Running a small business is not easy. It can be challenging to find something new to do outside their 9-5 job.
One of the keys to success will depend on how much effort you put into growing profits. Rapid growth doesn’t happen in a day, but there are steps you must take.
Growing a business takes time, stamina, and effort, but as soon as things start picking up and reaping benefits, all that hard work will seem worth it.
However, before we get too excited, let’s go through some tips to help us find success with our company.
Read ahead for top 5 ideas that can help you grow your business.
1. Build your network
When people look to do business, they usually want to work with someone who knows them and is trustworthy. When a company makes a decision, just one person makes the call. Your professional network can open doors for you that otherwise couldn’t be opened.
Who your connections are may play an important role in career advancement and the path you take to grow your business. You can also learn tremendous amounts from those in your network who have experience and expertise by listening as they share their experiences with everyone else.
Share your knowledge
Share what you know – not just with one person but also with an extensive network of people. Promote the work that members of your network have done.
If two people could benefit from knowing each other, connect them. This will help strengthen relationships within networks and for both parties involved in business transactions because they are mutually beneficial; both get something out of it.
Meet new people
You can meet new people through conferences, events, Quora (asking people you know for introductions).
You can reach out to someone directly by email or phone call – maybe even on social media like Twitter and LinkedIn groups where your friends might be members well.
Make long term relations
Building relationships is the best way to network. Networking is not just about exchanging business cards and connecting on LinkedIn, it’s also about forming mutually beneficial relationships that take time to build. Be patient when you are trying to develop a relationship-it will be well worth your effort.
Become a good listener
Listening is one of the most valuable skills in networking and business. People love talking about themselves and appreciate it when you listen. Listening will help you get to know people better. Ask open-ended questions, be genuinely interested and express your curiosity.
2. Set business goals
Goals are specific articulations about what your business will achieve within a particular time. They’re more detailed than your overall mission statement and fall under the umbrella of your business plan.
Whether you’re a large corporation or small company, having clear goals that are time-bound and achievable allows you to orient in the right direction as you grow up.
Using S.M.A.R.T Method to grow your business
Once you have evaluated your business and see where it stands to grow within your industry and market, you can set accurate goals. When assessing these SMART-based goals, business owners consider the following:
- Specific – Specific goals have a much greater chance of resulting in success. To make a plan more precise, the five “W” questions should be considered: what, when, where, who, and why you will accomplish this goal.
- Measurable – Will you be able much you have accomplished on the path towards your goal? If your goal is to boost customer satisfaction: what factors will you employ to measure consumer experience?
- Attainable – A SMART goal must be achievable and attainable. The achievability of the goal should also be stretched so that you feel challenged but well-defined enough for you to achieve it. This will help you figure out ways to realize that goal and work towards it.
- Realistic – A SMART goal must be realistic and achievable given the available resources and time. It is likely to be an attainable goal if you believe it will work.
- Timely – A SMART goal must have a start and finish date. If the goal does not have a set deadline, there will be no sense of urgency to achieve it and less motivation to do so.
As you work to achieve your business goals, the first thing you’ll need is to develop attainable objectives for your staff. Business objectives provide a concrete game plan which allows them to accomplish company goals.
3. Monitor current trends
Monitoring trends will allow you to develop a strategy to respond to and adapt those trends in line with your business goals.
Trend analysis helps you understand how your company has performed, predict where current practices are going, and find ways to change things so that they point towards a positive outcome- which may be more than what it currently looks like for your company.
Use the Internet
The internet is full of websites and blogs that contain information about your industry. If you want to stay on top of market trends, it’s essential to find which sites are most highly rated for you to reach your goals. Pick a site or two and make them a part of your browser homepage so every time you launch, it will give some helpful new tidbits for research purposes.
Interact with Experts
Experts and influencers have established themselves by updating the public about what’s happening in their business. Get in touch with these people to learn more about an industry of interest.
Attend seminars and conferences
Conferences are not organized to bring people together simply out of a need for human contact. They provide your industry with valuable information and ideas, which you can use by advancing the business even further.
Attending conferences might give you insider knowledge about the latest industry news before others do, enabling you to take advantage of something ahead of most competitors.
Use these tools
- Google Trends: Google Trends helps you monitor a search term and then understand the people searching for it. You can organize and categorize data by using this tracking tool.
- Topsy: Topsy is the ideal solution for any business user, especially when it comes to analytics. It has a wide range of features that prove useful no matter what you’re trying to do. Some of its best features are the following: measuring keywords related to your focus, comparing models with trending competitors, and exploring trending topics relevant to your industry.
- Feedly: Feedly is a simple and easy way to follow your favorite blogs or websites. Adding sites to this tool can be time-consuming, but browsing through articles will be very easy after you do.
Stay current on trends and issues happening within your industry and local community, because even things that don’t seem relevant at first may affect what you do, so consider all possibilities
4. Improve customer service
One way to grow your business is by providing excellent customer service. This will not only help you satisfy customers, but they are also likely to tell their friends, family, and followers about the good experience they had with you – it’s not just that they’re more generous with their time, but it establishes a reputation among them as someone who excels at what they do.
Connecting with customers to provide feedback also has another beneficial effect – it makes them feel that you value them, and want to solve their issues. This can help create trust and prevent people from sharing their concerns or pessimistic comments on social media.
Grow relevant skills
No tool or AI element will make up for the absence of a skilled team; when you employ people for your customer service team, you should hire individuals who have the skills required. Your customer service team must have:
- Empathy: A customer service representative needs to be patient and professional with all types of customers, including some who are annoying or confused.
- Communication skills: The people you hire need to be confident, have excellent communication skills and have a positive attitude. They must also be able to convey what they mean in a clear way and never leave conversations dissatisfied.
- Knowledge: Ultimately, your customers rely on you to know and provide knowledge of the product. Stay informed enough to respond to most inquiries and also know where to turn if questions become too detailed or technical for you.
- Ethics: As a customer service representative, you must see your customers’ problems through to their resolution. You also need good time management skills and not spend excessive time on one customer while others wait. Remain focused on your goals to find the best balance between giving attention where needed and remaining attentive to other tasks.
Survey or interview your customers and find out whether the service team is exhibiting these traits. You should also be striving to identify customer service teams who are providing high levels of customer experience and satisfaction.
A way you can reward your best performers would be through incentives or gifts – this will encourage employees to reach their objectives in delivering an excellent level of customer care.
Use CRM Tools
Businesses often struggle to provide effective coordination between different teams. This leads to customer dissatisfaction and problems in the workplace.
To overcome this issue, businesses can streamline their workforce processes with the best CRM tools that keep everyone on the same page, so there are no surprises or mishaps when it comes time for jobs to get done.
Most CRM platforms are accessible on multiple devices, meaning that no matter where your customer is located in the world, they’ll be happy knowing that help is available.
Your customer service and sales teams can work together more closely, eliminating any chance of confusion. This means your customers get what they were promised so that you can improve their satisfaction with you.
Here are some good CRM software:
- Hubspot CRM
- NetSuite CRM
- PipeDrive CRM
- FreshWorks CRM
These systems help ensure that everyone is on the same page – which is important in establishing high customer service standards.It gives insights about your customers which can help you understand their needs, sell faster and provide a personalized experience to each customer.
5. Research your competitors
Researching your competitors is one of the most important first steps in launching a successful business. Ask yourself who they are, what they do that works for them and how you can differentiate from theirs to create more room for growth.
The answers to these questions will help define your business strategy and target where you need to improve.
Here’s how you can do competitive analysis to grow your business effectively:
Determine the products and services you wish to analyse
Analysts typically focus on the products or services that generate the most revenue and have significant potential for growth. When you’re analyzing your competitor’s products and services, be sure to take note of the quality of their product line. You should also analyze the pricing and discounts they offer customers.
Search your direct competitors
Companies in this market have the same products or services. Direct competition is when a business offers an item that could potentially be seen as similar or a substitute for your brand.
Indirect competition is when the product offered may not be exactly what you offer but still targets the same kind of customer need.
When establishing your own brand identity, you should only focus on direct competitors- something many brands get wrong by focusing too much on indirect competitions instead of their more important direct ones.
Identify the parts of your competitor’s business that you wish to analyse
When assessing a company’s performance, it is important to consider all of these factors – pricing, distribution and delivery strategies, market share, and new products or services coming to market.
It is also important who their long-standing high-spending customers are; the quality of aftersales support; and which sales and
Document your research
The document should be substantive and actionable, but not so long that your employees won’t read it. A comparison chart or graph is useful for helping you see how your position in the market relates to other competitors’.
Keep a spreadsheet of your competitors’ progress on ongoing monitoring. It isn’t complicated, you just need to track what they’re doing over time so that you can see how they change things like pricing and marketing/promotional strategies through the years.
Identify the actions to execute
Researching your competition is one way to see what you need to improve on in order to keep up with the times and stay competitive.
Determine any improvement in the quality of your products or services that could be done by adding or amending a feature, lowering the price to be more affordable or improving after-sales support.
Analyse if you could achieve a better ROI on your marketing budget by investing in a more capable CRM for better lead management. You will also learn how better interact with customers and online followers.
|Are you an
Entrepreneur or Startup?
Do you have a Success Story to Share?
SugerMint would like to share your success story.
We cover entrepreneur Stories, Startup News, Women entrepreneur stories, and Startup stories
Growing your small business requires you to take calculated risks. It is essential for success to look at what you can control, such as your current business plan, and realistic forecasts of how specific strategies will affect it. Monitoring progress and making updates are crucial to long-term growth.