So you want to grow your business? Almost every business owner does, but not every business owner approaches this ambition in the right way. Today, we’re going to give you our top 10 tips to grow your business.
- Review Your Product Offering
Let’s use the example of a restaurant, if your menu doesn’t appeal to a range of people then you are restricting the size of your clientèle. The same applies to most businesses, if you’re a service-based business, are you offering the right kind of services? Are you offering enough services? Are you offering too many?
Adaptation is key. If your business adapts to the latest trends and even seasons, you can stay a step ahead of the competition and hopefully draw in some new custom, whilst keeping pace with the demands of your current customer base. You need to be selling what people want and when they want it. Coming back to the restaurant example, having a different menu for different seasons may be more effective than sticking to the same menu all year round as generally the kinds of foods people want changes with the seasons.
- Create a Website
A website is one of the most powerful marketing tools available, yet many small businesses do not have a website. These businesses are missing out. These days most people go online to research companies and products before making a purchase, so without an online presence you could be losing out on a lot of potential business.
Websites are also important because they enable you to establish credibility as a business, this is because most companies do have a website and people will assume you have one too. If you don’t have a website, potential customers may think you are not a serious business.
Having a website can also allow you to create the illusion that your company is bigger and more successful than it may actually be. Size does not matter on the internet; there is no reason you can’t get your website to rank above multinational companies in Google, offering the same products/services.
- Sell Online
It may even be worthwhile entering the world of ecommerce, if you already have a website and you’re a company that sells products, converting your website to be able to process payments so that you can sell your products online may be just the thing you need to get your business out there. The great thing about selling online is that you can sell your product/services to people that aren’t in the immediate locality. By taking your business online, your potential customer base increases tenfold. We think this is something to consider if this is applicable to your business
- Analyze Your Competition
Competition breeds success. As a business owner, there is nothing wrong with learning from your competitors and implementing the things your competitors do well into your own business.
- Be Creative
While this may be easier said than done, there are certain things you can do to be more creative. You can’t force creativity, it comes naturally. The key is to be open to it, always be looking for ways to improve your business and when a wave of creativity does hit you, write it down, don’t let it seep away. That being said, you need to allow yourself time to be creative, creativity rarely comes when you’re busy and caught up in your work. Allow yourself time to empty your mind of everything else and just think.
- Provide Great Service
This should be at the very core of your business; providing an excellent service to your customers gives them a reason to return to you over your competition. Always ensure you, and your employees (if applicable) are providing great customer service to customers.
- Accept That You Can’t Do Everything
Part of the appeal of owning your own business is that you can be your own boss, this means you have to be comfortable filling a lot of roles – salesperson, accountant, marketing manager etc. – but that doesn’t mean you can (or should) do everything yourself. If you want your business to grow, a time will come when you can longer do everything by yourself. When this time comes, you should not be afraid of seeking out talented professionals who share your vision and want your business to succeed.There’s only so much you can do on your own, so be prepared to come to terms with the fact that you will eventually need help.
- Form Alliances
It may be in your interest to align yourself with similar companies who share similar goals. You can refer work out to each other and both expand while you do. If the idea of forking out your money on commissions doesn’t sound too appealing, then you’re not alone, but you should bear in mind the long-term potential for growth by forming alliances.
Recruiting new members of staff can aid you in your expansion by either being the catalyst for growth or by becoming necessary in response to growth. There generally is a correlation between staff numbers and client numbers in any given business, if you want your business to grow then you must allow your workforce to grow with it. This point ties in with number 7 on the this list, you can’t do everything on your own. To grow, you need to know when you need extra help.
You can see our grants and funding page to find out if you may be eligible for financial support for recruiting new staff.
- Build a Brand
Your brand is everything. How people perceive your brand is probably the most important factor that determines the long-term success of your business. Returning customers are essential to your businesses success and any plans you have to expand. Focusing your efforts on acquiring the trade of first time customers alone is not an effective business model and is likely to fail. Your focus therefore, shouldn’t be on just getting people through the door, but getting them to come back when they do.
Customers often build a certain loyalty to particular brands, this can be achieved by having an aesthetically pleasing brand and by consistently providing excellent service to customers. You want your company logo to engender feelings of trust, and familiarity.
There are a number of things you can do create a sense of brand loyalty with your customers, but one particularly effective method is loyalty schemes. How many loyalty cards do you have right now in your wallet/purse? How many are constantly there giving you a reason to return? So, don’t be afraid to give your customers 10 or 20 per cent off on their next visit, because their returning trade is far more valuable in the long-term. Brand loyalty is so vitally important that we believe it should be rewarded – just how much or how regularly is up to you.
Perhaps the most important thing to take from this article is this one simple phrase: Give your customers a reason to return. Do everything in your power to instil a good reason to return in your customers.
If you need professional advice on expanding your business, then please do get in touch.