Not all businesses sell a physical product. Your business may instead center around providing a much-needed or sought-after service. Selling a product and selling a service can have similar aspects, but they’re also undeniably different. Here’re some tips for running an effective service-based business.
1. Full disclosure: It’s vitally important to let your clients know all of the details upfront. How long will it take for them to receive the services they are paying for, what’s involved, and what do you need from them? You don’t want any surprises or unrealistic expectations to get in the way of a good experience.
2. Contracts: For your protection, and your clients’ protection, you may want to seriously consider having a service contract. Once the services and terms are agreed upon, have your client sign the contract, and each of you should keep a copy. Making sure the proper paperwork is in place before starting a job will ensure that both parties are protected.
3. Estimates: Make sure your client knows that cost estimates are exactly that, estimates. Don’t make any promises you might not be able to keep. Always inform your client if something comes up that will cause a price change.
4. Advertising: When you advertise your services, provide client testimonies. Using client testimonies in your advertisements will help potential clients get to know your work. Advertising a service can be a little tricky. Use previous great work to advertise your company.
5. On the job: Once you’ve got work lined up, make sure you’re always completely professional while on the job. This will make a big impression, not only on clients, but on employees and on peers. Professionalism will keep clients happy and keep your reputation in stellar shape.
6. Customer service: From beginning to end, customer service is No. 1, especially for a service-based business. Always keep your customer service at the highest level. This shows clients howmuch you value them and their continued patronage.
7. Follow up: A short while after the job is completed, be sure to follow up with your client, making sure he or she is pleased and answering any follow-up questions. This will form a more lasting bond and ensure client satisfaction.