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Darren Wingfield

Darren Wingfield

Commercial Manager

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7 Tips for a successful professional services business

Posted on 16/01/20  |  3 Minutes
Accountant helping a professional service business owner

Providing a B2B service for others can be a rewarding business. There will be plenty of companies out there that need what you can provide. But you need to make those connections that power your professional services business and turn it into a success. Here is our guide to the 7 tips for a successful professional services business and what they can mean to you –

Professional service business owner in a discussion with their accountant

1 – Understand your customer

The first rule of any business is to know what your customer is all about. This is especially important in the professional services industry. There are so many questions to ask in order to attract new clients, including –

  • Who do they already use?
  • Are they tied into long contracts?
  • Is loyalty a factor in buying decisions?

Doing your research in these areas will help you understand how you can attract and retain new customers. If you don’t know your customers well, then your messages will fall on deaf ears. Don’t spend a penny on marketing until you know who you are talking to.

2 – Happy customers sell for you

Once you have a customer, then you should do everything in your power to make them happy. Delighted customers will tell others how great you are. This is marketing gold. Build the relationships with your existing clients and they will spread the word about the way you make them feel.

They will leave reviews of your quality and speak to others in business about how you have solved their problems and made things easy for you. The result is you attract more new clients off the back of this.

3 – And this comes from time 

Professional service business owner in a cafe with their accountant

It sounds so simple, but you should spend quality time with your customers. They want to know the people behind the service. You should put aside the time to have conversations with your clients about anything and everything including the service you provide for them. If they know what makes you tick (and you find out what makes them tick) then you have the chance of a much more fruitful relationship together.

This turns a business relationship into something more long term and breeds loyalty.

4 – Under promise and over deliver

There are too many companies out there that over promise. The result is that they walk away with your money but don’t do anything to build your confidence in them. Customer service is monitored by big organisations. But even the small business is rated, reviewed and discussed on social media and review websites.

If you state a timescale and price, then you should be totally sure that you can live up to these. Anything else can leave a sour taste in the mouth and cause you all manner of problems with your clients.

5 – Get the basics right

In all of the planning and developing for a professional services business, you should not forget the basics of customer service –

  • Responding to emails
  • Answering the phone
  • Providing quotes when you said you would

There are many ways in which your basics can provide you a source of income, so act immediately with these matters to secure more business. A simple call can clear up any misunderstanding or answer questions in a matter of minutes that could take email after email. Don’t get too caught up in this to service your customers well.

6 – Own up to any problems
If you are having an issue that affects your customer, then don’t be afraid to let them know. It can be tempting to act like a swan – serene on the surface and kicking legs everywhere underneath. But your clients will be far more accepting of a few problems if you keep them in the picture.

You could be let down by a supplier, suffer from staff shortages or any other reason. These happen to any business. So, don’t think that you should hide all of this from the world. Be honest with others and they will be patient with you.

7 – Think long term

As you build a successful professional services business, you should always have at least one eye on the long term. A low value contract when you first start out might help to get the money flowing, but it may get in the way of better work in the future. Don’t tie yourself to something that doesn’t value what you are capable of.

Planning is a vital part of buildings a successful professional services business and we are here to help you start off on the right foot. Speak to our team today to find out more about the service Harlands provide.