If you’re a small business owner, you may not want to stay small forever. But growing your business for a secure long-term future can be a challenge – expanding too quickly or too slowly often creates new problems.
The following five tips to grow a business sustainably focus on planning, nurturing, and working on your business to create the long-term growth and success that you’re looking for…
- Get to know your customers
Nurture existing customers and look for new opportunities
The best way to grow a small business is to have more people coming to you for products and services. And the best way to achieve that is to determine what your current customers need and want from you. Ask yourself:
- If you're offering a service, are there related or complementary services that your customers would appreciate?
- How much would they be willing to pay for those services?
- If you’re offering a product, is there a related product or service you can offer?
Do your due diligence and market research to get to know your customers and to help anticipate and meet their needs.
Offer great customer service
Of course, if you want your customers to talk positively about you, you need to make sure you are providing excellent service: always try to under promise and over deliver.
- Focus on marketing strategy - not just advertising
This can be broken down into four main areas covering both online and offline marketing activities.
Use social media
Social media is an excellent tool for growing a small business – and it can help you compete on an even playing field with other larger businesses in your niche.
Become active on social media and encourage word-of-mouth buzz. Seek positive reviews from customers who seem happy and post attractive pictures on social media. Make an effort to reach out to your customers for your services.
Attend networking events
Networking is about building long-term relationships and a good reputation over time. It involves meeting and getting to know people who you can assist and who can potentially help you in return.
Events are excellent for increasing the hype around your products or services.
Hosting events promotes your name and helps people connect with your brand. Events give you the opportunity to connect with your clients, audience, or members on a personal level and to raise engagement levels.
Show that your business cares for the community
Giving back provides employees with an opportunity to champion a cause for positive change and to get involved in their communities.
People buy products and services from businesses that they see supporting their community.
- Focus on value and innovation
Your small business will grow when you demonstrate value to customers.
Focus on what you can offer to make your customers’ lives better. Always look for new ways to grow.
For instance, get familiar with trade magazines and stay up-to-date with innovations in your sector. Attend trade and professional seminars to learn. When something new comes along, be willing to invest in trying it out.
If you offer value to your customers by showing them something new or advising and supporting them when they need it, they will buy from you when they are seeking the types of products and services that you specialise in.
- Get professional help
Outsourcing some of your tasks to a virtual assistant, outsourced CFO, bookkeeper, or other professional frees up your time to focus on your customers and building your business.
This is important but many small business owners are afraid to ‘let go’. Don’t get caught working in your business rather than on it – or YOU will become the main obstacle to growth in your business.
- Measure what works and refine your approach as you go
The last of the five tips to grow a small business is simple: measure and refine.
This is not a ‘set and forget’ strategy. You need to constantly measure progress towards targets and tweak strategies for reaching them; when you reach your targets, set new ones. This will create a culture of constant improvement in your business.
Need help to grow your small business?
MBC can help you with CFO services, financial forecasting, business consulting services, and bookkeeping.
We are a local business here to help other small businesses grow and to assist owners in achieving both business and personal goals.
Call us on (02) 6362 0988.