Some small businesses succeed while others do not. Some may be a result of the experience and skill of the founder or startup team while others are heavily influenced by market factors, such as timing or chance.
Here is a look at 15 ways you can adopt to grow your business
1. Treat your customer’s business as your own: Your time is their money, so be efficient at whatever you do. Accept it, you cannot be a ‘robot’, so accept your mistakes, and take note of your errors to avoid repeating them. In a situation when there is miscommunication or badly executed service, swallow the cost of extra work and take it as a learning experience or investing in your relationship with the customer.
2. Build and maintain a great network: Networks are very powerful. Lots of great things can be done with a very strong network. Building and maintaining a network will help you generate and access new business opportunities.
3. Assemble a strong support team of talented professionals: It takes a village to run a business so assemble a strong support team of talented people. Build a team of dedicated people that will productively engage your clients and reach out to them in more affective ways. Also keep in touch with functional expertise related to specific industries and business situations.
4. Establish a Group of Advisors: This can be a board of directors or an informal peer group.
Either is a way to either expand the pool of people with a vested interest in your success. It’s also a great way to exchange expertise without hiring consultants for advice on finances, human resources, contracts, marketing and other areas.
5. Invest wisely: Avoid the temptation to overspend on luxury items. You should also try to handle administrative tasks yourself if you are comfortable doing so. Look for opportunities to share the cost of tools and services.
6. Establish Reasonable and Manageable Payment Terms: You should ensure you establish a reasonable and manageable payment terms with your clients. Don’t be endeared with the huge cost if the payment terms are not favourable. There are bigger fishes to fry other than chasing your clients.
7. Don’t try to do everything: Trying to be all things to all people just to land a new client distracts from your reputation and can dilute your focus on being effective within your core competencies and building your client base. Provide customers with what you do best, and refer or hire others with expertise you need but don’t have.
8. Stay Current with your professional tools: Be sure whatever technology and services you use are up-to-date and compatible with your customers. Once your customers notice a flop in your services or that you are not recent, they will move their transactions else where.
9. Be a valued team member: Working as a valued team member enables you to be kept in the information loop so you can perform effectively. You should not just sit around as the ‘Boss’, but immerse yourself in other activities that that can help you provide the best service.
10. Exceed expectations: Exceeding expectations with clear deliveries and smart and hard work leads to retention and referrals.
11. Offer something before asking for something: Educate your existing and perspective client base through activities, such as blogging and public speaking to build trust.
12. Make Referrals for others: Connecting the people you know to others in your network reflects your ties to talent. It also shows your understanding of others’ needs and creates possibilities for reciprocation.
13. Build Strategic Alliances: This can expand the scope of your services and help keep you going even when your core avenue of business is slow.It will also help you market to bigger competitions.
14. Contact former customers: Because a customer is no longer with you does not mean they may not need you again in the future. Stay in touch with your former customers, they may be in need of new supplies, or want to try out new project with you as an old-time ‘trusted’ friend.
15. Be a student of your business: In the world today, tools and methods for doing business across many industries are evolving at a rapid pace. Keep learning about your industry to stay on top of innovations, and find new ways to be more effective and productive.