Marketing

Fast Lane: Why attracting customers should be your top priority in 2016

Eloise Keating /

 

Small and medium business owners know what it is like to feel pressure more than most.

They put their lives on the line to start and grow a business, and for many it is a bid to control their own destiny.

It’s often the festive season when this pressure can come to the fore, whether it is from financial difficulties, the inability to take a break, or even a work Christmas party that goes wrong.

But it’s not just the current state of their business that is putting pressure on Australia’s SME owners; the future of their business is at the front of their minds too.

The latest instalment of MYOB’s Business Monitor, which surveys more than 1000 SMEs, showed the top pressure point for SMEs is, in fact, attracting new customers.

This is particularly the case for businesses that have experienced a fall in revenue over the past 12 months, those which operate a website or are active on social media and businesses in the retail and hospitality industries.

Recent research from US-based Forrester Research has also highlighted the importance of winning over new customers, in a report that named the 10 success factors that will determine “who wins and who fails in the age of the customer”.

“Many companies have underestimated the magnitude of change needed to operate a customer-obsessed business and the speed required to catch up to dynamic and disruptive competitors,” Forrester said.

According to Forrester, it will be the companies that become “obsessed” with their customers that will succeed in 2016.

So as we quickly approach the new year, take time to think about your customers. And I mean really think about them.

What do your customers want in 2016? Are their preferences and habits changing? What is putting pressure on them?

And what can your business do to help them?

Become obsessed with your customers in 2016. 

SmartCompany’s daily newsletter will wrap up for 2015 this Friday, December 18. We’ll be back on deck on January 4, 2016 to bring you the best news, views and insights for your business. Until then, we wish you all a very happy Christmas and a wonderful new year.

 

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Eloise Keating

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.

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