They are the backbone of being a successful small business person.
Yes, you may get irritated with them at times, you may wonder why they are so particular, and you may go home at night shaking your head as to why you deal with them in the first place. Yet, they (other than your employees) are the reason that you have a small business in the first place.
For the man or woman who runs their own small business, their customers can be their greatest joy or their biggest nightmare. And why can they be the latter at times?
Among the reasons:
* The customer who undoubtedly complains about their service or product. No matter what you and your staff do for them, they are never fully satisfied;
* The customer who comes to your store at the last minute. Let’s say your store closes at 9 p.m. and you are tallying up the receipts and other bookkeeping for the day. Then, much to your chagrin, here he or she comes at 8:59 p.m. and wanting to make a purchase. You or your employee put on the fake smile and tell them of course it is okay that they waited all day to come in;
* The customer who takes to online forums and social media sites to chastise you and your business. Unlike the “old days” when customers would call or write a letter to complain, many now take to the web to vent their feelings. Instead of possibly a few people finding out, they literally tell hundreds and thousands of people about your company. The end result is you could lose out on potential customers who find the comments less than flattering;
* The customer who you have to bill over and over again. While many consumers are good about paying off their bills either right away or in a prompt manner, there are always the stragglers that make life miserable for you or your accounting folks. Several invoices and reminders about their payment being late can take up valuable time that can be spent elsewhere. While some customers may truly be in a tight financial situation, others undoubtedly decide to make paying you less of a priority. As a result, your books are never up to speed.
Yes, many customers are the kind of folks you would like for neighbors, work to promote your business by telling their family and friends about it, and make you want to get up each day to go to work.
Others, however, can make your business life downright miserable.
At the end of the day, is there a certain way that you handle your customers? Is there any advice you would offer the new businessman or woman who is just about to launch their own company? Finally, what would be one thing you would change about your customers if you could?
As mentioned earlier, your customers are as important to the survival of your business as anything else.
Without them, you might as well find another line of work.
Photo credit: invistics.com
About the author: With 23 years of experience as a writer, Dave Thomas covers a wide array of items from cleaning your home gutter for winter to starting a home business.