Starting and running a business is a great achievement and a dream for many folks. Being an entrepreneur and owning a business means that you enjoy a lot of privileges of working for yourself, but it's not as easy as one may think. Great entrepreneurs possess similar traits, such as: perseverance, persistence, tenacity, drive, and unrivaled ambition. Tireless hard work and planning goes into ensuring that the business continues to expand and ultimately survives. Here are some helpful tips that will help your small business grow:
- You will be required to implement effective marketing strategies, as marketing is the cornerstone of any business. This will require you to use the best and the latest technology of the day. Therefore, you should take your business online and engage with your customers on social media. Some of the larger platforms include, include Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and others. As simple as it sounds, a blog and a website will also be a great way to inform clients about your products or services and provide useful information which will position you as an expert in your field. You should also compile an email marketing list and use it to get the word out there about your company, along with the products and services you offer. You may also take the initiative to contribute to local charities and non-profits, perhaps even volunteering or speaking at local events.
- Many small business owners are so focused on obtaining new customers, that they often overlook the customers they already have. Focus on maintaining and supporting the customer base you've already acquired as you look for new ones. You can achieve this through helping them to solve problems and becoming their go-to source for information. Establish a relationship with your customers and make every effort to engage with them. You can also offer discounts to your loyal customers to encourage them to continue buying from you. Hiring competent and skilled employees will also be a wise decision, as hiring the wrong personnel can cost you dearly. You should ensure that you always provide quality products or services to ensure that you satisfy your customers. Also, give free offers occasionally and send thank you notes that you have written by yourself. This will give your business a human face that is likely to resonate well with the public.
- Reinvest the profit that you make into the business at least for the first year of the enterprise. You should also avoid taking the money intended for business and using it for your personal needs. Misusing profits money may contribute to the failure of the business by reducing the necessary cash flow.
- Embrace technology in all areas so that you can improve efficiency and performance of your business. These include using the latest software in planning, accounting and marketing. Such software will help you keep up with your competitors and assist your business to run smoothly.
- Remember that expansion and innovation go hand in hand. Therefore, keep re-branding your company and offering more creative products and services, so that your message is always fresh. The trick is to be consistent in offering quality products, services and solutions to your clients. Stay true to your vision, but never stop evolving.
- Here comes a curve-ball, so get ready for it. This may come as a shock to some of you, not to mention a millennial backlash, and severe anxiety to the younger generation; but here goes.... PUT DOWN THE PHONE AND GET OFF THE COMPUTER!!! Yes, I said it. Facebook and Twitter will survive without you, I promise. Walk down the street in your local community or business district and strike up random conversations with folks in your area. I don't mean set up a Facebook chat, or Instagram thread, I mean a good old fashioned conversation where two people actually talk with each other face to face. You never know you are going to meet and you never know who the other person knows. Be open minded and invite a local business owner or community leader to have a cup of coffee, take a client to a baseball game, attend a random networking event, join a meetup group, volunteer at a non-profit event, show up at a chamber breakfast, ask to be invited to your local BNI group meeting, have an open house or a sidewalk sale. I could ramble on for hours, the ideas and opportunities are endless. We live in a robotic world, where everything and everyone seems to be automated. All things being equal, people do business with and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust. Hence, it's imperative you create relationships and engage with everyone you meet. Break out of your comfort zone and stop hiding behind your computer. Use your imagination, get creative and come up with some fun, fresh ways of engaging with local residents and business owners. The worst that could happen is you make a new friend. Technology is a necessary evil, yet a double edge sword. So get out there and mingle!
As I always say, if you don't, your competition will. I hope you find these tips useful. As always, we're here to help...