One of the biggest challenges of running a new small business comes from realizing that your success and growth ultimately depend upon your own efforts. With that in mind, here are a few tips you can implement to help ensure you’re doing your best to grow your new endeavor.
Build on Your Base
A very important metric by which you can measure the success of your business is the cost of customer acquisition. Designing marketing plans and purchasing advertising to target new customers can be major expenditures, and when you are just starting out and getting a feel for your potential market a great deal of money may be wasted on failed campaigns. Typically, the less you spend on customer acquisition, the more profitable you can be. Fortunately, there is a way to increase sales without paying directly for advertising.
The repeat business and referrals that can be reaped from your existing clients represent key opportunities for sales growth. Ask your customers to provide honest feedback and communicate their needs to you so you can meet them. Offer exclusive promotions on future transactions to encourage clients to buy again, and enlist the help of your loyal base in bringing more business into the fold by asking them for referrals.
Look for ways to incentivize customers to send their contacts your way, such as discounts that scale upward for each referred customer who makes a purchase. In most cases, laying out a bit of cash on deals to current clients can be far less costly than the expense of marketing to attract new customers.
If your new small business is growing, continuing to go it alone can have costly consequences. As a small business person, you typically take on many different operational roles, from accounting, to marketing, to purchasing, and more. Wearing so many hats can stretch you to the point that customer service takes a backseat to your other responsibilities, when in most cases properly servicing your clients is the best way for your business to grow. It’s important to recognize when you need help.
Adding a helping hand to your business doesn’t necessarily mean you need to add a new “boss” hat to your entrepreneurial ensemble. Instead, it might be wise to outsource your communications needs by engaging a virtual receptionist to be the first point of contact for your business. You can use a receptionist service to cut through the clutter of phone calls that often tie up a business owner’s day, so instead of fielding endless robocalls, you can receive only the calls that matter. Online receptionists are always available, so you’ll never feel like you’re missing out on a critical contact because you are tied up with other things or simply taking a much-needed day off.
No matter which way you choose to connect, building relationships can have a positive impact on the growth of your new small business. Networking through social media by maintaining an active presence on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can help you stay on top of what’s important to your client base. Communicating frequently, and in an engaging way, can help give your business front-of-mind awareness, so people reach out to you first when they have a need you may be able to fulfill.
Despite the seeming omnipresence of social media in our lives, and the importance of engaging via such platforms, it can still be valuable to network in the old-fashioned way at in-person events. Meeting other business owners can aid you in generate new leads, not just from the people you meet but also from the people they know. Communicating with others in your field can help you stay on top of business trends and best practices, while talking with people one-on-one can have the added benefit of building your confidence and ability to connect with others. Almost everything you do while networking can result in a positive gain for your business.
It takes time and effort to grow your new small business, but by following some tried-and-true tips your journey to success may be a bit smoother. By capitalizing on a loyal base, bringing on virtual help when you need it, and building a network of contacts, you’ll be taking smart steps that can help you succeed.