Trying to get a small business off the ground is no easy task. It’s becoming hard to find success, as more than 50% of small businesses fail in the first year, and more than 95% fail within the first five years.
With such bad odds, many small business owners don’t have enough motivation to try and find success. However, growing a small business isn’t an impossible task. The biggest problem people face is not knowing what methods to use to find success and further their growth. Instead of giving up on your business, you need to take the right approach to growing it.
Build a great online presence
A business can’t succeed without a strong online presence. This is especially important for small businesses, as customers need to be able to find your company and products effortlessly. A strong online presence enhances your accessibility and allows you to reach a wider audience.
The most important thing you need to think about when building your online presence is how to create the perfect website. Your company website needs to have clear information about your company and products/services and be optimized for search engines.
Before you start building your website, you need to find the perfect cheap web hosting. Choosing the perfect host can make or break your website, as a good provider can ensure your website is fast, reliable, and secure. It also determines what kind of bandwidth and storage you will have.
Create a brand personality
All enterprise-level businesses have a strong brand personality that makes them instantly recognizable to their customers. With small businesses, it’s impossible to create the same type of brand personality, so the best tactic is to allow customers to see the human side of your business.
Customers appreciate when they see that a business is more than just a corporation and that there is a heart and soul behind a brand. Create an authentic experience for your customers that will show them your vision and values to make yourself more approachable and liked.
In other words, put as much of yourself as you can into the business. You can do this by writing meaningful blog posts, including an “About us” video on your website, and speaking at various industry events.
Avoid the most common mistakes
If you don’t have any experience as a business owner, thinking about what doesn’t work is just as important as thinking about what does. One way to ensure your business succeeds is to learn from small businesses that have failed and make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes.
Here are some things you always need to keep in mind:
- Never enter a market that’s too competitive. An overly-competitive market can be a double-edged sword for any business. While the products you sell may be in high demand, as a small business you probably won’t be able to beat out your competition.
- Make sure the market demands for your product. While it’s a mistake to enter a market that’s too competitive, you should never go to the other extreme. For you to actually find success, there needs to be a reasonable demand for your product and people who are willing to purchase it.
- Plan for profitability. A well-thought-out profit model is fundamental to your success. You need to know the exact numbers that will lead to profitability. This includes how much you need just to break even, as well as the net and grow margins on sales.
- Think about all costs. Most business owners plan for the most obvious costs such as salaries and the cost of operations. However, there are also a number of costs that are often overlooked such as taxes, permits and licenses, and technological expenses, just to name a few.
Offer great customer service
Many small businesses make the mistake of underestimating the power of customer service and see engaging with customers as nothing more than a chore. However, if you truly want to see your business grow, your customer service needs to be exceptional from day one.
Keep in mind that as much as 78% of customers have backed out of a purchase due to poor customer experience. So, what can you do to avoid this?
The first step is to get a VoIP (voice over internet protocol). This is a tool that allows you to make and receive calls via a broadband internet connection and is a much better alternative to traditional phone systems. To find out how it can significantly improve your customer service and how you should choose a VoIP provider, you can read this VoIP phone service buyers guide.
The next step is to coach your customer service agents on the best ways to talk to every customer who calls your business. Here are a few useful tips:
- Be well-versed in what you’re selling. When customers call your business to get more information about the products you’re selling, the customer service rep needs to have all the information readily available.
- Be respectful. Show customers that you respect them by always carefully listening to what they have to say and giving them your full attention.
- Ask for feedback. No matter how good your customer service is, it can always be improved. Make sure to ask your customers to fill out feedback surveys to see how they think their experience can be improved.
- End the conversation properly. Never rush from one conversation to the other so you can make time for every customer. Take a minute at the end of every call to thank a customer for their business and ask if there is anything else you can do for them.
Start a referral program
A great way to grow your business without spending too much money on marketing is to start a referral program. Once you have one satisfied customer, you can easily get them to acquire more customers for you if you offer certain benefits or incentives.
Those incentives differ from company to company, but it’s something the customers see value in. The most common examples of referral program incentives include free shipping, special discounts, and sometimes even free products.
This can be one of the most efficient ways of growing your businesses, as 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family.
Every small business has the same struggle, and that’s acquiring new customers and steadily growing over time. Even though it seems like an impossible task at the beginning, the worst thing you can do is give up. As long as you know the best ways to grow a business, it might take a while, but your hard work will pay off in the end.