In a recent discussion with a reporter, I was asked the question, “In your opinion, what is key for small businesses operating in rural communities?” My response was simple, ‘consistency’. And when you think about it, regardless of whether you’re in a rural community or a city our clients and customers expect that when we say something we do it. They need to be able to rely on us to be there; sell what we say we will sell, be open when we say we will be open and give them the support they need when they need it, every time they want it. Being hit and miss in your business means you’ll have less traffic through the door and more people talking about you less favourably.

We all know what happens when a business isn’t consistent. Their customers go elsewhere, and people talk about them, they talk about their last bad experience and seem to forget any good experiences they had previously.

So how do you change this, so you’re delivering consistency in your business? By having standards, policies and procedures in place; the systems that will guarantee your business has the right tools to help ensure your customers keep coming back and bring their friends with them.

We all know that the value we provide to customers when we go over and above for them is pure gold. They share their experiences with others and this, in turn, increases foot traffic, and that provides a lift to the bottom line. It’s a win-win.

Give your customer something to crow about. Take a look at how your business is represented online. Be ruthless and go through your branding, social media, your website and don’t forget to look at your business cards. It is often the simple things that can make the biggest impact.

And, if you don’t know how to do this or you don’t have time to do this, I do. Let me know how I can help you put processes in place so you can make a bigger impact.

The original article was also published in the Hopetoun Courier Newspaper.  August 2017.