As a small business owner, your biggest competitive advantage is having loyal customers.

Biz Tip No 9- Loyal customersBeing the first to market or the cheapest provider isn’t enough – especially as your competitors are working to leave you in the dust. Being a company that clients enjoy working with and keep coming back to matters.

The key is building relationships that go beyond one-time projects and provide value to clients on a consistent, ongoing basis.

Here are 5 ways to build your competitive advantage with better client relationships:

  1. Put the customer first. Loyal Customer Are Good Customers. Clients often stick with a brand they have loyalty towards, even if they do not offer the cheapest or most effective product. Focus on building strong relationships and delivering a great customer experience and service.
  2. Over-Communicate. Clients depend on you to keep them informed. Make regular communications with them one of your top priorities. This includes updating them on various projects, as well as letting them know about any bumps in the road you encounter.
  3. Incentivize Long Term Relationships. Clients should be honored for their loyalty and receive the preferential treatment they deserve. Reward these individuals (or businesses) with exclusive discounts, “reward program” offers, etc. Be free with expressions of gratitude and look for new ways to say “Thank you for your valued business.”
  4. Stay relevant. Continuous Innovation Is Key. Clients like the newest and best product or service. Keeping your product fresh and compatible with the market place is key.
  5. Hire ‘Connected’ Team Members. Connections to key individuals and organizations can dramatically accelerate your ability to build new business. Your team members’ rolodexes help your business connect with individuals, organizations, and businesses that can help it grow.

Looking for more resources on starting or growing a business? Head over to our Business Center’s Resources Page for great tools and information!