Keys to Success for Businesses in the South
As we all know Southern hospitality knows no bounds, businesses included. When you’re choosing where to spend your time and money, you’re likely to choose the businesses that stand out from the rest. But what makes a great southern business?
While there are many characteristics that separate the businesses that are just so-so and the ones that keep us coming back for more, there are a few key elements that are a must for catering to customers in the South:
- High-quality goods and services
- Above-and-beyond customer service
- Giving back to the community
High-Quality Goods and Services
Just like southerners value good home cooking, they also want to get their money’s worth when it comes to their purchases. It all comes down to treating others like family and offering them the very best. Would you make something you’re not proud of and then bring it to Thanksgiving? No! So you shouldn’t be willing to sell low-quality or faulty products to your patrons. The same goes for providing services, you always want to do your best work and offer fair pricing that will keep your customers coming back.
Plus, they’re more likely to recommend you to their own friends and family if they are impressed with what you have to offer. It’s really a win-win scenario. If your goods or services aren’t the best they can be, there are a lot of things you can do to take it to the next level. Here are some examples:
- For Eating Establishments: Find a vendor that offers the freshest ingredients or shop at a local farmers market for better quality produce.
- For Service-Based Businesses: Use technology to improve key steps in your process like a tms software or project management system.
- For Clothing Stores & Retail: Instead of bulk-ordering online, look for special pieces at boutiques or other high-end stores that you can carry. Make your own products? Use better materials.
Whatever type of business you’re running, you should take pride in your offerings and always put your best foot forward.
Above-and-Beyond Customer Service
Politeness, kindness, and charm are classic southern values that are prioritized in every interaction and serving customers is no different. When your customers are dining or shopping at your business, you need to show everyone your southern hospitality.
Businesses that make patrons feel rushed, ignored, or unappreciated aren’t likely to succeed. After all, those are poor manners. So, what are some important aspects to make customer service shine in the South?
- Create a welcoming environment
- Greet each and every patron
- Show genuine interest in customers
- Offer helpful suggestions (even if they aren’t particularly relevant to your business)
- Forgo the aggressive sales tactics and find better ways to engage customers
- Be patient with inquisitive or slow-going shoppers
You always want to have certain aspects that give your business a unique charm. Whether it’s offering home-brewed tea, creating a home-y feel with the decor, or having expertly trained sales associates that know how to be helpful instead of pushy.
Giving Back to the Community
A sense of community has always been a priority in the South, so it should be to your business too. Fortunately, there is always an opportunity to give back to others throughout the entire year.
A few ideas about your business can be more philanthropic include:
- Sponsor a local sports team or event
- Donate to a charity (this can be monetary or in-kind)
- Volunteer to help serve others in need
- Host a clean-up event
- Offer discounts for special circumstances
- Start your own charity event or fundraiser
That being said, you shouldn’t be doing good in your community with the reward of growing your business in mind. To truly succeed, you need to genuinely care about your neighbors and local organizations. Philanthropy should be a cornerstone of your business, not a one-off effort to get in good favor. Plus, it’s also a good way to get to know others in the community.