This article contains information on how to grow your small business
Generally, growth is a gradual process. After seeds are planted, they do not germinate into plants overnight. It takes nurturing to get them to grow into fruitful plants. The nurturing process doesn’t come easy. It takes a lot of sacrifice, time and hardwork. Only a patient person can tend to seeds.
Just like the illustration above, startups are like seeds. It takes a lot of time to nurture into a big brand. So, getting your business off the ground is very challenging. However, the success of your business solely depends on the efforts you put in to the business.
What were you thinking? Did you imagine those big brands achieved their growth through magic? Hell no.
If you envy them, that’s awesome. You can grow your small business too because there’s no special way to supercede other businesses in the industry. In other words, you too can grow your business into an empire if you’re willing to take it one step at a time.
Therefore, we have put together tips to help you grow your small business.
TIPS ON HOW TO GROW YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
Here are some of them:
1. Know Your Customers
The mistake a lot of people make is setting up a business because it is assumed to be profitable. Because Mr A is into real estate and achieving massively doesn’t mean that Mr B will succeed in real estate. The first step in starting and growing your business is to first identify your customers.
Knowing your customers and what they need is very important. This will help you to ascertain if there is an available market for your products and services. Knowing who your ideal customers are is just a step into building a customer base. So, here, it is very possible you do not have many customers. Just take time to keep building them.
While it is not everyone who might embrace this at the initial stage, the importance of early networking in business cannot be overemphasized. It is easier to achieve more with the corporation and support of others than when operating alone.
To grow your business, you need to network aggressively, meet with the right people for partnerships. Hence, take the time to network and build relationships by attending business seminars, conventions or even joining communities where you can share best business practices and emerging trends you wouldn’t have seen elsewhere.
3. Leverage Social Media
As the internet keeps evolving, the number of people who use social media increases. Before now, social media was basically a media to connect and interact with loved ones. Recently, it has become an avenue to promote and build businesses.
It is no doubt that using social media can be daunting especially if you’re not accustomed to the media. But not to worry, you don’t have to be a pro in using these platforms. You would be surprised to find out it’s not as difficult and techy as you imagined. All you need to start is opening a business page or profile and sharing valuable contents. You don’t necessarily need to post every day or even post extraordinary images or videos.
By simply scheduling your posts, you won’t find it so stressful. This way, you audience will get accustomed to your posts. Leveraging social media is a great way to build more customer base and identify trends and insights.
As a growing business, social media helps you save money on offline advertisement like TV commercials, billboards, etc. You can simply post about your business and are sure it will reach millions of users if you have built a strong online presence. To further reach more audience you can also run a paid social media add, which is less expensive.
4. Provide Excellent Customer Service
One of the fastest ways to grow as a small business is to deliver top-notch customer service. Good customer experience is vital especially when you are trying to grow your business. This is because customers’ perceptions can make or break your business. Hence, delivering quality products and services to both old and prospective customers should be your target. Your customers will not only remember your great service, they will sing your praise to all and sundry and will most likely refer you to others.
To give your customers an unforgettable experience, you can start by letting your customers know how much you value them. Moreso, if they have issues, make sure you address as quickly as possible. Listening to your clients and engaging with them on social media is a million dollar approach to understanding them.
5. Be Open Learning
If you must grow your business, learning is a never ending option. As a business owner, you may never know where you’re getting it wrong except your attention is called to it. In this regard, your customers are the best people to learn from.
Listening to feedback from your customer base is therefore crucial. It is called feedback because it helps you to know your performance. Hence, it doesn’t have to be positive all the time. A lot of business takes this for granted, for fear of negative reviews. Nonetheless, as a growing business, you need feedbacks to check your performance. So, where you don’t get feedbacks, encourage your customers to always communicate their views. This is another way to build a close relationship.
One of the best ways to get feedback is through reviews. Another way is to engage them in a direct conversation.
Infact, as a growing business, pay more attention to negative and harsh feedbacks. From experience, I can say that negative reviews will help you more in terms of improvement as it helps you see through the mind of your customers.
Asides learning from your customers through their feedbacks, you should be open to learn from more experienced people in your field. This is why you should so find out what your competitors are doing differently.
6. Always Think Ahead
Every experienced entrepreneur is naturally gifted with foresight. Most times, they know the outcome of every action ahead of time. Except you are in business, you might think they are doing this through black magic. But trust me when I say it’s simply the power of foresight. This skill is developed overtime from experience.
You can’t grow as a startup if you lack the ability to think ahead. By thinking ahead you take some steps in your head anticipate all possible scenarios and outcome of certain actions, both the positive and negative.
7. Develop Additional Income Streams
Before a business can start generating income, it takes a lot of time and deliberate effort. The mistake a lot of people make is to quit their 9-5 jobs to startup a business without adequate financial backup.
Growing a small business requires a lot finance. if you’ve been struggling to grow revenue from your core business model, developing additional streams of income is advisable. This could be a new product or service offering, even passive income from ads and sponsorships.
In other words, while building and growing your business, ensure you have other streams of income by the side till you’re sure it’s safe to quit every other engagement to manage the business squarely.
8. Keep Record of Every Process
Some people run their business aimlessly. No record or whatsoever. However, you choose to and grow your business, ensuring that you are actively tracking every process.
Set your goals upfront and don’t be afraid to tweak some areas that are not favorable to the business. Keeping track of everything you do gives you an insight on areas you’re either succeeding or failing, strategies that work best or the ones that should be dropped.
One very important aspect of tracking is bookkeeping. Bookkeeping or accounting is a very crucial aspect in business which unfortunately many entrepreneurs don’t take seriously, probably because it’s seen to be stressful or the cost of hiring a bookkeeper is high. This is the reason a lot of business owners invest huge sums of money and at the end of the day there is nothing to show for it.
Having a clear understanding of your business cash flow allows you to know when you’re making a loss or a profit, it also enables you to make informed financial decisions like knowing when to invest your money, when you can and should be hiring more employees and lots more.
Fintech has taken care of that facet of business via accounting softwares that allows you to keep a tab on your finances without the aid of a bookkeeper or accountant. Fintech accounting software like QuickBook helps you organize your expenses, invoices, payroll, and more. There is certainly a stronger potential for growth and expansion if you properly and meticulously manage your business cash flow using Fintech softwares. Sadly, many growing businesses may not consider this at the early stage of the business.
9. Continue To Look For Growth Opportunities
Growth is not a person and certainly can’t locate you. Even if it were, you who are willing for growth would go unsearchable of it and not the other way round.
Your business will constantly fluctuate between growth and stagnation. The key is to keep searching for new growth opportunities. Hence, do not be afraid to get creative.
If you’re convinced to pursue a growth opportunity, recall and update your business plan and forecasts. It can help you determine if your plan is viable and that your business can manage any potential risk.
Growth of a small business can be thrilling as well as overwhelming. It comes with a lot of challenges. However, these ups and downs can be properly managed to achieve the desired goal with a plan in mind. Starting a small business with growth in mind is not an overnight process. It requires a lot of patience and consistency. Nonetheless, with the tips in this article, the process is made a lot easier.
In a nutshell, if you must grow as a business, do not take your customer service for granted. Customers determine to a very large extent the success of a business. They also determine the success and how effective every other strategy would be.
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