As a small business, often, you have many forces to contend with in order to keep yourself afloat. Do you try and match bigger competitors on price? Do you stay lean to give yourself a competitive advantage against slower, larger companies? Or are you just happy to still be in business at the end of the day? In order for a business to be successful it needs to grow and this often comes about through investment. Do you spend on upgrading your equipment, workplace or hire more people? These are just a few of the challenges a small business will face on a day-to-day basis. Below we take a look at some criteria a small business will want to consider when trying to grow.
Really understand your customers
They are your lifeblood so it is imperative you get to know them as well as possible. Whether you are a small-town bakery, or a newly-opened online clothing store, if you don’t know your customers then what chance do you have of surviving, let alone growing?
When you are looking to develop your products or services, you need to understand what the customer wants so you can figure out how to provide them with it. Ask for their feedback after transactions (incentivising this helps too), gather their contact details, give them surveys and offer them discounts in order to encourage repeat business.
Be active on social media
This means posting content regularly on social media such as advertisements, comments, and basically anything that will keep you in the eyes of current and potential customers. Be responsive to customer messages and inquiries, and just be generally engaging. It does a world of good in their eyes if they feel like they are being heard and attended to by humans, rather than robots.
Promote your new products or services using paid advertising, which as of now, is much cheaper on social media than search engines which are over-saturated. You can also benefit from the fact that you can see exactly what you customer is thinking about you directly through their comments, as well as identifying current trends through searched keywords.
Look for new opportunities
How can you expect to grow if you keep on doing the same thing? You should always be on the lookout for new opportunities, be it with offering new products and services, or different ways of conducting business – as long as you do your due diligence and establish whether or not you can benefit from it, why not? Invest in a new PoS system or a great conference room display if you feel your business will benefit from it. Don’t be afraid to try new products or services that haven’t been done before, because you don’t want to be looking back down the line asking yourself, what if?
There are many ways to scale a small business, and these are just a few tried-and-tested ways. Growing your business will always be a challenge, so don’t expect this to be easy, but definitely enjoy the journey!