Being a small business owner means you should be prepared to face a lot of challenges along the way. From getting your concept up and running to ensuring that you maintain good momentum, managing a small business requires patience, determination, and consistency. Did you know that while about 80% of small businesses make it to the first anniversary, only half will go on to hit their five-year mark?
If you want your small business to beat the odds, you should be prepared to invest a lot of effort and time to ensure that your business continues a steady upward growth trajectory. When you first launch your business, the primary focus will be to establish and grow the brand. This, however, is not a process that happens overnight. You need to be steely-willed to grind through the tough times and put all your efforts into making it succeed!
Let’s look at some proven ways to catapult your small business to success and accelerated growth.
Follow the 60/20/20 Approach
Any entrepreneur who wants to grow a small business should know how to manage their time. It’s easy to feel burnt out when you have to field an onslaught of task after task and get overwhelmed by a lack of efficient planning. If you’re struggling to keep your head above water, you can try to implement the 60/20/20 approach. This is a strategy where you dedicate 60% of your time to handling business tasks, 20% to planning, and 20% to strategizing. This way, you can always stay ahead of the curve.
Hire the Right Talent
Hiring the right person for the right tasks is a surefire way to ensure your small business experiences fast growth. Having a solid team of hardworking employees dedicated to working towards your company’s success will ensure your business is better equipped for a stronger growth trajectory. At the same time, you also should cultivate a strong work culture that inspires your team to put their best efforts into growing your business.
Listen to Customers
As a business owner, you may think that you know what will sell and how to market your brand. You might think that following the same strategies will continue to help your business grow. This is far from the truth.
Customers may no longer be interested in the type of products or services you offer, even if your business strategies have worked in the past. On the other hand, your marketing efforts may not be reaching your customers at the right time. Or there could be a hundred other reasons pushing your business downhill!
To find out about these issues, ask your customers for honest feedback – ask them their preferences and dislikes, what they need, and how to make it easier for them to purchase from you. The more you learn about your customer’s preferences, the more you can utilize the appropriate strategies to grow your business.
Leverage Social Media Platforms
Needless to say, social media is an invaluable asset in building your brand and connecting with customers in today’s digital world, and it would be foolish not to utilize these resources to help grow your business. Be active on major social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok. The more active you are, the more you can reach a greater customer base. Depending on the nature of your business, you might find that marketing your products in a more visual environment brings more reach. The goal is to impact the minds of social users so they think of you the next time they want to make a purchase.
Attend or Host an Event
Social media makes it possible to connect via the screen, but in-person networking is still vital. From business seminars and workshops to networking events, the connections you forge through attending such events will provide unique insights that can help you grow your business. It also allows learning from other successful entrepreneurs while building relationships with others in your field, which can be beneficial for years to come.
You can also consider partnering with a related company to cross-promote one another’s services. Or you could host your own networking event or open house so your customers can learn about you and your brand.
Customer loyalty should always be a top priority. Of course, there is no one secret formula for keeping customers engaged, but one highly effective way of doing so is by creating loyalty programs.
For example, you can reward regular customers with perks like skipping the line, offering freebies, providing early bird discounts, and early access to deals and sales. You can also offer stamp cards to gain repeat customers. For example, your cafe can run a deal where a customer who buys ten brownies will get two for free. Such perks will make your customers choose you over your competitors and bring repeat business.
Invest In Your Business
In the early days of your business, you might only see a lean profit margin. However, even if you’re tempted to pocket your profits, it’s more important that the revenues are redirected back into the company so you can reap better benefits in the future. If any specific areas require more attention, give that area your financial support, such as expanding your marketing efforts, hiring more employees, or securing additional funding.
Research Your Competitors
Knowing who your competitors are and how they operate their businesses is crucial. Research your competitors, see what they’re doing, what’s working for them, and how you can make your business stand out from theirs. Knowledge about the market will give you a strong business strategy to develop fresh ideas and break new ground.
Running a small business is literally like running a one-person show. There is a lot of hard work, pain, sacrifices, and struggles that no one really talks about. Taking your small business towards the road of success and growth is no easy feat, and mentioned above are just a few ways to improve your business. The key lies in understanding your shortcomings and figuring out the best ways to resolve them.