7 Ways To Keep Your Small Business Growing
Expanding operations can be problematic in the best of times. For small business owners working with slender margins, growth never seems easy. Keeping your business on the move might be more straightforward than you think. Here are seven simple ways to keep your company growing.
1. Keep an Eye on Analytics
Business analytics is an aspect of ownership that you ignore at your peril. At its simplest, analytics means knowing your ledger well enough to notice trends in profit and loss. Analytics is more than that, though. Business statistics like conversion rate, click rate, and response to advertisements are equally vital. Consider investing in analytical software and services to help make good use of big data.
2. Research Your Target Audience
Knowing your own business is critical for everyday operations, but knowing your target audience is step one for growth. Learning about customers is more straightforward than one might think. Attaching a targeted survey to your marketing emails can gather much information. Forming an online focus group is also beneficial. Demographic statistics can be found at low cost or even for free. The more you learn, the better you can plan your outreach.
3. Focus on Customer Retention
Keeping customers engaged comes down to one phrase: Reward loyalty. Research shows that repeat customers spend around 67% more on each order than new shoppers. Customers want to find a brand they can believe in. Your job is to create one. Giving repeat buyers discounts, perks, and early access are all common strategies. Emphasizing your company’s commitment to a higher vision than mere profit is also warranted. Social and environmental responsibility are increasingly in demand and will create a powerful point of difference for your company.
4. Build Better Customer Service
One proven way to retain customers is by giving excellent customer service. A survey by OnePoll revealed that simple frustrations are the most annoying. 64% of respondents said being transferred to multiple departments was the worst, and 59% despised long service sessions. Offering streamlined, concise, and empathetic service over the phone, through live chat, or via email is the lifeline customers need to feel validated and valued by a brand.
5. Optimize Infrastructure
Many entrepreneurs don’t have the tools to match their needs. Often, this is a function of not looking before they leap. Investing in costly but unnecessary property or neglecting a necessary piece of tech are common pitfalls. Automation technology is worth considering. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications like Skype can replace costly meeting rooms and long drives. The same is true of project management systems like Basecamp. Optimization isn’t about cutting corners; it’s about cutting waste.
6. Diversify Your Offerings
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. There’s a fine line between catering to your niche market and failing to recognize opportunities for positive change in your product line. The first way to accomplish this is by taking what you know about current consumer interests and building a product that caters to them. You might also try modifying your existing products by creating enhancements and upgrades or by offering to bundle. All of these tactics help keep your offerings fresh and relevant.
7. Manage Risk and Loss
Loss is a perennial threat to growth. Accidents and theft are two leading causes of loss in businesses today. Insurance companies often specialize in loss management, and good insurance can prevent devastating losses from accidents and liability. Another common source of vulnerability for small businesses is cybercrime. Research from security company Kaspersky found that the average cost of a data breach to a small company is around $120,000. Updating and enhancing basic cybersecurity measures like antivirus and firewall systems is invaluable for ensuring that a single criminal act doesn’t ruin your business.
The most successful entrepreneurs are constantly planning for progress. No two companies can approach growth the same way, but some strategies have proven themselves. Keep these tactics in mind when prepping your expansion next quarter.