Every business owner has a strategy to keep things running smoothly – whether you start the day early, return calls within 24 hours or pledge to always put the customer first – each hard and fast rule has its place. But don't be fooled! Not all business advice is a good idea. In fact, there are a few myths out there that could be hurting your bottom line. Here, we help set the record straight on four big misconceptions.
1. Myth: Word of mouth is the best way to market your business.
Reality: More and more people are searching for pros online. While word of mouth marketing will always be valuable, these days, customers are starting their searches on Google. And that means it's more important than ever to build up your web presence and make your company easy to find!
Create a website for your business (if you haven't already) and be sure your contact details and hours of operation are easily visible. Include information about your service, your availability and company history, so potential customers can get to know you.
2. Myth: Accepting online payments is a hassle (worse, a risk).
Reality: Online tools make it easier than ever to accept payments from your customers. Whether you use a secure, fee–free payment system like HomeAdvisor PayPro or another option, going online makes the payment process simpler than ever before. With an online payment system, you can request payment from homeowners, receive money and transfer funds instantly to your bank account. Plus, modern payment systems and encryption tools have made great strides in keeping your data (and your finances) safe.
3. Myth: Negative reviews are bad for business.
Reality: While no one likes reading negative comments about their business, these posts actually provide you with the chance to make changes for the better (and show customers how much you care). When you receive a critique, always respond with professionalism and offer to try to rectify any mistakes. Not only will your reviewers appreciate the response, but potential clients will see that you're willing to work with customers to ensure a good experience.
Bonus: Opening your business up to reviews means there's also an opportunity for customers to leave positive comments on your page. Those glowing reviews will help to offset any negative reviews and set your company apart from the competition.
4. Myth: You don't need a business plan.
Reality: Though it's tempting to let the specifics of your business work out on their own, it's important to devise a detailed business plan. A plan will help you organize goals for your company, craft a thorough description of your services and company structure and come up with marketing strategies for the next year. You can also use a business plan to go over your company finances, set budgets and find areas to spend more or cut back.
Once you've compiled all of this information in one place, it will be much easier to think about your business on a larger scale – and to remind yourself to work on your goals and budget. Plus, you can always return to this plan down the road and adjust as needed.