Customer focus – critical to success but often MIA
Better understanding and planning for some of the common challenges faced by business owners at start-up phase greatly improves your business’ capacity for survival.
It also helps identify those areas that may be lacking in your own experience, skills and knowledge and where to consider professional sources of support to avoid exposing your business to unnecessary risk.
Some of the more common business challenges that we observe at Vizibiliti in helping specialised Healthcare professionals to establish their business include not having enough knowledge about the business, or the inability to recruit, hire, motivate and retain people, as well as frugality and poor financial discipline.
But most important – and sadly most common too – is lack of customer focus. Small businesses have a major advantage in their ability to provide special attention to customers. But all too often they squander that opportunity by not anticipating customer’s changing needs and using generic and ineffective marketing.
The upshot is that they attract less than ideal customers, making business less rewarding and fun, and struggle to reach personal and business goals without really knowing why.
Ideal customer persona
Focusing on your customer starts with developing the persona of your IDEAL customer to get to know them better. Here are three steps to get started.
- Step 1 – Start by thinking of your IDEAL customers and what they all have in common.
List every common trait, both demographic – age, income, gender, marital status, industry, etc. and psychographic – values, beliefs, lifestyle, hobbies, interests, etc.
- Step 2 – Then, give them a personality.
Build out a single individual with as much detail as possible. Given them a name, eye colour, hobbies, marital status, residential area, TV shows they like, brands she buys, car she drives, her favourite quote, favourite meal, guilty pleasures, best authors, blogs followed, etc.
- Step 3 – BE your ideal customer
Try to look at life through their eyes and answer questions like what emotions does she feel at the exact moment she’s about to buy your product or service? What conversation is going on in her head and what words is she using? What keeps her up at night? What does she want her peers and industry to know about her? You get the point.
Do also consider opportunity areas that can exist in your business to gather data and information about your customers on an ongoing basis to develop your understanding of them and help you to better serve them. Feedback surveys, focus groups, website analytics, trend reports, patient records, etc all represent opportunities for a more customer-focused offering.
Authentically connecting with your ideal customers from a place of true compassion and understanding will enable you to design and deliver products or services that matter.
And products and services that matter stay around for the long haul.
Although success and failure are a normal part of business process, the establishment and growth of a business venture should not be handled in a haphazard way. There are areas that require analysis and serious consideration to avoid placing your business at unnecessary risk. Know when to make use of expert opinions.
Vizibiliti – Enabling focus, creating clarity
By BARBARA RADOMSKY
“There are many different factors that determine the success of your practice – but, as a busy healthcare professional focusing on the needs of your patients, you may not always have the time to focus on the many demanding, and often complex, facets of managing your business. Vizibiliti provides you with easy access to insightful, comprehensive practice and business management solutions and advice across all stages of your business journey – from establishing, growing or closing your practice.”