Are you in the early stages of a newly launched startup, or gaining traction after being in business for several years? As a small business owner, there are many things that you have done to set yourself apart from other people. Some individuals are content to be employees because they don’t want the stress and responsibilities of owning a company. Other people, like you, love the thrill of creating something new and focusing on unstoppable freedom through business management.
You finally have your business up and running, but it isn’t growing at the pace you’d expected, or maybe it is even struggling. What steps can you take to grow your business?
It is important to take action daily to improve your business. Every business is unique, but these steps will help set your business up for growth.
- Take a critical look at your business
When trying to grow your business, it is important to see what is working and what is not. Sometimes profit may be growing adequately, but some products may be costing you much more than you are making—preventing that growth from falling to the bottom line. Consider simplifying your business by weeding out unprofitable products. Also, don’t try to be everything to all people. Know what you do and what you don’t do. Focus on what you are good at and which audience can benefit from it.
- Get your team on board
Teach your team the importance of customer service—both to suppliers and customers. If you take care of people and build relationships, people are more willing to return the favour. It is more cost effective to cross-sell to existing customers than to acquire new customers.
When is the last time you or your team member talked extensively with your customers? Find out if there is anything else you can do for them; it might generate ideas for new products or services at the same time it solidifies the existing relationship. Exceed your customer’s expectations so you don’t have to spend all of your efforts replacing customers who left you. Similarly, good relationships with vendors can pave the way to the best prices and service.
- Invest in marketing
A business might have the best product and best customer service, but it doesn’t matter if no one knows about it. Make sure you are taking the time to market your business; there are many low-cost strategies that can have big returns in certain industries.
The first step is to make sure you understand and protect your brand. What is it that makes your business different from competitors? Creating a positive brand image that provides customers with an emotional attachment will make it difficult for them to switch to a competitor. Create social media accounts and promote them on your website. Be part of relevant community groups and directories, and if financially able, sponsor local teams. Create content that educates your users.
Ask current customers if they would refer friends to your business. Word-of-mouth is a huge way to expand your customer base. Always under promise and over deliver; do more than they expect. If you there aren’t people willing to refer your business, ask them what you are missing.
- Consider technology
Technology can help you grow and manage your business more efficiently. Try to automate your processes to save you time and to provide more opportunity to grow your business. There is technology for almost every area of your business. Consider technology for onboarding employees or customers, marketing applications, raising capital, productivity, customer support, storage, and cash flow management. Real systems and processes can help you do more with less human resources.
Whether you are a seasoned veteran in the business world or you are just getting things off the ground, it is important that you are proactive to create a strong financial future for your company.
With the help of these tips, you can transform your results and create more success for your business.
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