Growth is a tricky thing for a business owner. Many business experts would argue that if you aren't growing, you're failing, and your business isn't long for this world. In an age where getting bigger and becoming "the next big thing" is the goal of many, staying content with a small, stable business is difficult. In addition, a lack of consistent growth can make it difficult to meet goals like securing investments, renting a warehouse for your stock, or having enough cash flow for employees. Running a small business can take all your time, leaving little extra to pursue new goals, but here are some ways you can help your business grow now without sacrificing your free time.
1. Find Areas for Improvement
You'll find areas for improvement in any business, and working out a plan is key. As your business grows and changes, the old ways of doing things won't work for you anymore. If everything is technically working, find tasks you'd like to complete faster or more efficiently. Streamlining the different areas of your business can up your productivity and quality levels, as well as free up some time to dedicate to growing your business further. If you have employees, ask them what frustrates them during their daily tasks. Check your customer reviews to see where improvement is needed on that end. If you don't think you can objectively find your weak spots, or if you know there's a problem but can't find it, it may be time to bring in an expert.
2. Consult an Expert
For those sneaky spots that need improvement, you may be better off consulting someone who knows what they're doing. Chances are that if you can't spot the issue yourself, you're probably going to spend longer than you need to try to fix it, whereas a professional consultant can cut that time in half. For example, digital transformation consulting can help you better connect with your customers, analyze customer data, streamline and automate your online processes, reevaluate your IT security, and utilize artificial intelligence for your specific business needs. Depending on your growth goals, you may also want to speak with marketing consultants or companies that help strengthen workplace dynamics. Regardless of your problem, there's probably an expert out there that can help you solve your issues faster.
3. Utilize Large Selling Platforms
If you want to see growth fast, a popular technique is to utilize larger, successful selling platforms. These platforms have already done the work of drawing people in with their own brands and policies, but you can still benefit from all that hard work. For example, if you're selling a physical product, consider selling on Amazon's marketplace. They have a huge pool of customers, and even if they don't buy what you're selling now, they'll be aware of you when you come up in their search results. They may even choose to go directly to your company's website and purchase there. This doesn't mean you have to abandon your original sales routes, but it can be a powerful tool in your arsenal.
4. Find Partnerships
Competition can be fierce for small businesses, but there are some cases when you're better off working together. Partnering with other businesses for promotions, giveaways, or limited edition products can give you a huge boost in sales and get your company in front of fresh eyes. When you pick your partners carefully, you have the advantage of swapping audiences and growing together.
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If you're a makeup company, you may not want to collaborate with another makeup company. But if a skincare company or hair care company that matches your branding style comes along, you could create something incredibly attractive to buyers. If you utilize tools like your email list during these promotions, you can walk away with valuable information from potential customers.
5. Connect With Your Customers
It's more expensive to find new customers than to hold on to your current ones, so make sure that even when growth is your focus, you're keeping those customers happy. Figure out where they're spending their time online, and make sure you're there, too. Reward customer loyalty with exclusive discounts and early access to new products, and when you want to know how you're doing, just ask! Send out a survey to see how you're doing in terms of customer service and discover what they want to see next from you. You worked hard to get that group of customers, so make sure you're using them just like you would any other asset.
Growth is intimidating, especially to small businesses, but you don't have to take huge leaps at once. Focus on one or two areas and start there, making sure you're checking in with your goal plan as you go. What works for one business may not work for you, but through consistent work and possibly even input from experts, you too can enjoy the benefits of consistent growth.