25 Jun The best way to grow a business
Growing your business is not a small feat. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities and leave the big picture stuff for later. However, if the goal is to make more money and be competitive in your market, you need to set aside some time to work on your business and not in it. There’s opportunity for growth in every area of your business – from your marketing strategy to the organisational structure. In this article you will learn the best way to grow a business, regardless of industry or size.
The best way to grow a business
1. Improve your online marketing strategies
Growing a business often involves attracting more customers, and marketing is key to gain new markets. The easiest way to reach people that are likely to be interested in what you have to offer is to target them online. At the moment this is by far the most efficient and cheapest form of marketing. Coming up with a strategy that fits your business can take some time, and if you are new to online marketing it could be advantageous to seek help from an expert, or to hire a marketing employee. If you are more experienced, you can try improving your social media presence, or maybe try running ads online.
Many consumers prefer to purchase items online, or they turn to Google to choose which dentist to visit. With online marketing you can reach people as they are looking for the exact products or services that you offer, or create ads that are shown to your target market. Choose what geographic location, gender, age groups and professions you want to target, and make yourself known to potential clients. Good marketing strategies are important as you want to increase your sales and grow your profits, not waste money on inefficient adverts.
2. Keep your customers happy
Your customers keep your business alive. Happy customers tend to both give you more repeat business, and also refer you to their friends and family, growing your customer base. The easiest way to see if your customers are happy is to track customer satisfaction. You can do this by asking customers to complete a survey after making a purchase or using your service, or by asking clients face-to-face when they come in for meetings. You can also look at platforms where people can review businesses, like Facebook, Yelp and Tripadvisor, to see what your customers have to say. Here, you can also check out your competitors and see what their clients like about them. Use this as inspiration for how to improve your own business!
Regardless of the nature of your business, we recommend you measure customer satisfaction, and that you give your customers the opportunity to comment about things they are displeased or disappointed with. You can use the criticism to your advantage; it helps you notice mistakes or weaknesses in your delivery, which helps you to further improve your product or service. Tracking customer satisfaction can also give you and your team motivation to create even better experiences in an attempt to amaze customers, increasing the customer delight index.
3. Get the most out of your staff
One of the best ways to grow a business is to have employees that support you. Putting in that extra effort to ensure that you hire the right people can make the whole difference. First, you want to make sure your employees have the skills to do the job. But what about their motivation? Their personality? Career goals? All of these items should be considered before deciding which applicant to move forward with. The right person will want to learn and grow with the business, while others are happy to just do the bare minimum.
Make sure to utilise your employees fully. Continuous training and development of staff will not only increase their work satisfaction, but is also a bonus for your business. Enquire about skills, hobbies and previous experience to get a good understanding of how they could benefit your business. Maybe it turns out that your office assistant is proficient at Google Ads, or that your sales assistant has built his own website – both skills that could be helpful to you.
4. Improve your cashflow
If you have money in the bank, you have less worry and more opportunity than if you’re in debt. There are two main points to improving cashflow: regulating your expenses and your income. Regulating your expenses could include getting better deals on loans, lowering the amount of waste or reducing the amount of monthly subscriptions. To regulate your income you might want to start taking payment up front, increase your prices or start an up-selling campaign to get more out of each customer.
The best ways to improve the cashflow of your business will depend on many variables like your industry and the size of your business.
5. Research new opportunities
Grow your business by branching out or trying something new. It can sound like a big task and it can sometimes be a risk, but it might just be worth it in the end. Research your industry and find out what the current trends are. If you run a restaurant, check out what more successful restaurants are doing. Maybe it could be a menu change, maybe it could be opening a new venue, or look into making an online booking system. If you’re a personal trainer in a gym, maybe look into doing online courses as well. Actively look into new opportunities, and embrace the ones that feel right to you.
Alan Davidson is a Chartered Accountant, director and founder of Pentins Business Advisers, entrepreneur and author of the Amazon best-seller “Achieve Your Business Vision”. With over 25 years of helping businesses succeed, Alan knows how to build a business with real value, while avoiding costly mistakes.