Growing a small business is a process, not a single task. The process of growing a business is multi-faceted and ongoing. For example, you probably already know you need to increase sales, expand production, and focus on marketing to reach a larger audience. These tasks will never end, no matter how successful you become.
To grow your small business, you need more than an increase in sales. Growth is not measured by profits alone. If you’ve been wondering how to achieve higher levels of growth, here are four insights to think about:
1. Growth is directly tied to customer satisfaction
Your business won’t grow unless you have satisfied customers. The more satisfied they are, the bigger you’ll grow, mostly because satisfied customers tell their friends about businesses they love. Word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising on the planet. Unless you have people actively recommending your brand, your growth will remain limited.
Work on improving customer service
Amp up your focus on improving customer service to improve customer satisfaction. To get some ideas, start reading customer-centric blogs. For instance, the SmallBiz Technology blog provides helpful insights into improving customer service. Take the strategies that work for your small business and do your best.
Find out where you stand with your customers
How satisfied are your customers? Would they recommend your products or services to others? If you don’t know where you stand with your customers, it’s time to find out. Reading online product reviews for your company isn’t enough. Start running customer satisfaction surveys to see how well you’re doing.
Customer satisfaction surveys will provide information you can’t get from reading online reviews about your business. For instance, survey data can be automatically collected and crunched into reports that reveal the percentage of customers who would recommend your business. This kind of data gives you a clear view of what your customers think.
2. Decreasing waste increases access to resources
Having waste in your organization is like having a tiny hole in an air mattress. The leak will be slow, but the effects will be noticeable, and you’ll never get ahead.
The biggest sources of waste are:
Employees wasting time
The average employee wastes around three hours each workday. Time is generally wasted doing things like checking email and social media, chatting with co-workers, watching YouTube, and searching for company files.
Wasted payroll dollars
Most payroll dollars are wasted when employees are wasting time.
Wasted money on high-end equipment
Sometimes you don’t need the latest and greatest tech gear. For instance, there’s no need to buy a brand-new copy machine when a used model would suffice.
Wasted money on unnecessary monthly subscriptions
These add up fast, sometimes without your awareness. How many online services does your organization really need?
Find ways to reduce waste in all areas of your small business. Start with time because time really is money. When you reduce wasted resources like time and money, you’ll automatically have more of those resources available to grow your small business. The less waste you have, the more resources you’ll have.
3. Increasing productivity can earn you a better reputation
Productive businesses tend to get more sales, clients, and credibility in their industry. Put simply, the true leaders in any industry produce better products and services than their competitors.
You can’t be the best when your workforce is wasting time. The innovation that will move you to the top is achieved through a productive workforce.
Find out where your employees struggle most and work on a solution. You might find that some employees don’t have all the right tools. Other workers might not have clear and quantifiable objectives.
Highly successful businesses have highly productive employees. They know their objectives and plan to meet those objectives. Productive employees don’t wing their days; they plan their days and work hard to meet daily goals. If that’s not how your workforce operates, prioritize making that change.
4. Stay on top of what’s new in your industry
Growth requires keeping up with your competitors and even surpassing them. Find ways to stay on top of what’s new in your niche. Start attending industry conferences, trade shows, and other gatherings for industry professionals.
Find newsletters to subscribe to and pay someone to sift through those emails and send you the important highlights. You’ll have to trust that someone else can identify what’s important, but you can train people to see with your eyes.
Don’t stop your efforts
Growth won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen without setbacks. No matter how tough things get, don’t stop your efforts to grow your small business. No organization ever gets big without persevering through tough times.