We’ve all heard the saying “The customer is always right.” At some point, though, it’s worth considering whether this attitude might do more harm than good to your business. Think of it this way: if you overindulge customers or consignors, you may end up hurting your profits, sales, and bottom line.
It’s quite common – especially in the world of consignment businesses. Whether you’re sticking to overly aggressive auto-discounting policies, keeping your payout terms loose, allowing cosigners to pick and choose how much store credit or cash they want or forcing items to sell, it’s very likely you’re only hurting your profits.
Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid over-complicating your business like this. The first step is to put your company first. Here’s what you need to know:
Why Put Your Company First?
Many business owners treat their brands like they treat themselves: they toss them by the wayside in an attempt to make everyone else comfortable. While this looks virtuous on the surface, it’s a pretty dangerous way to live. After all, it’s hard to truly be effective or impactful if you’re not focusing on your own needs and efforts. Think back to the “put your oxygen mask on first” analogy.
If you’re going to serve customers well, you need a strong company foundation from which to do it. While most business owners think they’re doing customers a service by putting client needs first all the time, the truth is that this only erodes the integrity of your company, and makes it harder to be effective down the road.
3 Smart Ways to Prioritize Your Brand
Ready to put your brand first? Here are three ways to do it:
1. Identify Your Business Needs
First things first: you’ve got to find the places your company is already lacking and make a plan to fix those issues. For example, maybe your paperwork is in shambles. Perhaps you need to update your website. Maybe your payout terms need an overhaul so you stop bleeding money. Whatever the case may be, identifying these issues is the first step to resolving them.
2. Make Growth a Priority
Time to set some goals! If you’ve de-prioritized growth in favor of prioritizing your customers, it’s time to go back to putting yourself and your brand first. Come up with a few short- (6 month) and long-term goals and put them down on paper. From there, you can make a plan to reach them in your agreed-upon timeline.
3. Prioritize Your Problems
If you treat everything like it’s an emergency, it’s impossible to maintain focus. With this in mind, write down a list of your most pressing issues and decide which 2-3 are true priorities.
If you’re wasting time attending to every customer complaint individually, for example, you may be better off changing your customer management system or implementing new store policies to resolve all complaints at once. It’s a simple step, but one that could turn your customers into all-out brand ambassadors over time.
Building a Better Business, From the Ground Up
Failing to prioritize your company only hurts your brand and your customers. With this in mind, follow these three smart tips to create a stronger business and happier customers.
Need help overhauling your consignment store’s online presence? Check out Ricochet Consignment Software today!