I was recently asked to write the forward to a business mentoring book written by Nigel Botterill, founder and CEO of ‘thebestof UK’ and the process really made me think about the opportunities business owners in Bolton are squandering.
I am lucky enough to meet dozens of local independent business owners in my role as co-owner of thebestof bolton and privileged to work with many of them as members of thebestof Bolton business community but in preparing the forward to Nigel’s book I began think more critically about the people I meet on a daily basis.
At thebestof Bolton we believe that VISIBILITY is the most important factor in the success of any business. No matter how good a business is at delivering a product or service, if the consumer doesn’t know they exist then they may as well not bother getting up each day and burning electricity in their premises.
I am constantly amazed by business owners who believe that just because they have premises in Bolton and been in business a few years and in some cases many years, that customers will automatically run through their doors! So often, in response to my question ‘how do you attract new customers?’ I hear ‘word of mouth works best for us, we’ve been here a long time!’.
‘word of mouth works best for us, we’ve been here a long time!’
This mistaken perception, held by many business owners could be the single most restricting factor to their business growth.
While ‘word of mouth’ is undoubtedly the best form of marketing, the mistake is in believing that all our customers practice it! If you are lucky a VERY small percentage of your customers may think about telling a friend or neighbour about the great service they received from your company or brag about that great new gizmo they bought from you but if that’s what you rely on to bring a steady flow of new business, then I’m afraid your prospect list will deliver a diminishing return.
Likewise, just because a business has been around, possibly in the same building for many years, it doesn’t mean that people always see you; familiarity breeds a sort of blindness and the reality is that it’s the businesses who are constantly reinventing themselves and shouting about their actions and successes that are the ones people remember.
As a member of thebestof Bolton, businesses who do have a good track record of providing great customer service and quality products, benefit from the thousands of local people who see their message on Social Media, e-newsletters, thebestof bolton website, printed media and through ‘word of mouth’ broadcast all over town.
If you own or manage an independent business based in Bolton and believe your business should benefit from ‘Word Of Mouth’ marketing that doesn’t just passively rely on your customers remembering to talk about you – and let’s face it when was the last time you actively recommended another business? – Give either me, David or Gaynor a call, to find out if your business would qualify to be recognised as and benefit from being a ‘thebestof Bolton’ business.
We are always seeking out great local businesses and constantly surprised to find hidden gems, gems whose owners thought everyone already knew about!
Give your business a boost and contact me, David on 07740 740078 or Gaynor on 01204 382785 to find out why over 100 local businesses are already working with thebestof Bolton.