Running a small business requires focus and determination. It also often requires quite a bit of trial and error. One of the benefits of living in the twenty-first century is that you don't have to do that blindly. The experiences of many business owners have been shared publicly so that others can avoid the pitfalls that snared them as they were first building their businesses. Here are just a few easy to achieve tips for improving the growth of your small business.
1. Social Media
If you have not used social media to promote your business, you are missing out on a great source of free marketing. You can use social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more to spread the word about what your business has to offer. More than simply publicizing sales and highlighting your inventory, though, try sharing informative content such as industry tips and relative lessons learned from your experiences. By sharing your knowledge with the online community, you will create stronger bonds between your brand recognition and your field of expertise.
2. Maintenance Solutions
All businesses have some physical assets to maintain. From computer systems and vehicles to real estate and on-site inventory, you need to establish a reliable property maintenance solution in order to keep things running smoothly. Having a third-party management system in place will allow you to focus on other aspects of your business while still ensuring that your property is being cared for efficiently. A professional coordinator can mitigate your maintenance costs while handling both emergency and non-emergency service requirements.
3. Smart Hiring Practices
Whether your business employs five workers or fifty, you need to plan ahead in your hiring process. One of the staples of an evergreen business model is adapting the ability to build a strong workforce by attracting the next generation of workers. You may need to adapt your interview process or simply adjust your interview questions to better highlight qualities and characteristics that best compliment your business. This may require a bit of time studying the changes in culture and lingo to improve your ability to better communicate with potential hires.
4. Vendor Relationships
Vendors are not employees, but there are some similarities in your relationships. Like an employee, a vendor is only providing services to you in exchange for payment, so you need to make sure that you are not withholding payment longer than necessary. Your vendor's payment terms will be clearly defined in your contract; however, going the extra mile and paying ahead of schedule can help build respect and confidence in your relationship. Aside from payment, treating your vendors like part of the workplace family will pay dividends when it comes to asking favors. Even little gestures like inviting your vendors and their workers to your company events or sending them an occasional gift basket with a personalized card will help strengthen your relationship. The more you do for them, the more they will do for you.
5. Community Involvement
Building relationships with your community online is a good strategy, but being socially active offline is also critical to growing your business. Donating to local nonprofits, taking part in community fundraisers, and actively supporting your community establishments like schools, hospitals and churches will help to foster even more loyalty to your brand. It is also a phenomenal way to earn new business because, as people move in and out of your community, they will always notice what businesses give back the most. Just like building relationships with employees and vendors, the more involved you become the more business you will receive in return.
6. Customer Service
It cannot be overstated that all businesses need satisfied customers. Even if you are providing essential goods and services, when customers are not happy business suffers. This is why having a solid customer service strategy is one of the pillars of any good business. Of all the changes you can make to better grow your business, improving your customer service is realistically one of the easiest. The difference between mediocre customer service and great customer service is almost entirely dependent on your attitude. Believe it or not, one of the best things for your business is for a customer to present an issue and for you to go out of your way to resolve it. That kind of effort and helpful attitude boosts your brand recognition and ensures repeat customers.
As you can see, these are not impossible changes to achieve. In fact, most of these changes are relatively simple. They will take time to fully implement, and you may have to try different tactics along the way until you find the right fit for your business. In the end, however, even little changes in how your business operates can have a massive impact on how quickly and efficiently it will grow.