It is without doubt that the past few years have been hard on every business sector, regardless of trade, financial status or market segment. Recession was felt everywhere in the world but this doesn’t necessarily mean that there are no more business opportunities out there or that you cannot do anything about it. On the contrary, during hard times people who employ their creativity and dedication for what they do, find ways to overcome obstacles and grow their small business. It goes without saying that growing your business is not an easy task but more like an ongoing process.
You need to step out of your comfort zone and bring change into your business; old practices and traditional mindset will not help your small business move on to the next level.
We here at Elorus, established the company in the middle of the Greek debt crisis and we have first-hand experience of struggling to develop. Here are some tips that you may find useful in order to push forward growth in your business.
#1 Widen your competencies
A recession can be transformed into an opportunity as customers look for integrated solutions for less money. Find out what additional services you can offer them along with the standard goods/services rendered.
This way you not only gain more customers but retain the already existing ones.
For example, if you own a furniture company you could offer installation services with and after sales care for repairs. Those complimentary services can come with an extra charge affordable by the average buyer.
#2 New markets – New products
Usually, small businesses specialize in certain products/services, address to specific demographic groups or regions. That specialization may be used to attract similar customers in other, related markets as well!
Track down those related markets and grow your small business with minor alterations to your core products to cover their needs.
This is quite an alternative way to grow your small business, in case your trade is suffering from rapid advances in technology. You don’t want your products to become obsolete so you have to stay up-to-date with the latest trends. Focus on R&D and market analysis to get a clear picture of your customers’ needs and the already existing competition.
#3 Value customer feedback
Your already existing customers can sometimes guide you through your next steps. And this can only happen if you ask them for their feedback and then take it seriously into consideration. Yes, your customers don’t always have reasonable demands; but every once in a while you may stumble upon constructive comments and suggestions.
Use this feedback to improve your small business’s performance and increase your customer satisfaction.
To successfully grow your business you need to pay attention to the criticism rather than the compliments from your clients. Track down dissatisfied customers and conduct a survey. The results are invaluable to your firm’s further development. The ultimate goal is to win back lost customers and win over new for the long-term.
#4 Review your business plan
Your business plan is not something you have just drawn up just to show your bank in order to get a loan. It is your small business’s heart and it needs frequent adjustments to keep it updated and make sure the objectives are being achieved.
Essentially, your business plan is the path your small business should follow within a certain period of time.
Sales-driven companies have short business plan cycles (e.g. monthly sales targets), for example. Significant changes in your firm’s marketplace or in the broader environment (e.g. new legislation) are major triggers for a review of your strategic objectives. Your small business will greatly benefit from this ongoing assessment as you will be able to compare and contrast forecasts to actual figures. Growth is not an abstract term; it is a measurable indicator of how much progress your small business made over a certain period.
There is not just one recipe on how to make your small business grow. As an entrepreneur your job is to keep your eyes open for new growth opportunities! In case you have some solid advice on how to grow a business, we will be delighted to read!