Recently, some colleagues and I were standing in the waiting area at our counseling practice, looking around the room.
It used to look just fine. We’d hung some new prints on the wall and bought some nicer furniture. The little play corner we’d created for kids was kind of cute too.
Note the word “was”.
Like anything else, when you live with something long enough, time comes where you don’t even see it any more. And soon, it’s not hard for any space to get, well, that ‘lived in’ look.
It was time to tidy things up a bit.
So we’re taking a look at what needs to go, what needs to stay, and how we can freshen the place up.
You need to do this, too.
But I’m not just talking about furniture. I’m talking about your business as a whole.
There’s a great book about how to increase referrals to your business, called The Referral Engine by John Jantsch. In it, Jantsch says, among other things, that your business should be easy to do business with.
In other words, if someone wants to work with you or buy from you, their access to your service should be as easy and effortless as possible.
But when your business gets that ‘lived in’ look, too, things might not flow so easily after all.
And your clients will notice it first.
Think about it this way.
Have you ever had a guest coming for dinner, and found yourself looking at your house though a newcomer’s eyes?
Suddenly you notice the dust under the chair, the cobwebs on the porch, the cat hair on the couch. Funny what you see when you know someone new is coming to your place.
But what about your customers?
What do they see when they seek you out? It’s a good idea, every now and then, to look at your business with a newcomer’s eyes, and see what needs a little sprucing up.
Here’s a few places to start.
1. Are you easy to reach?
If someone wants to work with you, how easy is it to reach you? Can they call? Email? Text? If so, how easy is it to find your contact information? How fast do you respond?
2. Are you easy to find?
If you have a brick and mortar business, how easy is it to find you? How’s the parking? Handicap access? Once they get there, how comfy will they be? Are they welcomed into your space?
If your business is online, how easy is it to find you there? People buy from people – so how will they know the folks behind your website?
3. Are you easy to understand?
If someone’s searching for what you offer, how easy will it be to tell if you’re The One for them? Is your core message really clear? Do you know what sets you apart? Are you saying that everywhere you show up? (And ARE you showing up?)
4. Are you easy to try?
Where can they get a taste of what you do or who you are? Do you offer classes, workshops or webinars? Is there a sample of your service on your website? Can they get a free trial or a consultation?
5. Are you easy to network with?
Do you have a plan for getting in front of people who could refer to you? Or better yet, a plan for getting in front of your ideal clients? How could you build strategic relationships that serve your clients and extend your reach?
6. Is it easy to buy from (and work with) you?
Once someone’s ready to buy, how easy is it for them to complete a transaction? What’s your payment and delivery process? What kinds of guarantees do you offer and do you honor them? Do you have welcome kit for new clients or customers?
7. Are you easy to trust?
Most important of all: do you consistently provide high quality service and top notch content that your clients and customers love and appreciate? Can they send their friends and family to you knowing you’ll take good care of them, too?
Study each of these through their eyes, and you’ll know where to get to work first.
Now – what did I do with that broom…
Photo Credit: Nick Perla on Flickr