Business retention consulting provides training and tools for a community to develop and deploy a business retention program designed to meet their specific needs.
Specifics of Business Retention Consulting
A business retention consultant will assist a community or individual business in developing results-oriented strategies in the following areas:
- Economic Development
- Workforce Development
- Business Retention Techniques
An economically healthy business community benefits everyone involved-individual companies as well as the community as a whole. Learning to work together expands those benefits as businesses learn to keep their customers coming back as well as drive new business into the overall economic health of the community.
Community Economic Development
Business retention consulting helps companies to set goals to stimulate community economic development. The consulting company then measures the results over time to maximize the impact and improve the community's financial health and economic status. The right programs are designed to help business owners and community leaders to understand community changes and how these transformations necessitate change to keep your business alive. Business retention consulting helps business owners to recognize opportunities for economic development.
Workforce Development adds to business retention by contributing to economic growth through superior, customer-driven services. Taking such steps supports productivity and encourages growth for a prosperous business sector. Workforce development can be synchronized with efforts by state and local efforts.
Developing a workforce in today's business climate involves training employees to cope with ever-changing technology. Making wise hiring decisions in the first place cultivates a pool of talented employees. Well-trained capable employees today are an important factor in the business retention of tomorrow. Consider the following keys in developing a workforce for the future:
- Make learning opportunities available to employees
- Develop employee skills to cope with changing technology
- Reward employees who take the initiative to learn new skills
Business Retention Techniques
Depending on the current economic health of your business in relation to the community, if business is down, you may have to start with efforts that stimulate customer recovery before focusing on business retention techniques. Remember that customers may prefer a brand or a company, but they are loyal to people. If they are treated right, they'll be back.
When Something Goes Wrong
Keeping customers satisfied is key to getting them to come back. If something goes wrong:
- Quickly apologize
- Accept full responsibility
- Let them know how you'll make it right
Today's technology offers affordable marketing techniques for small to medium businesses to build a relationship with their customers. These include:
- E-mail campaigns
- Customized technology that offers customers personalized service
- Customer Experience Management (CEM)
For small businesses looking for financial help to fund a business retention consultant, the Community Economic Development Fund is available to provide financial support and to promote community-based economic development. This program also offers business counseling to small businesses and provides loans of $35,000 and under.Funding strategies providing for community business retention consulting vary. If you're looking for money to fund a business retention project here are a few other resources to investigate:
- Federal government funds
- Equity financing from private sources
Research is an important element needed to define specifics for each community and business and the developmental changes from one town to the next. Pulling together the right business retention program for your specific needs can be a challenge. This is why it pays to call on a professional who practices business retention consulting and has a proven track record. Money spent to have someone bring together all the elements necessary and to oversee the project is money well-spent. And in the end, you'll see a higher rate of business retention with satisfied customers returning to do business.