Starting a new small business is relatively easy when compared to growing it once you have started it. No matter how hard it may be, however, it is absolutely necessary if you want to succeed and flourish, and if you want your business to become well-known and profitable. The more you work on growing it, the bigger it will become, and ultimately, the more money it will bring in. Therefore, you should have a plan that includes ways that you intend to grow your small business; there are many different options. We’ve put together some ideas on how you can do it, but remember, what works for one person may not work for another, so there will be a lot of trial and error involved – but that’s what running a business is really all about.
Know Your Customers
To truly succeed, a small business owner and all his or her employees must know their customers. If you can do this, you will then be able to sell or develop products and services that these customers actually not only need but want, and they will choose to spend their money with you rather than someone else.
To get to know your customers there are a variety of options including:
- Asking for honest feedback
- Taking note of reviews
The bottom line is that you need to ask questions of your customers to ascertain just what it is they are looking for, and why they want to shop with you. Once you know what it is that you do that no one else does, whether you discover it through direct mail, workshops, or ABM marketing, the results of which you can view here, you can work on that and create a brand and a store that offers exactly what is required.
Better Customer Service
Sometimes the only thing that is setting you apart from your competition is the level of customer service you can provide. If your products and services are the same or similar, then customer service must be the way that you grow your business. Great customer service is all about making your customers and clients feel special, and as though everything they do really makes a difference to your business. In many ways, this is actually the truth, and if you can bear this in mind when helping them, it will boost your positivity and help to grow your business at the same time.
When customers feel truly valued, they will enjoy the experience much more. They know that if they have any problems, they will be addressed immediately, giving them more confidence in obtaining products and services from you even if they have never used you before.
Create Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is what will boost your business like nothing else. If you can keep your customers happy, then their brand loyalty will mean they will always come to you, no matter what else is out there. The sense of trust with you should be so strong that nothing can knock it, not even a new company selling similar items for less money, or with a better guarantee, for example.
Loyalty does take some time to establish, but it is worth working on because once you have it unless something disastrous happens, it is difficult for those who trust in you to want to look elsewhere. You should never feel complacent about your current customers because once you start to ignore them or stop showing them that you care about them, they might decide to start looking at other companies.
Keep offering discounts and loyalty reward schemes for those customers who have been with you for a long time. You can even set up a referral program so that they will be more likely to have their friends and family buy from you too.
Use Social Media
Social media is one of the best tools there is to grow your business, especially if you have a small budget as you can utilize these platforms for free if you want to. Using social media puts you in front of an audience of many hundreds of thousands, and the trick is to access those people. That means either paying to promote your posts and content or creating something that goes viral. Paying is always going to be easier than creating viral content, and there is no tried and tested method for doing so, but for those on a limited budget, or who simply don’t want to spend our money when they don’t necessarily have to, it is always worth trying to create a viral post first.
Social media will give you the opportunity to really engage with customers and potential customers too, giving you the opportunity to find out what their concerns are, to understand what is going right, and to show that your business really is run by people who care. By using social media to show your human side, you can more easily find new people who want to buy from you and therefore grow your business.
Build A Team
As your business grows, you will need to build a great team about you; if you are doing everything by yourself right now, you certainly won’t be able to continue to do this once you have started to grow and become more established.
The idea of hiring people, particularly if you have never done so before, can be daunting, but it is crucial if you want to grow and become more profitable – if not, you will become overworked and overwhelmed, and you won’t be able to service your customers in the way they expect. If this happens, you will lose customers and gain a poor reputation, and combined these are a terrible mix.
You can start by hiring freelancers who only need to be put to work and paid when there is work for them to do. This can save the worry of needing to provide a monthly salary even if work is scarce.