels are just as easy. YouTube provides countless videos on how to get going. Additionally, there are agencies and individuals who specialize in building an online presence. A visit to Fiverr will give you access to freelancers who can help with all relevant tasks at reasonable prices. Truthfully, your kids can probably help you get set up—and you’ve covered their room and board for years, so they owe you!
Building a successful business is an ongoing effort that takes awareness, effort, creativity, adaptability, and patience. Remember that you have two very important customers to take care of—the ones that come through the door and the others behind the literal or figurative counter.