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Owning your own business is a lot of responsibility and for most small business owners, the majority of that falls on their shoulders. Dealing with the day-to-day operations and keeping the business profitable doesn’t leave a lot of time for growth and development.
But as any successful business owner knows, growing the business and its customer base is vital. We’ve put together eight tips for helping you do both.
Improve customer service
Is your customer getting the best experience they can from your business? Not just when they walk in the door or purchase something online, but is your social media providing them with a good experience? Do they feel like their concerns and complaints are heard and taken seriously?
Customer service doesn’t end after the sale, it’s an ongoing effort. There are likely extra steps you and your business can begin taking to make the customer’s experience even better.
Finding those can help not only solidify the customer base you already have but bring in new customers, too.
Motivate the team
Your staff is just as important to your success as the product or service you are providing. They are the face your customers see on a regular basis.
Finding good help is hard enough, keeping them is even harder. Making the staff feel like they are a part of something, instead of just working to earn a paycheck, can do a lot to help the business grow.
Find ways to show the team your appreciation. Offer them opportunities to provide input, keep them up-to-date on changes, and reward them when the business is doing well.
Get involved in your community
Networking is incredibly important for growing a business, and a great way to network is to get involved in your community.
Whether you participate through charitable works, setting up a booth at local events, or being part of your town’s chamber of commerce, there are plenty of ways to connect with people in the community who are not only customers, but who can serve as great resources.
Listen to others
Speaking of resources, thousands of entrepreneurs have been where you are. They’ve experienced and learned things you can’t even think about yet. Taking advantage of that knowledge and information can not only be helpful in growing your business, it could save it.
Find Facebook groups of small business owners, join your chamber of commerce, listen to speakers when they come to your area.
Also, do a search for podcasts that deal with business or your business type specifically. They can provide great information and give you access to people you would never otherwise be able to learn from.
Start an Opportunity Fund
You never know when a great opportunity is going to come along that can help grow your business. Make sure you’re financially ready for it when it does.
Set money aside in things like mutual funds, money market accounts, or investments. It can grow there and be available when you need to seize upon an opportunity.
Know your Net
Net profit margin is an incredibly important, and often underutilized, financial metric. A company’s net profit margin points to the amount of profit the company makes for each dollar of sales.
For instance, if your company has $100 dollars in sales and $20 profit, you have a 20-percent profit margin.
This number is important to know because it shows the ability of a company to still be profitable even if the dollar amount of profit decreases.
Find out what works
Most small businesses don’t have large marketing budgets. That’s why it’s important to get the most out of each dollar.
Monitor where your customers are coming from so you can measure whether your marketing is successful or not. This will help you know where to better invest your marketing dollars. Also, don’t hesitate to experiment a bit.
At some point in any business, you’re probably going to need to borrow money. But it needs to be done wisely. Borrowed money has to be paid back every single month, no matter how the business is doing.
Try and make sure that your business model is working successfully before turning to a loan to help it grow. Also, don’t be in a rush to borrow. Many business owners look to borrow and grow too early.
But before you do anything, make sure your credit is in good standing, or it could cost you even more in the long run.
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