Running a business is a lot like auto maintenance. Keeping a car running requires you to monitor and familiarize yourself with all the moving parts and inner workings, so you can prevent small hiccups from becoming total breakdowns.
You don’t need to know much about cars to know they require more than fuel to keep running. You need to keep an eye on tire pressure, oil filter health, engine temperature, fuel usage, among other things.The last thing you want is a breakdown when you’re in the middle of nowhere, especially if that breakdown could have been prevented had you’d been notified at the first sign of the problem.
You also don’t need to know everything about cars to keep them running. Paying attention to alerts on your dashboard is enough to stay ahead of most problems. Similarly, small business owners need to be aware of their business health so they can head off problems before they get worse.
Preventing fires > putting them out
Imagine you received a negative online review on a site like Yelp or Google My Business a few days ago. At first, that may not seem like much of an issue. After all, every business is bound to have an unhappy customer here and there. The truth is, like a “check engine” light illuminated on your car’s dashboard, negative reviews aren’t a big deal as long as you act on them quickly.
PUTTING OUT FIRES [idiom, a common phrase]: To deal with emergencies or urgent matters rather than ordinary day-to-day tasks.
Example: I spent so much time today putting out fires with our suppliers that I didn’t even have a chance to read my emails.
That’s the key: You need to reply to negative reviews promptly, or they may cause problems down the road. That little spark can grow into flames if ignored.
Ignoring negative reviews can cause serious problems. In fact, an undressed negative review can keep customers from visiting your store. Studies have shown that just one negative review can turn 30+ customers away. We also know that responding to reviews and trying to understand the customer’s complaint can turn that negative review into a resounding recommendation. The key is early detection.
Knowing your business health = increased efficiency
Knowing how well the car is running requires the driver to pay attention to multiple functions. The driver needs to know how much washer fluid there is, oil filter usage, engine temperature, tire pressure, and, of course, fuel level.
Business owners deserve to know their business in as much detail. They deserve to know how many of their customers are coming back when they receive new online feedback, and to get notifications should any potential threats arise. Most importantly, they need to know how these systems work together so they can work faster and smarter.
Let’s bring it back to our car analogy. When you know that keeping your tires inflated improves your fuel efficiency, you don’t let your tires deflate. When you see first-hand how improving your online rating from 3.5 to a 4.5 stars increases revenues by up to 39 percent, monitoring your online reputation shifts from handling negative reviews and fire-prevention to optimizing your business’s fuel efficiency (metaphorically speaking) with raving recommendations.
Unlike cars, businesses don’t come with pre-installed dashboards that notify you of changes in performance. That’s where analytics software comes in.
Your car’s dashboard tells you how it’s performing, and more importantly, lets you know when something’s wrong. Womply does the same thing for your business—we give you insights you’ve never had before about your company, your customers, and your competitors. Request a free 15-minute consultation from one of Womply’s small business specialists to learn more.