If you’ve started your own small business, then you already know it’s one of the most challenging tasks anyone can undertake. From writing your detailed strategic plan to securing capital and findings leads, getting your business off the ground is an impressive milestone worthy of celebration. It’s also just the first major step of your overall journey. 65% of businesses fail within their first 10 years, and financial troubles are among the most common reasons. To achieve long-term success, you’ll need to grow your business.
You’ll need to pay attention to every aspect of your business to achieve meaningful growth from how you interact with customers to how you market and control costs. Here are some of the most important things to address.
Depending on the kind of business you’re running, you may need to partner with one supplier or several to get the products you need. Wholesale distributors can connect your business with manufacturers of products for affordable prices. Some will have minimum order requirements, so if you’re running an office-supply store and have a thumb drives bulk order, you’ll need to make sure your store can sell enough flash drives to justify the order. You may even be able to go directly to a manufacturer for custom flash drives with space ranging from 16gb to 64gb.
The more people you go through, the higher your costs will generally be, so don’t be afraid to mention you’re looking at competitors when you’re making contact with potential suppliers. You may be able to secure better deals.
You can’t get more customers if they don’t know about your business, but paid advertising campaigns can be a challenge for small businesses that don’t have much money to spend. Fortunately, with content marketing, you can start connecting with your audience without having to hire an advertising firm. This is basically any original content you create that showcases your business and your knowledge, products, or services.
You can make blog posts on websites your target audience frequents or upload videos that address common customer questions or showcase lesser-known benefits of your products and services. This helps you build rapport with potential customers, and having an increased online presence means you’ll have more traffic to your site.
Connecting with potential customers is crucial, but don’t forget that networking with other businesses can lead to great opportunities as well. Trade shows are a great way to do both of these at once. You’re able to show off your products and services to people who are already interested in them, and you can meet other business owners in your niche. You may be able to find partners for promotional campaigns or other profitable ventures.
As a business owner, you’re likely aware that it’s always easier to retain an existing customer than it is to obtain a new one, and providing the best customer experience possible is the best way to ensure your customers return. Even if you can’t offer the best prices, the way you interact with customers can be the deciding factor in your favor. That’s why it’s worth investing in customer relationship management (CRM) software.
A CRM solution lets you easily collect customer data in one place and use it to find ways to improve your business. You can use it to automate special offers for loyal customers or predict future customer desires. CRM systems can also let your customer support team help customers more effectively with AI-powered self-help solutions that bring calls to resolution quickly and effectively. Modern multichannel capabilities also grant customers the convenience of contacting your agents through their preferred means (call, text, webchat, etc.).
Your management framework can make all the difference between your business succeeding and failing. Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is a goal-setting framework meant to increase productivity, encourage transparency, and ensure company alignment across departments. The modern OKR framework was originally introduced at Intel and gained increased fame when it was brought over to Google where it played an instrumental role in growing Google from a relatively small company into the tech giant we know today.
With OKR software it’s easy to set company goals and measure your progress toward them, all while ensuring that your team members understand their roles in the process. OKRs can be used to improve every other aspect of your business, and you can track the progress in real-time.