failing bar chartGuest post by Layla Davis

Some businesses just suck at what they do – either because they got something wrong with their visions from the get-go, or somewhere along the line their leadership began to crackle. Business really just comes down to providing a great product along with great support. Everything else piles on afterward, which will lead to increased profits.

So, have a look at these four items you should be doing if you don’t want your business to suck:

1. Customer Service Matters More than Ever

Your customer service needs to be top-notch even if you’re operating with a very small team.

Why? Because great customer service keeps people coming back for more, they’ll tell their friends/family/followers, and it can defuse irate customers.

The cost of angering a customer or simply ignoring their requests costs more than hiring an extra person on to take calls – more-so now because you can simply use a virtual employee, which aren’t all that expensive.

Put a phone number on the website, keep email available, open the social channels, and seek out what people have to say to build connections with your customers – they’re the ones keeping the lights on; you owe it to them.

2. Don’t Sink Because of the Location

New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco may be the first cities that come to mind when you think about tech start-up locations, but these places are extremely expensive. Trying to relocate could become a nail in the coffin for smaller businesses trying to wiggle their way into the area without the right type of budget.

A tech company benefits from any location because it doesn’t have the restrictions you would find in a brick and mortar business; it’s online so no boundaries.

Rich Gorman, a respected online business and marketing consultant, has this snippet of insight when asked about why he chose Philly:

“For starters, Philadelphia is a hub of untapped talent. There’s a shortage of good tech companies in the area and a plethora of great people. You can also get a lot of bang for your buck in Philadelphia.   It’s considerably less expensive to start a company in Philly vs. NYC/San Fran.  i.e.  Rent, salaries, vendors, shopping, and entertainment are a fraction of what you would pay in more common tech start up areas.”

If you’re able to keep these costs (rent, salaries, and lifestyle) within a budget without being forced to “compete with the other startups” than you can avoid a potential disaster when strained on funding.

3. Utilize Employees (Besides Having Them do Normal Work)

thinking outside of the boxWho best to write content for your website, which gains search ranking and builds traffic, than the individuals that have to handle your product or service on a day-to-day basis?

Who best to help compile a knowledge base to help with customer support and inquiries than the employees that receive feedback every day?

Who best to promote the business if the tools and resources were available than the ones that know every inch of what’s going on and how to sell the brand?

Give your employees the ability to contribute to the business success, reward them for their actions, and growth will happen – plus, you won’t need to outsource content creation, social media marketing, and SEO services from third-parties – just utilize what resources you have … your employees.

4. Be a Leader – Not a Boss

Leadership is about the communication and the ability to instill drive within your employees. Projects that are led (rather than dictated) will see fruition especially so when the leader is involved with taking the charge.

Great companies are led by those that have the vision for great things: their abilities to turn prospects into customers.  Good companies also know how to form a team of passionate, talented individuals. These leaders remain the boss in most circumstances, but they’re willing to get on the ground floor and work with their teams to ensure the job gets done – they can project their inspiring visions into their employees.

Become an integral part of the team, know when to step out of the way, provide the tools and resources, and encourage creativity … that’s how you get the job done.

Read more from Layla by following her on Twitter.