When times are tough, companies start slashing business operations costs to be as lean as possible. Look for the opportunities to promote these efficiency measures as long-term benefits to your clients. Chances are your clients are looking for ways to maximize their budgets, too.
Here are three ways to build your competitive advantage:
1. Consolidate business travel. Organize business trips to service multiple customers per visit, and let them know you'll be able to pass those savings along to them. If travel isn't on your agenda, ask yourself what you can offer in bulk, volume purchasing, or multiple services to pass on the savings.
2. Remove any barriers for your clients to keep in touch. Companies have known for years that having a toll-free or "800" number increases national sales. Apply this principle to your global customers. Set up local phone numbers in the countries you do business through Skype In (www.skype.com) and stay in touch with your international clientele. They'll be making a local call from within their country, and the phone call is forwarded directly to your office or cell phone.
3. Once you're in touch, communicate clearly with them. Stop assuming and start asking questions that help you best support your clients. Simple questions such as "Can I fax or e-mail you the document?" can create significant financial savings by avoiding costly overnight shipping charges. Expediting the delivery of these documents to minutes instead of days is an added bonus.
These tips make everyone more productive without extra effort. By streamlining your processes, you-ll be able to pass on the savings to your clients. Your more efficient ways of doing business, in fact, may create more innovative business practices, leading the way to a successful and sustainable future.
Jason W. Womack, MEd, MA, and Jodi Womack, MA, founded their boutique training firm that enhances organizational performance through maximizing time, energy, focus, and technology. For more workplace performance tips, visit www.JasonWomack.com.