How To Make Your Small Business Bigger
Every multinational business that exists started small. Whether it started in a spare bedroom run by one person, or whether there was money behind it from the start doesn’t matter; the point is that it was once not as well-known and not as large as it is now. Every business owner should keep this nugget of knowledge in mind so that they can be inspired to work on growing their own business. The more they work on this, the more chance there is that it will become successful.
Yet it can be a daunting thought. Running a business is not easy, and making the right choices day by day can take a lot of thought. Growing a business is about taking calculated risks, and some people are not prepared to do that. If you can do it, however, you will be much more likely to succeed. There are other ways to grow your business too, and this article looks more deeply into them.
It’s What You Know
Knowledge is one of the most critical factors of any business. This is overall knowledge of the industry in general, and also more specialized knowledge of your own particular sector and your place within it.
Why is this important?
Imagine going to a store that claims to specialize in a specific product. You have questions about that product, and this seems to be the best place to go to speak to someone about it. Yet when you ask the questions, the person who is supposed to be answering them doesn’t have the answers – in fact, they are just as confused as you! Or perhaps they know everything possible to know about the product, and that makes you feel confident, but when you try to buy it, they don’t know how their business makes money, so they don’t have a price worked out.
This is off-putting, and you are unlikely to make any kind of purchase in that store.
If the person you had been speaking to had the knowledge of both product and business, you would much more likely have made a purchase, and even returned or left a good review.
Obtain as much knowledge as possible. Take an online MBA, study your competition, network, discuss your products with other experts, do research, and keep learning all the time.
Know Your Customers
Your customers are always going to be a crucial part of your business, and if you want to grow and succeed, you need to know them well. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to know everyone by name and great them personally when they buy from you (although if you can do this in any way it will certainly offer up a good impression of your business!). However, it does mean that you need to know in more general terms what people are like who buy from you. Understanding their requirements and what they need, and then building your business around catering for those needs will grow you more quickly than anything else.
In this way, you will be able to target your marketing to the right people, saving you money and ensuring that you are offering up the right message. Plus it shows that you care because you are giving people what you want. Both of these results will provide you with more sales and boost your business.
In order to find out more about your customers, you need to do market research. This can be done through a marketing company, or you might want to do it yourself by asking for feedback or sending out surveys. Listen to the information that comes back even if it seems negative at first; it will help you to improve.
Get A Good Team
If you want your business to grow and become a household name, you can’t do it alone. You will, at some point, need to choose whether you want to continue as a solo enterprise, or whether you want to hire staff to help you.
If you choose the latter option, that team needs to be as good as possible while still remaining in budget. To begin with, it could be an easier option to outsource some tasks to a third party. You won’t have to employ them full time, and therefore you can spread the cost a little more easily, but it will give you the flexibility you need to work on other aspects of your business and not get caught up in areas that you don’t enjoy or where your skills are quite so good. Marketing and accounting are two areas that are often outsourced.
Eventually, though, a full-time team could be the answer. In order to hire the best people, you will need to know exactly who you are looking for. What skills do they need to have, and what are you happy to train them in? Some people are naturally gifted at customer service, for example, but they might not have the knowledge of your particular sector behind them. Since customer service is such a vital part of any business, it might be worth taking them on and training them in specifics, for example.
When you have hired staff, it is vital that you keep them happy and motivated. Reward them when they have done well, and have an open door policy to listen to ideas and worries that might come up.
As mentioned above, one of the most vital areas of a business to get right is customer service. No matter how wonderful your products or services might be, if you don’t treat your customers well, or they don’t feel as though you do, then they won’t want to buy from you. They will look to your competitors, even if it means spending more or going somewhere less convenient, because being treated well is all important. No one likes to think they aren’t important, and giving this impression is a very bad idea indeed.
Customer service becomes even more critical if you are working in an area that has a lot of competitors. It is your customer service that will help you to stand out and become the place that people choose to go to above everyone else. Remember, though, that your products and services also need to be exceptional quality. Your customers might enjoy buying from you, but if the quality of what they are buying is poor, they won’t be coming back.