Achieving your small business goals will take time, energy and passion. Follow these 10 tips for success:
1. Clarify your mission and vision
Your business value proposition needs to be compelling in order to differentiate you in the market. Take time to develop a deep understanding of who you are, why you exist, and the purpose and function of your business.
2. Narrow your target market
The prospect of narrowing your target market may seem counter-intuitive. However, if you specialise in a service or product, this is an effective way to have your business stand out in a competitive market. This is why the next step is so crucial...
3. Be an expert in your market
It’s not enough to just advertise your business and hope for the best – being the expert in your field will earn you the credibility you need to build your reputation and grow your clientele. Think about outsourcing market research – online platforms such as Freelancer give you direct access to freelancers across a range of professions including market research.
4. Bundle products and services
Small businesses often find it beneficial to bundle their products instead of selling them individually. This can make it easier to sell as consumers tend to associate “packages” with saving money.
5. Know the needs of your customer
Knowing your customer better enables you to pitch the benefits of your products and services – how can you help solve their problems?
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals
Your existing customers can be a great source of referral business. If a client is satisfied with your product or service, don’t hesitate to ask them to refer you to other businesses or ask them for testimonials which you can use in marketing. Think about establishing a referral program to reward existing clients when they bring you more business. It’s also a good idea to set up a LinkedIn company page, where you can capture and display customer testimonies and feedback.
7. Sales and promotions
Offering a discount or having a ‘limited time only’ sale can be a great way of boosting sales and creating mutual reciprocity with your customers.
8. Sell more to existing customers
Your top-spending and loyal customers will keep your business alive. Think about establishing ‘members-only’ or ‘VIP’ offers and promotions. Give these customers early access to new products or have a reward points system in place. This will keep your customers feeling appreciated and keep you top-of-mind for future business. CRMs such as Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign and Ontraport offer great tools for establishing marketing funnels that will help you sell more.
9. Listen to your customer
It sounds simple enough but many small businesses don’t do it. If you’re trying to grow your business, it’s important to seek feedback and listen to what current and potential customers are saying. This enables you to better identify their needs and ways that your service delivery can be improved. Think about your business’ feedback loop – are you giving your customers the opportunity to be heard? SurveyMonkey offers simple digital survey templates to provide you with the analytics you need to improve customer satisfaction.
10. Use the internet to your advantage
These days, social media and the internet is your business’ best friend. From Facebook to Twitter to Instagram, there are so many different platforms from which you can promote your products and services to more people. Explore the tools available to you and consider seeking professional advice on maximising your online presence. Buffer is a great tool that helps you to streamline posts across numerous social channels.