Running a small business means many countless details, most notably of which is making sure you have happy customers.

As too many small business owners have discovered over time, it just takes a few unhappy customers to turn things upside down. When that happens, the business can be put in turmoil, potentially leading to a permanent “closed” sign on the door.

So, with 2016 just around the corner, what are some important reminder lessons for you and your small business?

Never Take Customers for Granted

First and foremost, it is critical that small business owners never take those who pay their way for granted.

If you’ve been running your company for a while now, you may fall into a pattern of complacency, thinking that your customers do not need all that much from you. If you find yourself in that mindset this year, change that heading into the New Year.

Among the practices you want to maintain with new and current customers:

  • Availability – Let’s say you ran a small business with products and services geared for homes; even though you can certainly get caught up in running a small business, always make yourself available for your customers. Whether you sell home furnishings, products for outside the home, home entertainment services, or whatever the need may be, don’t put current or potential customers on extended holds. Be there for them as much as possible, thereby not giving them a reason to go to the competition.
  • Specials – When you offer special deals, consumers are more apt to do business with you. No matter what the product or service, make it simple so customers can go here or there for a good deal. With the holidays in full bloom, offering customers year-end specials is a good way to land more business.
  • Socializing – If you’ve yet to get on the social media bandwagon, think about it heading into the New Year. Make sure you give customers access to you and your brand on different social mediums like Facebook, Twitter, Instragram etc. In doing so, you can essentially connect with them 24/7. This is also a good means by which you can respond to their inquiries and even concerns on a regular basis.
  • Vision – Lastly, are you a small business owner with vision or do you find yourself too often stuck in a rut? Make sure you are a brand that is always evolving, looking for the newest and brightest ideas and ways to serve customers. If you become too comfortable in the ways you go about servicing people, you could find the competition passing you by at some point. From technology to customer support, always be looking at how you can improve the customer experience.

About the Author: Dave Thomas covers topics of interest to small business owners.