17 Ways To Help Your Small Business Grow
As a new business owner, you will have a number of goals that you want to meet in the near future, but growth will always be one of the most important. If you want to remain in business and achieve long-term success, then growth is absolutely vital. You can measure your growth by looking at key aspects of your business, like sales, profits, and the number of staff members. Unfortunately, because growth is affected by a number of areas in your business, there is no definitive recipe for success or one-size-fits-all method to achieve it. You need to try many different things, and here are a few suggestions to get you started.
- Sell Products Online
If you own a brick and mortar company, then one of the best things that you can do is set up a website for your small business and start selling your products online. This will dramatically widen your market, as you’ll now be available to customers who live far away from your retail store, and those that can’t get to it for another reason. This suggests that sales should increase, which means that your business will be making a larger profit.
- Offer Multiple Payment Methods
Whether you sell online, in store, or both, you really need to think about the types of payments that you accept. These days, almost every business accepts cash and debit card payments as a minimum, but you might also want to consider credit cards, contactless payments, Apple and Android Pay, and PayPal for online purchases. The more payment methods you have, the easier you make shopping for your customers, making it more likely that they’ll return.
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- Use Social Media
These days, almost everyone on the planet has at least one social media account, so why would you ever close yourself off from this many people? Your business needs to have social media accounts, as they will help to get the word out about your business and it’s products or services. You can also use these accounts to connect with your current customers, by posting regular business updates, and engaging through comments and messages.
- Create Original Content
Along with your social media accounts, you might also want to incorporate a blog into your online marketing strategy, but adding one to your website. This will help to boost your search engine optimisation, making it more likely that you’ll be found on Google. It will also give you the chance to help your customers using your content, which will help you to strengthen your relationships with them, as well as establish you as a professional in your industry.
- Offer Loyalty Discounts
If you want to further strengthen your relationships with current customers, as well as forge new ones with first-time buyers, then you should consider introducing some sort of loyalty card or scheme. This means that you’ll give customers a discount or other reward when they’ve shopped with you a certain amount of times, which adds value to their shopping experience and makes it more likely that they’ll return to your store in the future.
- Thank Your Customers
Small gestures go a long way, especially in the world of business. If you want to show your customers that you care about them and appreciate their custom, then tell them by sending them a handwritten note or card on their birthday. You could even include a discount code or voucher for them to use. This is such a small and simple thing to do, but it will be appreciated and remembered.
- Ask For Feedback
If you want your business to grow, then you need to constantly be seeking ways to improve whatever you’re selling and the service you provide your customers. If you don’t know how to improve, then simply ask those that shop with you to fill out a questionnaire or feedback form. To make their time worthwhile, you could turn this into a competition, so that one of the customers who provide feedback wins something, like a discount or voucher.
- Research Your Competition
Another great method of finding ways to improve is to research businesses who sell similar products or services to you. You can find out the things that work for these businesses, and then figure out ways to apply these findings to your own. After all, if it works for them, it will probably work for you too. You can also spot the mistakes they have made or may currently be making to avoid doing similar things.
- Ask For Advice
Many of the most successful business owners have or have had mentors, so why not consider getting one of your own. After all, it’s important to keep learning when you own a business, and there will always be someone that knows a little more than you do who is willing to share their knowledge. Sometimes, just having someone around to provide an alternative point of view can be helpful, as it allows you to find different ways to solve problems.
- Hire The Best Employees
You are always going to need staff to help you out, whether they’re working in your warehouse, office, or store. However, it’s essential that you hire the best people possible. If you were looking for warehouse staff, you could contact a warehouse labour hire company, who could then supply you with labour they have already vetted, saving you time and money. If you’d rather do the hiring yourself, then make sure to be thorough, to ensure you get the right people.
- Reward Your Employees
Once you’ve hired the best people you can, it’s vital that you keep them motivated. Although they may have a great work ethic, your employees won’t work as hard if they feel as though they’re not appreciated, which will harm the efficiency of the entire business. To show your employees that you care, you need to reward them when they do a good job. This could be with cash, but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes a simple thank you email will do the job.
- Simplify Your Business
You may have employees manning your store for you, but it makes sense to put yourself on the front line every now and then. This way, you’ll be able to see which of your products or services are selling like hot cakes and which aren’t selling at all. If there’s anything that isn’t making you a profit, then you might want to consider getting rid of it and simplifying your business.
- Speak At Events
A great way to get your business out there and connect with other entrepreneurs is to volunteer to speak at business and marketing events in the local area. This is a great opportunity to boost your sales, as you’ll receive free publicity when attendees write about the event. You could also have staff on hand with products ready to sell to customers. Just try not to pitch your products or services too much, as this often has the opposite reaction and puts people off.
- Give Something Back
Donating a percentage of your profits to charity is a brilliant way to get noticed and get your name out there. Of course, you’ll have to pay out some money in the process, but it’s all for a good cause and will show you to be caring and considerate, which will likely boost your sales. You could also consider hosting a fun event in your local area, to show that you’re truly one of the community and help you to forge relationships with other locals.
- Reduce Your Risks
In business, there are risks everywhere you turn, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t reduce them as much as you can. For example, in retail, shrinkage is a huge risk, which often results in the loss of a lot of money. To reduce this risk, you can tighten security around your business, by installing cameras and ensuring back doors are always locked. Write down a list of risks your business faces every day, and see if you can come up with a few ways to manage them.
- Adapt To Changes
The world of business is constantly changing and evolving, which is why it’s important that your business is adaptable and can keep up with these changes. If yours can’t, then you’ll never have the chance to grow. If you know what’s going on in the world, your business can get involved in current trends, making it more relevant than those that can’t adapt as quickly. This means that your business should make more sales as a result.
- Prepare For Disaster
The slightest mistake in business can be catastrophic, which is why it’s vital that you’re always prepared for disasters. One of the best ways to do this is always to have money available for an emergency. This means that, if an important piece of equipment broke, for example, you would be able to repair or replace it right away, rather than stop working, which likely would have made you go under.
Growth is vital for any successful business, so try out a few of these ideas to help your small business grow.
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