The world of small businesses is often characterized by the intense competition that can take place on a global scale. The explosive growth of the internet has meant that consumers can often use their purchase power to shop internationally simply with a few clicks or swipes of their smartphones. Small businesses also face the ever-present threat of simply aiming to navigate the first few years of trading without going out of business. It is estimated that 20% of small businesses fail in their first year of operation, and this figure rises to roughly half after five years. If you have successfully managed to keep your business running through the difficult early years, you will be looking for effective strategies to achieve business growth. Expanding a business and gaining increasing revenue streams is a key way to ensure the long-term viability of any organization. In this article, five top tips for cultivating business growth in your small business will be discussed in detail.
Understand your key competitors
It is vitally important to understand your key competitors in the marketplace. Every business needs to understand how these rival businesses operate, their overall market share, and how they promote their products. It can be valuable to thoroughly examine these competitors’ websites and physical premises. When looking at a competitor’s website, consider the layout of the pages, how products are displayed, and each page’s overall themes and designs. It can be useful to imagine yourself as a consumer who fits into their target market and look through the site to see what is appealing and what is not in terms of design and functionality. A similar undertaking can take place at the key competitors’ physical premises. Take a walk around the store and try to understand how the layout draws customers to certain products. The overall feel of the store fits the needs and wants of the customer base. This type of information can be extremely valuable when looking to improve your website or making the leap into purchasing or renting physical premises for trading.
Consider physical premises
A business looking to expand and grow out of the online world and into physical premises can be a key way to increase local custom. Having a physical premises for the products or services that you are selling is a vital way to improve the visibility of a business. It can also dramatically boost your organization’s reputation if you invest in high-quality retail premises. In the first stages of expansion, a small retail unit can be a low-cost way of gaining a foothold in the local market. This store’s layout and features are paramount to attracting customers and promoting a pleasurable shopping environment. Consider the routes customers will take to walk around the store and the products displayed in key places within the premises. It is also important to consider the premises’ branding and color schemes so that they promote a consistent brand image that reflects that of the company website. Water cooled air conditioning units should be fitted in the store as these can provide an improved air quality for customers and are vital in the summer months when the weather gets hotter. Air conditioning is often overlooked in a store, but it is something that can lead to a far more comfortable and pleasant shopping experience which results in return trade rather than a hot and stuffy shop deterring future custom.
Leverage social media
Many small businesses look to gain increasing growth levels by harnessing social media’s power. Channels such as TikTok and Instagram have millions of daily users from all around the world. In fact, recent data suggest that five hundred million people use Instagram alone daily. These social media platforms provide an ideal setting for creating short but memorable adverts. They can also be used to promote key products in a line or inform customers of discounts on certain products. There are several important factors to consider when promoting your business on social media. Firstly, the branding, color schemes, and themes used in this media should mirror that of your company website and your physical premises to promote brand consistency across all consumer touch points. In addition, there should be a hyperlink on the promotions that directs internet traffic directly back to your company website. Ideally, this should link back to the product page of the item that is being promoted.
Hire talented leaders
As your business achieves improved sales and serves an increasingly large customer base, there will be a resultant need to increase the staffing levels in your company. In the early days of business, it is common for the owner to do most tasks or be supported by a small but dedicated team of experts. When seeking to take on new staff, hiring talented individuals who can truly add value to the organization is important. Ideally, you want staff who can lead by example and demonstrate a passion for hard work and a creative mindset that allows many problems to be solved.
Provide exceptional customer service
As a final top tip for achieving business growth, the value of exceptional customer service cannot be underestimated. Occasionally customers will have questions and queries that they would like to be answered. As a rule, there should be a rapid response to customers for all their correspondence. Put simply. A customer will quickly negatively perceive the company if they do not receive speedy replies to their questions. One way to effectively answer customers’ questions and queries is to set up a chatbot feature on the company website. When implemented effectively, a chatbot can quickly and efficiently direct the customer to the information they require. It is a low-cost solution to customer interaction but should always be backed up with human customer support options when the answer is not resolved adequately. This provides a solution for both customers and your employees to help filter issues so they can be dealt with promptly, and hopefully leave the customer feeling satisfied.