Consistency in business is often underestimated. Especially when you’re a new business. I remember when I first started a business and it was my photography business. I was so inconsistent because I was still learning how everything worked and what to do. It would have been nice to know what an important role consistency played in every aspect of business, but it was something I learned later on. I specifically remember editing weddings my very first season when I shot a lot of them for free. I would download Photoshop actions, which are just pre-made settings, and apply a different action to every photo. The result was a very eclectic set of photos where each one was processed differently in Photoshop. They had no consistency at all and I consider it a miracle I got past that stage to where I can create a more cohesive body of work that has similar features.
The thing about consistency is that it breeds trust. Trust is everything in business. I know you’ve heard me say that before. TRUST IS EVERYTHING. Once a customer trusts you it’s actually easier to do your job. If you’re a photographer your clients will be more satisfied with your work. If you’re a coach your customers will be more satisfied with your services. If you teach online courses your students will be happier with your courses. Trust is how you build walking-talking billboards of referrals from your existing client base. So here are a few areas that you really need to pay attention to consistency in your business.
- The Finished Product – Whatever it is that you sell and create one of the most important parts of consistency comes in your finished product. You should be delivering the same quality and consistency of work across the board with each and every customer. For example, you’re a photographer each image can’t have a different preset from Lightroom or Photoshop action to it. You want your work to look very consistent and identifiably yours.
- Social Media Marketing – Being consistent on social media is the key to everything. EVERYTHING! Don’t be that business owner that only posts once a month on their Instagram. Posting on a regular predictable basis can do a lot to create trust between you and your followers.
- Client Communications – I think it can be especially difficult when working with clients over a long term to stay consistent with your communications and emails. Setting up an email automation to send reminders, helpful tips and information can really do wonders for creating trust by ensuring each client gets the exact same information and experience when they work with you.
- Business Hours – This may be one of the most difficult areas to have consistency because it’s so easy when you work at home to just work whenever it suits you and not adhere to any business hours. Create some business hours, put them in emails, on your website and on social media and then don’t email people back unless its within your business hours. It helps create consistency and respect for your business. When your clients see that your respect what you do, they’re more likely to respect it as well.
- Expectations – Managing expectations has always been one of my favorite things to do, even when I was a preschool teacher. I know, it’s dorky. However, if I can find a way to ensure my clients know my expectations and I know theirs I’m able to provide a much more consistent experience overall. Managing expectations of your customers all comes down to ensuring you give them the information they need in advance. Predict what may go wrong or what questions they have and then create a system or automation that anticipates and answers that need.
- Business Policies – Don’t let one person have a discount and not someone else. Consistency with how you treat your business and your business policies comes down to your ethics and can make a hot mess out of a situation or ensure awesome customer service depending on how you treat your policies. Make a list of policies about when you won’t work, when you take days off, if you’ll give discounts, and any other details you want and then stick to it!
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