I’ve been a freelance copywriter for about 3 or 4 years now, and I’m still learning valuable business lessons on a regular basis. Last year, I learned a number of important lessons that have helped me grow my business, better serve my clients, and be better at everything I do.
Here are the 5 biggest business lessons I learned in 2011. After you’re done reading them, I’d love for you to comment and share some of the important things you discovered last year.
- Even the most satisfied clients require nurturing—Customer relationship management is very important to running a successful business. It’s so much easier and more profitable to keep your current clients happy than it is to try to find new clients. When you think about keeping clients loyal, it’s only natural to focus your attention on strengthening your weakest relationships. However, you have to remember that a client who is happy right now may not be happy one month from now. Every client needs attention. Even the ones who you think will never leave you.
- Giving up control can be a good thing—When it comes to my business, I’ve always been something of a control freak. I’ve been wary of turning to others for help, outsourcing certain menial tasks, or letting go of any power over my business. But I finally had a revelation. If I want my business to grow, I’m going to have to give up some control and trust others to help me. I started doing so in the latter half of 2011 with some great results.
- It’s about value, not price—Will there always be price shoppers? Of course. But for the most part, price isn’t that important. It’s the value you provide. Your products and services can be more expensive than the competition’s as long as you do a clear job of showing what they’re still a better value at that price point.
- Some clients will never be happy—Let’s face it. There are certain clients who just want to complain. No matter how far backwards you bend over for them, they’re still going to be angry. Avoid doing business with this type of client at all costs.
- The competition is always improving—Your competitors are always getting better. Their services are improving, and they’re always adding new services and features. That means you have to keep getting better too. You have to always be pushing forward, finding new ways to improve the quality of the services you provide for your clients.
What business lessons did you learn in 2011?