5 Tips to Grow Your Small Business
Starting a small business is exciting, but growing one can be exhausting. After the initial launch, the buzz around your business can fizzle out. That’s when you need to kickstart your creativity to get back on track.
You may choose to grow your business in terms of space, employees, or sales. However, always have a strong game plan and don’t make decisions based on whims and desires. Jumping on the bandwagon to catch up with competitors could mean losing your brand identity. Keep moving steadily in the direction you have chosen and don’t get distracted by shortcuts. Instead, consider these five tips that can help you grow your small business.
1. Consider Remote Recruitment
Many small businesses today are hiring remote workers so they can build a competent team at a lower cost. Based on fair market rates in different countries, this can be a win-win for both employer and employee. However, this option may require some outside expertise. That’s because labor laws and practices pertaining to overseas employees vary, and you might need a human resources pro to help you navigate them.
Outsourced HR service providers come in two types: employers of record and professional employer organizations. The EOR vs PEO decision is crucial, as it lays the foundation of your team. Both EORs and PEOs manage HR duties such as payroll, tax withholding, and benefits management. The difference is that to use a PEO, you’ll need a business entity in the country where you’re hiring to enter into a co-employment relationship.
Most small businesses without foreign subsidiaries prefer working with EORs. Not only is this the more affordable option, but it also reduces liabilities. As the EOR is the official employer of your remote staff, it assumes legal responsibilities. While you focus on recruiting a skilled workforce, the EOR handles the paperwork needed to comply with local labor laws.
2. Do Your Homework
You’ve probably put a lot of effort into your business plan, and you’d like to think it’s perfect, but is it really? It’s essential to do some basic market research to find the answer to that question. Maybe someone has already come up with an idea similar to yours. Perhaps they are offering more services or lower prices. You will never know where you stand until you assess your competitors in an unbiased manner.
Invest in focus groups or market research polls and questionnaires. Have current and potential customers answer questions anonymously. Reward them for their time with a free or discounted product. Don’t take negative feedback personally. Work on ways to fix the identified problems.
Don’t be disheartened if you discover your novel idea isn’t as unique as you thought it was. Find ways to make your product a cut above the others. Or consider lowering your prices or offering savings bundles. Make your logistics competitive so the package reaches the right doorstep when promised.
3. Know Your Customers
The difference between a hobby and a business is that a hobby is for yourself, while a business is for your customers. Sometimes you may have to tailor your product to your customers’ preferences, even if you personally disagree with their taste.
If your target population is young, you could include references to pop culture in your marketing. If your audience is environmentally conscious, sustainable packaging may be the way to go. Tired moms may be open to paying a premium for convenience. College students, on the other hand, may be willing to compromise on fancy packing for a lower price.
Once you better understand the psychology of your target market, you can plan marketing strategies accordingly. Social proof is one way of gaining the customer’s trust. This is why many marketing campaigns include testimonials. Another tactic is scarcity, which cashes on the feeling of missing out when the customer knows only a few items are left in stock.
Turning a competitor into a collaborator is a stroke of genius. Small businesses often struggle to stay afloat, so holding onto each other can be mutually beneficial. From giving shout-outs on social media to joining hands for a cause, find ways to work with other businesses. Doing so will help strengthen your market presence.
Only business owners who lack faith in their ideas feel insecure about such collaborations. The truth is that strategies to attract new customers are also helpful in retaining loyal ones.
Collaboration doesn’t mean only sharing customers. You may also share space or support staff. Small businesses often have a tight budget, and reducing expenses may be just as helpful as increasing sales. The golden rule for collaboration is to keep an honest and open mode of communication at all times. Create joint goals that help both parties, and remember that a trustworthy reputation is more important than short-term profits.
5. Monitor and Modify
Even if you have a great business plan, always be open to making modifications. Political unrest, economic turbulence, natural disasters, or a pandemic can result in things not going as planned. However, these developments can be a learning experience. Accept the change and know when to pivot.
Many business owners make the mistake of basing their decisions on feelings rather than facts. The amount of data involved in analyzing business performance can be overwhelming. Utilize tools such as Google Analytics to assess your efforts.
The objective of monitoring business metrics is to identify patterns in your sales. Any repetitive error can be rectified to improve customer experience. Data analytics provide demographic details for your target population, which can then be utilized in focused marketing campaigns. Instead of sending the same promotion to your entire email list, you can tailor offers based on customer segments and past purchasing behavior.
Growing a small business is like growing a plant. It needs constant attention to make sure it blooms while its roots remain strong. There will be days when your efforts feel futile, but don’t let the fear of failure get to you. Recharge your batteries by reminding yourself why you started, and keep going until you reach your goals.