Ways to Grow Your Small Business
Congratulations, you made it through the first few years in your business, and now want to work towards growing it to the next level. The good news is that there are many things you can do to keep your staff happy, your existing customers loyal and attract new customers.
Technology opens the door to new ways to launch a successful marketing campaign. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter provide a platform that attracts millions of viewers daily. Placing catchy and informative ads or stories on these sites will attract customers to your website. Also, email is still one of the best ways to market a product or services. Promotional emails give potential clients information regarding your company and the best ones get them to visit your website and make a purchase too.
Customers will remain loyal to a company if they feel they matter. Tending to their needs, solving a problem quickly and staying connected to them through periodic emails or other correspondence is important. Mistakes and errors happen, what people want to know is how you handle them.
Establish a Presence in Your Community
In highly competitive markets where many local companies offer the same types of service as you, it's important to gain the upper edge. One way to do this is to remain active in your community. Sponsoring annual functions or sporting events puts your name out there as not just a business owner, but as a member of the community. Setting up a booth or a customized farmer's market tent at the local fair or a trade show gives you the opportunity to meet new people, mingle with your competitors and gain brand recognition.
It's not enough to have a good product or provide excellent services. In order to attract people to your business as opposed to others, you need to make a real connection. A great way to do this is to host an event in your area that's open to the public. This will give people in your demographics a chance to meet you and form a long-lasting relationship.
Loyal Customer Base
Your existing customers are a powerful tool that can grow your business with little or no capital necessary. Loyal customers are not afraid to tell others about a company they use. Having a good reputation will drive your business numbers upwards on new customers just through word of mouth. Of course, to keep your existing customers happy, you'll need to remain in contact with them and provide exceptional service. You can send periodic emails that update changes to your services or introduce new products. Offering a referral program is another way to get existing customers to help you find new ones.
Keeping your employees happy is essential to the growth of your business. The harder they work and the more dedicated they are, the more you stand to gain as a business owner. Monthly meetings that keep them apprised of your goals and recognizing personal achievements are a good starting point.
Developing personal relationships will also create a strong bond that will often prevent good employees from looking for other work opportunities. This doesn't mean that you have to build a gym or offer childcare at the business. However, it does mean that having some benefits will keep them happy. For instance, a rewards program and promoting from within gives employees incentive to work harder to exceed goals. Many companies also recognize that their staff members have lives outside of the company and that sometimes the typical 9-to-5 employment hours do not benefit them. As a result, one of the new business trends is to allow employees more flexibility with their work week.
There are millions of small businesses in the United States and over half of these businesses remain open for more than five years. In order to take your small business to the next level, you need to gain brand recognition among your competitors, keep a loyal customer base and have a dedicated and content staff.