Starting a small business is one of the most challenging goals an individual can accomplish for themselves. There are a multitude of challenges and obstacles that can seem impossible to overcome, but there are tenets of business which can help you get off the ground and attract new customers to your business like never before.
- Take care of fundamental business tenets before getting creative
- Hire employees who are bold enough to make suggestions to expand the business
- Support your community and partner with others to build trust and credibility
Understand Your Customer Base
The first key to launching any successful business is knowing who your customers are and what they want out of your service or products. You should create a profile for your ideal customers, as well as answer a litany of questions about who you’re advertising to and why.
How much does your preferred customer make? What problems are they trying to solve by using your business? Why are they choosing you over a competitor? These questions are simple but can be invaluable for expanding your company’s reach and better understanding what those buying your products or services are looking for.
Always Adhere To Strict Customer Service
Many small business owners are enchanted with the business they start and consequently never look over details. Most often, they don’t look as thoroughly as they should with their customer service practices, which could cost them potential repeat business and turn off prospective customers at the same time.
Treating your customers like they’re special and are valued in your business’ eyes will enhance word of mouth and encourage those customers to come back for the same great service and quality which they may not be able to get elsewhere.
Optimize Value From Current Customers
Another common mistake made by small business owners is trying to broaden their reach and attract new customers without first looking at those they already have. This is an error because you’ve already built credibility in the eyes of your current customers and can utilize them in helping to froward your brand and spreading positive word of mouth.
The most trusted information in this day and age comes from friends and family, so spreading the word about your business locally is a great method to attract customers who are excited to put your positive reputation to the test.
Utilize Social Media Platforms
Digital marketing techniques can be tricky and challenging for first time business owners, but there are methods out there with a shallow learning curve and a proven track record of success. One of the simplest forms of digital advertising and marketing today are social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
These platforms already have a built-in fanbase and are great for communicating and selling your company through interaction and engagement; as long as you’re advertising in a manner which fits the platform, social media is an invaluable tool for your small business.
Focus On Employee Quality
As your business grows, your team and employee base will need to grow with it. As you hire new employees, it’s a great idea to focus on a diversity of perspective. Having employees who can excel not just at their role in the company but help guide the direction in the right direction by overcoming obstacles and other challenges is a great way to build a dynamic, prepared foundation for continued growth.
Give your staff above average professional development so they can help lead and speak up when the situation calls for bold and creative thinking. A team of yes men may be nice on a daily basis, but a diverse team of bold and professional salespeople and thinkers will ensure your company is properly dynamic to overcome any challenge.
Demonstrate Your Knowledge
Building a successful brand isn’t just about selling your products or services. Great companies and executives know they need to establish and build on clout within their industry to be respected and trusted among consumers.
Your company should be active in helping to forward the industry in your in, hosting webinars, conducting research studies, and running events through your social media platforms.
This knowledge collection and active engagement will place you in the view of your current and potential customers, bringing you the necessary spotlight to attract new customers and become a trusted source of information and resources within your industry.
Support Your Community
The business world doesn’t stop on the buying and selling front. Charitable causes are extremely important today. Helping out with different charities is a great way to forward your brand’s values and demonstrate support for serious issues. You can even create initiatives which are close to your heart and personal to you or your employees in some ways.
Partnering with other businesses can help you shoulder the charitable load and do more to increase awareness and create the change which will make the world a better place for future generations. Finally, you can create incentives for employees to get involved with your charitable work, furthering community within the company itself.
Networking is preached to those looking get a job in the industry they want, but it’s more than just a method for gaining employment. Networking should be done by everyone, of any age and experience, as it’s a great way to build relationships and create new and different perspectives.
You never know when one of your contacts will come in handy, and the larger your network is, the quicker it will grow. Networking can lead directly to new partnerships, customers, and investors. It’s also a great avenue for sharing and learning about industry trends and knowledge.
Create New Income Streams
Oftentimes, one of the hardest obstacles to overcome is generating revenue from the perceived “core” of your business. New small business owners fall in love with the unique but initial product or service they offer, and rarely consider how to expand revenue through other means.
You can develop a new product or service, create different tiers for your existing wares, or try to generate passive but crucial income from ads and sponsorships with other companies. If your business is faulting, the best answer is not always to shrink it; sometimes expanding it through these different methods can right the ship and reshape your company in a positive and innovative way.
Track Your Results
No matter which method you choose to grow your business, you should maintain consistent tracking methods to see how it’s shaping up both in absolute terms and relative to other businesses. Making many changes can be simple, but without the proper tracking method to see realized gains or losses, those changes won’t do much to actually further your business.
Don’t be afraid to nix failing projects and expand on those which are working. Your tracking method will largely depend on the changes you’ve made, but it’s an essential step no matter how you choose to track.
Small businesses are often stuck in their own shadow, but there are many fundamental and creative avenues they can take to expand their reach, attract new customers, and increase profit margins. Make sure you take care of the basics before moving on to more ambitious steps.