SoapBox Forums Thoughts and opinions First steps in running a successful business

This topic contains 13 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  adam 1 month ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #1198

    NottsRich
    Participant

    1: Answer your phone

    2: Respond to communications (whether texts, emails or phone messages)

    3: Have a website that functions and is up to date.

    I think if you can mange those three, you will be steps ahead of most small businesses or trades people. Whether its trying to get someone to walk my dog, clean the chimney, valet the car, repair the roof…why is it always the same story?

    Rant., rant, rant…is it really better in Germany?

  • #1199

    nomad
    Participant

    Also, phone back when you say you’ll call back and turn up when you say you’ll turn up.

    The electrician that didn’t do this for me lost business, the one that did gained it.

    • #1202

      NottsRich
      Participant

      Same with the car valeting service I used Sunday. They answered my call and took a booking (seemingly a skill beyond most), unlike the other two I tied to contact. They also got a favourable Google review.

    • #1210

      blueman
      Participant

      A definitive first world problem. Car valeting, are you serious?

    • #1211

      NottsRich
      Participant

      Bit presumptive of you. For a start not everyone might be physically able to clean their car because of disability or illness. Or perhaps simply they dislike cleaning cars and value their free time more than the cost of someone cleaning it for them. Or maybe they would prefer to pay someone to do it knowing a professional will do a better job than they could do with the skills and tools they have available to them? There is a difference between going to the local hand car wash which charges £10 to clean the car where they rub a dirty sponge and rag over the car and will end up putting scratches and swirls in the paintwork compared to a professional detailer that will wash, polish and wax the car and can get it looking better than the day it left the show room.

  • #1200

    sammy
    Participant

    I would have thought having something to offer that people want or need is step 1.

    Frankly, I can put up with a bit of poor communication if the product is OK.

    I’m not buying call centre time or web developer time.

    • #1203

      NottsRich
      Participant

      Having something people want is only half the point of a business: getting the custom is the other half. (exact percentages may vary!)

      Its not a call centre issue: its the roofer not answering or getting back or the chimney sweep who says he’ll do the job but then never responds to arrange a time and doesn’t reply to your follow up. I’m talking local business not HSBC or 3 Mobile.

  • #1204

    nick123
    Participant

    If a small business is too busy to answer the phone or reply to an email rapidly, maybe they are doing something right.

    • #1205

      NottsRich
      Participant

      I never implied ‘rapidly’ unless you consider several days to a time period as yet still ongoing, as ‘rapidly’.

      Maybe I should also take it as a sign, not that they’re too busy, but that they’d do a crap job and not turn up when they say or do what you ask.

    • #1206

      nick123
      Participant

      I think a clue is in the word small. These are often one man bands, and are maybe struggling to just keep up with the customers they have, doing the job, paperwork, issuing bills, collecting money . Answering calls from people they do not deal with, and literally not have the time to, is maybe a low priority.

  • #1207

    Sai
    Participant

    I don’t mind so much if they don’t answer phone calls or emails. My big bug bear is “yes I will be round at x time on x day” then they don’t show.

    When we got the kitchen done I contacted 3 places for a price, told them up front I was getting 3 prices to give them the option to back out if they didn’t think they would be competitive.

    Only 1 of the first 3 showed up so I had to book another 2 who didn’t show so I booked another pair, only 1 showed and I lost the will to live and based my decision on 2 prices rather than 3. The whole process took a few weeks of me getting home from work early to wait for nothing.

    • #1208

      nick123
      Participant

      That is just rude, if they are too busy, why not say so?

  • #1209

    paki
    Participant

    Hmm overstretched trades – better get used to it.

  • #1212

    adam
    Participant

    It’s frustrating, but at the same time, it’s brilliant that small businesses are really busy. A bit off topic, but since the chippy in Stoney Middleton got new owners in the summer, the queue quite often extends out of the door and round the building. Generally 20-30 min wait, but no one seems to mind, glad to see a local business doing well. Currently free mulled wine and mince pies while you wait.

    Cannot get a chimney sweep round here until February, and if you need a plumber or a sparkie, you need to up your DIY skills. Since the pound fell due to brexit, there are fewer EU tradesmen around (often sending money home to Poland etc.). Maybe this could be seen as a real opportunity for our young people rather than a threat?

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.