In this week’s Wash Wisdom, we cover tips for branding a service business and managing all aspects of a fast-growing business.

Creating a successful service business brand

According to the article “How To Protect Your Service Business and Brand It For Success” by contributor Chidike Samuelson on Entrepreneur’s website, businesses that sell a product brand themselves through those products. As such, customer loyalty is a result of that product’s success. Service businesses on the other hand have a much more difficult time of branding themselves because you have to maintain the integrity of your employees as opposed to a product. Samuelson adds that a service business, for this reason, is very liable to lawsuits, which can tear a company apart. As such, he offers five tips for branding your service business for success:

  • Create a feedback system. Creating a feedback system and regularly encouraging others to use it — for both negative and positive responses — actually protects your business. If you fail to create a channel for feedback, you risk ignoring the problems that crop up at your business over time, which may lead to lawsuits.
  • Secure sensitive data. Part of branding is the trust factor. For instance, if you receive sensitive data from customers, they are trusting you to keep it safe, and if you fail to do so, it will tarnish your image. Make sure to limit the staff who has access to this data, and put cybersecurity measures in place. Remember, a simple thumb drive can download a whole hard drive. “Most importantly,” Samuelson adds, “if your customer data is serviced by third party vendors, ensure that vendors adhere to stringent privacy practices and insist they upgrade if they aren’t in strict adherence.”
  • Humanize your branding. While logos and advertisements are necessary to brand your business, customers trust people more than they do businesses. To humanize your branding, your branding must start at the individual level. Customers are more likely to come back if they can interact with you personally. This branding must be reflected from the business owner down through each staff member.
  • Know the rules of customer attraction and retention. According to Samuelson, there are three rules. Firstly, you must gain visibility, whether through traditional advertising, social media marketing or social impact advertising (that is, engaging in ongoing efforts that have societal impact). Secondly, be consistent. While consistency is not immediately relevant to weaker brands (you must develop that consistency), keeping a strong brand consistent is vital. Consistency also helps achieve the third rule of customer retention: gaining customer loyalty. However, the other services you offer also greatly contribute to this last point.
  • Pay attention to how you communicate with customers. For service-based businesses, it’s not just about what you offer but how you’re offering it. Pay attention to your tone and content in your marketing. Customers know that the services found at a carwash, for instance, are not unique. What will draw customers to you is how you approach them. “You should be going straight for the heart to make them accept you,” Samuelson says.

Read the full article here.

Tips for managing all aspects of a fast-growing business

According to the article “Tips For Managing All Aspects Of Your Business” by contributor Ian Pearson on www.tgdaily.com, startup businesses usually have a mission to grow quickly. However, keeping up with fast growth is a challenge because you must constantly be concerned with saving money, keeping employees motivated and improving and expanding your business space. Here are some tips Pearson offers to help you keep up with growth:

  • Craft a business and marketing plan. Creating a detailed business plan that outlines your finances, audiences, goals and growth strategies is essential. Be sure to also create a targeted marketing strategy for your audience.
  • Hire only the best. You need above-average employees who can make decisions on the fly and who are willing to work extra in order to help solve problems that come up with new growth. Most importantly, you need people who are truly motivated on your team.
  • Keep customers satisfied. Customers are not only your source of revenue, but they are also important for providing ideas, generating feedback and promoting you on social media. As you grow, make sure to keep customers satisfied with your services; otherwise, it will be difficult to keep them.
  • Evaluate your managers. Not all managers will transition well from managing a small team of people to a larger team. Constantly evaluate your managers as you grow. See if the weaker managers need assistance in some way or if you simply need to replace them.
  • Keep the site clean. First impressions for customers are critical, and keeping your site clean and tidy can go a long way towards generating those favorable first impressions. In addition, keeping your work environment clean for employees’ benefits can keep your workers better motivated as well.
  • Create relationships with other local businesses. Network with other businesses and join in local business events to make your company better known. This is a great opportunity to promote your business and brand.
  • Keep an eye on profit margins. Businesses that are growing quickly can easily get excited about new sales and forget about profit margins. As you grow, overhead expenses will increase. Keep your profit margins fat because thinner ones leave less cushion for mistakes that arise. Fat profit margins also attract investors.
  • Have a mentor. Having a mentor who is experienced in entrepreneurship can make your job so much easier. Don’t let pride keep you from asking for help and advice.

Read the full article here.