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New Infographic Illustrates Importance of Customer Loyalty, Gives Tips for Fostering It
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You’ve always known that repeat, long-term customers are a good thing for your business. But did you know how good? This month we’ve gathered statistics that tell the true story of the impact customer loyalty has on a small business’s development in the SCORE Infographic, “Customer Loyalty: Winning Them Over is the Key to Growth.”

According to survey data presented visually in the infographic, 82% of small business owners said that loyal customers are the key to an enterprise’s growth. This response is supported by the facts that:

  • Loyal customers are worth up to 10x their first purchase
  • Finding a new customer is 6-7x more expensive than keeping a current one

The infographic also offers recommendations for small business owners looking to build loyalty in their client base including:

  • Fix Problems: Resolve complaints in the customer’s favor – 70% of the time, they will do business with you again.
  • Treat Them Right: 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they’re being treated.
  • Be Personal: Ask for and use the customer’s name.
  • Take their call! In the last year, 67% of customers have hung up because
    they could not talk to a real person.

Download this month’s SCORE infographic for statistics on how small businesses compare to large companies in terms of providing great customer service, specifically the areas of: understanding expectations, anticipating needs, thanking customers and following up.

 

infographic

Aliana Marino - Communications Manager, SCORE
Aliana is passionate about helping small businesses thrive and getting the word out about the great work SCORE mentors do across the country.
score.org | Facebook | @SCOREmentors | More from Aliana

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The Pros and Cons of Starting a Business Over 55
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Should you start a business if you’re over 55—or is it too late? While we typically think of entrepreneurs as young hotshots, the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity reports that the percentage of entrepreneurs aged 55 to 64 rose from 14.3 percent in 1996 to 23.4 percent in 2012. In the same time period, the percentage of entrepreneurs aged 20 to 34 dropped from 34.8 percent to 26.2 percent. In fact, the Kauffman Foundation determined that those aged 55 to 64 are starting businesses at a higher rate than any other age group!

As someone who started a business when I was no longer a young hotshot, I can share some pros and cons of later-life entrepreneurship first hand.

1. Pro: You’ve got life experience. As an older startup, you’ve got real-world knowledge of what works and what doesn’t, how long things are likely to take and how human relationships (an essential ingredient in any startup) really work.

2. Con: You might be set in your ways. As we get older, it’s easy to become inflexible and unable to see possibilities that are obvious to younger people. Surrounding myself with younger people, including entrepreneurs in their 20s and 30s, is one way I make sure I have plenty of fresh perspectives.

3. Pro: You’ve got a network of contacts. Most of us 55 and older have spent decades in the work force and have hundreds of professional contacts to call on. That’s not even counting our circles of family and friends. All of them can be sources of new business and new ideas. I know I wouldn’t have started my business without years of business contacts to pitch as clients.

4. Con: Your skills might need refreshing. One of my friends recalls working for a boss in his 50s who never learned how to work the copier and didn’t even know how to get his own email (he had his secretary print it out for him each morning). If you’re used to an executive position, you may not have had to do the “grunt work” that comes with being an entrepreneur. Nothing’s beneath you now, so start learning!

5. Pro: You might have financial resources you didn’t have in your younger days. Homes, collections, stocks and retirement accounts can all be called upon to fund your startup, since you will need to put some of your own skin in the game.

6. Con: You might need some of that money. With retirement closer than for 20-somethings, you have less room for error. Don’t risk your nest egg; try bootstrapping a low-cost business instead (there are tons of them to choose from).

7. Pro: You’re probably child-free. Unless your college graduate children have come home to roost (in which case, put them to work in your business!), you’re likely an empty nester with time on your hands. What better way to use it than by starting your own business?

Did you notice there are more pros in this list than cons? Clearly, I’m on the side of startup—I’ve been happily entrepreneurial for more than six years now.

Need help assessing your own pros and cons? A SCORE mentor can advise you. Visit www.score.org to get counseling for free 24/7.

Rieva Lesonsky - CEO, GrowBiz Media
Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship. She was formerly Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine and has written several books about small business and entrepreneurship.
www.growbizmedia.com | @rieva | More from Rieva

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