Improving the rate at which your business grows is important for so many reasons. First of all, chances are that you’ve gone into debt to fund your launch. This means that the faster you grow, the sooner you get to the break-even point, which means that you sooner get to assume complete ownership of your business.
Second, faster growth means getting to all your objectives in time and even getting some head start in various phases of your enterprise development. With all of this in mind and without further ado, here’s what you can do to speed up the growth of your small business.
When Can You Expect Growth?
There are different types of growth. You have the expected growth, which, for the majority of businesses comes at different times. For instance, it’s said that it should take your business between 6 months and a year and a half before it starts being profitable.
Also, bear in mind that growth isn’t linear but exponential. This means that there’s a certain breaking point past which you’ll encounter a boom in workload that will be difficult to catch up with.
Then, you have unexpected occurrences. For instance, there’s no way anyone at Zoom could have foreseen the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the expansion of their conferencing platform. Keep in mind that while this is not dependable, it’s something that could happen. Therefore, you might want to have a contingency plan in a scenario of unexpected growth. This is why you need a business development strategy plan in the first place. Even if things just happen, you need to be able to roll with the punches.
Growing Your Online Presence
Chances are that the majority of people will discover you online. This is why your visibility has a direct impact on your traffic and audience. Needless to say, your SEO rank is directly responsible for your visibility, and this is something that you should actively work on.
Second, there are a lot of people who prefer to check you out online before making a purchase. According to some surveys, about 80% of people who buy something in person have previously checked you out online. It takes people about 5 minutes to check how your prices fare against those of your competitors, so why wouldn’t they? If they have trouble finding you, it might make them abandon the plan of buying from you in the first place.
Next, if your online visibility is particularly bad, people might assume that you don’t even exist. Just think about your own shopping experience. When you hear of a business, one of your first impulses would be to look it up online. What happens if you can’t find it? How hard will you try, when there are so many other (similar) options out there?
Lastly, with so many options out there, like podcasting, you have a greater way to engage your audience than ever before. Use this opportunity.
Manage Your Customers
Return customers are the most profitable assets of any business. First of all, just 8% of your return customers make as much as 40% of your profit. It also takes one-fifth of resources to keep an old customer when compared to what it costs to bring a new person in. So, when forced to choose between old and new customers always choose the old. Still, why would you have to choose, to begin with?
Keep in mind that every old customer was a first-time customer at one point. In other words, you can’t rely exclusively on your old customers. Even if repeat customers made 80% of your profit, the remaining 20% is far from an insignificant figure. So, you need to improve your outreach and figure out how to bring in new traffic. The above-discussed growth of online presence is one of the options you can use.
Keep Your Team
The service that you provide and the quality of the product that you produce are as good as your team. So, when you have competent people in your employ, treat them right. The cost of replacing an experienced team member is higher than you expect. First of all, the hiring process is not cheap. Second, neither is onboarding. For these two reasons, it might be worth your while to invest a bit more heavily in talent retention.
You should also make sure that you reconsider your customer service stances. No, the customer is not always right, and taking the side of a customer who is clearly in the wrong is not just going to alienate your staff, it will also make them lose all the respect they had for you so far. To avoid this, make sure to defend your team when they are dueling.
Lastly, keep in mind that people change jobs. Even if you give them everything, there’s a chance that they’ll, eventually leave. So, don’t get offended or even surprised when this happens. Just accept the situation for what it is and wish your former employee good luck. Some of them might return, and others may become potential partners in the future. At the very least, having someone praise you as a boss and the working conditions in your enterprise will make a world of difference.
Give Back to the Community
Lastly, you want to humanize your business instead of making it feel like another faceless corporate entity. Because of this, it’s important that you learn how to give back. As a small business, chances are that you’ll be reliant on local buyers. To increase appeal to them, you need to portray yourself as a small business. What better way to do this than to give back to the community?
Host a local event, start a sponsorship of a local sports club/youth center, or take up a local cause. It won’t take much of your time. It will strengthen your brand, and, most importantly, you will do the right thing.
At the end of the day, even though you’re trying to speed things up, you must arm yourself with patience. Remember, speeding things up is one thing, but rushing things is something else entirely. So, develop a growth plan and try to stick to it as much as you can. Remember, it’s not a race, it’s a marathon.