There are many challenges facing new business entrepreneurs today, and one of these is being able to make their business stand out from the competition – and grow. In these times, it’s particularly difficult for start-up entrepreneurs to expand their business when they have to compete on a broader stage. So what can you do to make your small business grow? How can you effectively meet your goals and make sure that your business becomes adequately recognized by your target customer base? Here are some simple but effective ways through which you can really help your small business grow.
- Learn more about your customers
This may already be obvious, but you don’t know how advantageous it really is if you can get to know your customers and their needs and wants. By learning more about your customers, you can develop your products and services to cater to their precise needs. One way through which you can get to know your customers more is by making your services more personalized – focusing more on customer service – and asking your customers to give feedback about your products or services. In this age when everything has already become so impersonal (even consumers’ shopping experiences are more impersonal, with online shopping and automatic email responses), providing your customers with a highly personalized service can work wonders for your business. Remember to go the extra mile whenever you can. Customers are more likely to remember your business – and recommend your business to friends – if you make it a point to give them personal care and attention.
- Build on existing clients and be open to more opportunities
When you already have a customer base, it also pays to build on your relationship with them. You should nurture your relationship with your existing clients; you can do this by presenting them with updates through email newsletters or social media networks and letting them be part of various promotional discounts or offers. In the same vein, you should keep your eyes open for opportunities to get more customers, especially through events, social media interactions, and so on. Social media is particularly important for any business since it is where you can learn what your customers think about you and gain more insight into what they want. Through social media, you can also identify trends which may be appealing to your clients, and you can build up your business image and profile.
- Think about developing a loyalty program for your customers
Another way through which you can help your small business grow is by developing a loyalty program for your customers. Did you know that it can cost 3 times more for you to get new customers compared to successfully selling something to an existing customer? But if you build and develop a loyalty program for your customers, you can retain their interest and increase your sales at the same time. Also, people love being part of a ‘group’ or a ‘club’. By having your own loyalty program, you may even be able to pique the interest of new customers who are curious about your program and may want to join in and be included.
- Form a good partnership
If you want your business to grow, you have another option: form a good partnership with a company or business which complements yours. If you can form an alliance or partnership with a good business, you can reach a wider customer base. It may not be that easy to find a good partner, but be on the lookout, and find out what’s going on in your community. Once you find a business which can become a good partner and which complements your own products and services, contact them and make a partnership proposal. You have nothing to lose, but you have everything to gain.
- Prioritize your cash flow
One aspect which many small business owners fail to pay the right amount of attention to is cash flow. Remember this: cash flow is your lifeblood. Proper cash flow allows you to run and operate your business even if you haven’t received your accounts receivables yet. This is why it’s important to keep your records updated and make sure you invoice promptly and correctly. You need to have a precise idea of what you spend and what you earn every month and establish a budget which allows you to meet your various expenditures.
If you’re having trouble with your cash flow, it’s best to address it from the beginning – find ways to save money and lessen your expenses, or, better yet, find ways to increase your income. You can also take advantage of small business funding options such as factoring, small business loans, lines of credit, merchant cash advances, and invoice financing. Invoice financing is particularly attractive to many small business owners because the amount you borrow is based on your actual invoices, and the process of approval is often quick and painless and the fees are often transparent as well.
- Know the value of networking, events, and trade shows
The value of networking cannot be denied, especially if you are just starting out. If you want the right exposure for your business, one thing you can do is network. Network as much as you can – after all, it’s not always what you know, but who you know. When you attend networking events, you may be able to meet like-minded business owners, prospective business suppliers, and so on. Another thing you can do is create your own unique event. Think about a kind of ‘meet and greet’ event where you invite your existing customers and prospective customers and give them an opportunity to get to know your business. Don’t forget the freebies – but just consider it an investment that will pay off as well.
You should also keep yourself informed about what’s going on in your industry. Joining a trade show is a great way of staying in touch with your industry and learning about some new trends. The good aspect about trade shows is that often, the visitors are already open to what you may be selling or offering – that’s why they are there in the first place. Since they are already interested, it may be easier to sell your wares and offerings to them.
There are many other ways through which you can help your small business grow, but by starting out with these key strategies and aspects, you can give your business the boost it needs.