Do you want to grow your small business to the next level? These 7 hacks will help you to see the bigger picture and focus on the areas that can move your business forward.
You can implement these tips in piecemeal and with little or no money investment in some cases.
Your Small Business to the Next Level
Taking your small business to the next level requires a lot of hard work, and persistence. No wonder over 50% of small businesses close within 5 years of operation.
1. Make it a deliberate Goal
You must make it a deliberate goal to move your business to the next level. For example, you can prepare a plan to grow the business revenue by 20% in the next 3 years.
Two key areas need to be assessed if you want to successfully take prepare this plan:
- Resources – Assess the required human, capital and other key resources for the expansion.
- Environment – You should assess business environment. Micheal Porter 5 Forces can be helpful here.
Use the results of these assessments and prepared a business plan. The finished plan will become your guideline towards the goal, but you must be flexible.
2. Introduce New Sales Channels
Creating new sales channels for your products can help you attract more customers and thereby growing your sales. This will require some research about the most effective channels for your product. For example, a fashion house that sells through physical stores could consider online channels such as Facebook, Instagram or own website. If you cannot afford to setup website, consider partnering with online stores like in Julabaa and Konga.
Marketing efforts can also focus on innovative ways such as public speaking at conferences, writing guest articles for blog and newspapers. This will impact your authority about the product and industry, which also increase customer confidence.
3. Learn How to Delegate
As a small business manager, you might be tempted to do everything by yourself. However, handling all the works by yourself can affect your ability to take your business to the next level. Imagine one person talking to clients, depositing sales to the bank, negotiating with vendors and suppliers etc. These activities will give you lesser time to think about strategic issues such as scale up and innovation.
I know it can sometimes be challenging to identify which tasks are not critical and require delegation. Nonetheless, you must learn to delegate some tasks to your employees and if viable, outsource some services. This will definitely require you to train them and accept the risk of the delegatee’s decision outcome. However, once you start to delegate, you will have more time to dedicate to sales, networking and the growth your small business. It addition to motivational effect, you might also find people who do the tasks better than you.
However, once you start to delegate, you will have more time to dedicate to sales, networking and the growth your small business. It addition to the motivational effects, you might also find people who do the tasks better than you.
4. Introduce Complementary Products
These are products that can be used together with your current products. For example, a firm that sales computers hardware could consider selling computer software. Similarly, a firm that sells printers can complement it with supplies such as cartridge and printing papers.
Introducing items that complement what you already sell can generate new customers and improve customer retention.
5. Consider A Strategic Partner
Sometimes, the easier way to take your business to the next stage is to partner with someone else. For example, an investor can offer expansion funding and access to her marketing network.If you have ever watched the UK’s Dragon Den show, one of the negotiation points of most investors is to access their contacts and benefit from their expertise.
In addition to investors, you can also partner with other corporate institution that can support your business growth. For example joining a network of consultancy companies can give you access to their network.
6. Make Customer the First
Being able to retain clients plays a major role in the growth and success of all businesses. Regular customers provide two benefits. They give you regular sales and possibly refer more customers.
It is highly likely that you are not the only business selling that product, therefore, good customer service can be your differentiator.
How can one achieve good customer service?
It starts with training and shaping the service culture. This will should be supported with feedback and fast issue resolution. Customer service should be the job of every employee and everyone should think about the customer first.
Always remember that a satisfied customer can market your business through word-of-mouth, especially in this age of social media. One Facebook or Tweeter post can get you more clients.
7. Commitment to Continuous Learning
For your business to move to the next level, you must be ready to learn about the dynamic business environment. Customers are becoming more informed, new competitors, government regulation, technology etc. All these create new opportunities or threat to your growth.
Learning does not necessarily have to be the conventional classrooms. You can read industry magazines, online courses, webinars, seminar, workshop or look for a business mentor. Learn and relate the new knowledge to your business.
8. Stay Current with Technology
Two decades back technology was a competitive advantage tool. However, it is now a must-have investment for any serious business. It does not matter the size, all businesses can benefit from technology.
Keeping up with new and changing technology can help small businesses to discover new opportunities, business models, channels and even improve productivity. It helps you with better decisions making, save money, time and other resources.
Now to you
Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Then start to implement one or two of the above tips. Remember, the growth of any small business to the next level starts with the manager.