The best way to increase business
One of the ways I try and come up with ideas for articles is to start typing a question into Google and finding out which are the most common questions that start this way. So for example, if you start to type "what should my website..." then you see questions such as what should my website be called or what should my website be about. But I came across something interesting today. I started to type "the best way to increase..." and I was going to look down the list of business phrases used and write about that subject.
However, the most popular on the list was "the best way to increase breast size". Others were bicep size, blood flow and bat speed (I thought the last one had something to do with Batman's car but I believe it is a sporting reference).
A bit of serendipity
So despite not directly finding what it was that I was looking for, I had indirectly and inadvertently hit upon the answer to my question. That is, you increase business by making sure that you are what your customer is looking for. The best way to illustrate this is to talk about how I set myself up in business.
I knew I wanted to be a web designer but I wanted something that would separate me from the rest of the crowd. I worked out that if I worked from home and didn't go out to visit clients, I could design several websites per week meaning I could offer a website at a very low cost followed by a small monthly fee. Once I had enough businesses paying the small monthly fee the business would essentially run itself and I could live an acceptable lifestyle without over-working.
Go with the flow
John Lennon once said that life is what happens while you are making other plans and this of course is what happened to me. I studiously avoided ecommerce websites as I saw this as too complex and best avoided. However, it quickly became apparent that this was a very popular area with few people who could do it well. I went on to do well not only with ecommerce websites but also with websites that integrated into back office systems. In other words, I became a specialist in complex websites, the exact opposite of my original intention.
The lesson learned is that it is important to adapt your business to what it is your customer wants. You won't know what that is until you start to try but once you learn what it is then try and fill that need.
Some businesses do succeed in telling the customer what it is that they want. But it requires a lot of hard work and persuasion. It is much easier to find out what it is they want and to fulfill that need.
So back to that search term again. One of the most popular searches was "the best way to increase flexibility". It was talking about physical flexibility but is a nice reminder of what we need to increase in business in order to increase the business.
Tue 28 June 2011 10:22:24