Celebrating 100 years in business

For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

How to build trust with your customers and why it matters

There is an old expression that says: "If people know you and like you they'll listen to you, but if they know you, like you and trust you they'll do business with you."

We live in a world where nobody trusts anybody anymore. We don't trust politicians, the media, bankers and, of course, anyone who's trying to "sell us" something. After all, they just want our money, right?

So if you want to grow a successful business, then you are going to need to learn and master "trust-based selling" or life is going to be very tough for you.

Think about it: you'll need to sell suppliers into giving you credit when you start up, persuade a bank to lend you money, attract talented people to work for you before you're an established brand and finally get customers trusting you to deliver the product or solution you've promised them.

The question we all need to be able to answer is: Why should I trust you?

To grow your business in a world of mistrust, you'll need to build trust and credibility in three key areas:

  1. Your company
  2. Your products
  3. Yourself and your credibility

In my experience your personal credibility will be responsible for as much as 50% of your score.

Here's a quick exercise to help you get started:

Take five minutes to write out the stories and facts that build up the trust behind each area.

Your company: Think about numbers - how many customers you've served, how many years you've been in business, how experienced your team is and why you believe what you believe. All this builds emotional trust with people.

Your product: Here we can use tools like features, facts and benefits, case studies and client success stories. Before and after photos are huge trust builders and can be used in almost any industry.

Your experience: Tell the story of your struggle and how you got into this business. People love to know why you are doing what you do as it leverages their trust factor. You can also be upfront about what you're not always good at; people will trust you more if you're transparent.

Once you have these trust generators, use them in all your presentations to potential customers and suppliers, during recruitment interviews and on your website.

Just remember, once somebody puts their trust in you, make sure you deliver what you promise - trust is a fragile commodity, it can take years to build and a moment to lose.

Sponsored post. Copyright © 2016 Paul Avins, author of The Authority Guide to Trusted Selling: Building stronger, deeper and more profitable relationships with your customers to create lifetime loyalty.

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