Small businesses can grow in prosperous times as well as periods of difficulty – which we’ve seen some incredible examples of that in 2020 alone! We believe that 2021 will be a period of expansion, so it’s timely that we share these tips with you for your business growth and success.
Technology can save you lots of time, help with organisation and even save you money. Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram are powerful marketing tools for your business. If you’re not sure where to begin, there are lots of online tutorials and freelancers who can help get your business into the social sphere.
Dropbox is an affordable and effective cloud-based option for storing your files – and especially useful for teams during remote working situations. Of course, we’re all getting used to Zoom for video calling, there are also options like Google Meet – saving travel time and keeping national and international businesses connected.
Use a friendly and professional approach to communicate with your customers and communicate often to promote a strong relationship. Create guidelines for for your team so that dealing with customers in writing and over the phone in consistent across the company.
Be punctual in your replies and slow down and read their emails carefully. In our rush to be efficient, sometimes we’re the opposite.
Write blogs relevant to your industry helps to share information and elevate your business as an authority on the topic.
Hold regular brainstorming sessions with the entire team, when possible, to share ideas and ways to improve what you offer. Even if your products or services are selling well, it’s good to have new ideas in the pipeline and make incremental improvements.
Get strict with your credit policies
Make sure your customers have a completed credit application on file and that they’ve read and understood the terms and conditions.
Make your payment process really clear and ensure that you’re sending out invoices in a timely fashion, so they can be paid on time.
Review and update your terms and conditions to keep them current and working in your favour.
Improve your record keeping
For product based businesses, keeping track of inventory is essential for the smooth running of your business. There are free and inexpensive point of sales systems that can help you manage stock and keep your records tidy.
Capture customer details to stay in communication with them for future sales too.
Join business associations and organisations
Business associations and organisations give you access to industry leaders and an opportunity to network. They usually have an annual membership fee, which is a worthwhile investment as they hold regular events, seminars, short courses and networking evenings.
This can be invaluable for meeting business owners, learning more about your industry and being recognised as a leader in your sector.
Update your website
If you’ve been neglecting your website, now’s the time to give it a tidy up. Your customers want to see that you’ve got a well-established business and will look up your website before they phone or make an appointment. It’s important that the information is clear, easy to find and up to date.
Block your time
You could be wasting hours every day, so take note of where your time is going and find ways to improve your productivity. Often we’re swapping between a variety of tasks, and each time we do that we lose valuable time. Blocking your time to focus on one task at a time will see you complete more things every day. Programs like Toggl track your time per task, so you can monitor what you’re spending the most time on – and whether that matches with what brings you the most business. It can also help you stay on track just for the mere fact that you know you’re being timed!
It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to meet as many people as possible, and whilst this can create some loose ties, really honing in on who you need to meet and spending time on growing those relationships will serve you much better in the long-term.
There are many ways to attain referrals and grow your business. Some ways are: asking your previous clients for recommendations, offering an affiliate referral incentive, write a guest blog or traditional advertising channels.
Choose a mix of methods for your small business to keep moving things positively, take some time to plan ahead and try some new approaches.
All the best, we wish you well in business. If you want some support, call us.