Running a small business can be challenging, but as a passionate small-business operator, the hard work can be more than worth it when you hit your goals. When it comes to achieving growth, balancing planning with flexibility and maintaining a positive, persistent mindset are critical. If you’re looking for inspiration to supercharge your small business, consider applying these unique strategies to accelerate growth.
1. Learn continuously
Successful small-business owners who take their organisation to the next level are likely to be keen learners. Additionally, focusing on learning could support a healthy attitude to setbacks and mistakes.
Be committed to learning continuously by networking, finding mentors, and collecting information and feedback from everyone in your life. Cultivate curiosity and seek out business books, seminars, and other resources. Ask for feedback from family and friends, and find mentors in business veterans who can give you guidance on the entrepreneurial journey.
By cultivating a large group of connections, you’ll have a network to call on if you need help, advice, or feedback. Mentoring can play a vital role in the success of your business. Research suggests 70% of small businesses that have mentoring are more likely to operate for longer than those that have no mentoring.
2. Solve the customer’s problem
Rather than framing your business as what you sell, frame it as the customer problem you’re solving. Successful businesses thrive by addressing the customer’s problem rather than being overly focused on a particular product or service.
You can solve your customer’s problem by understanding your customers. Take every opportunity to obtain feedback and find out what your customers want. With changing demographics and consumer trends, knowing your customer – through feedback – can drive your business success as well as enable you to build stronger relationships with loyal customers.
3. Do the maths
When it comes down to it, small business growth and success is as much about the numbers as keeping your customers happy. Stay aware of your financial statements. Check the maths before expanding your product lines, investing in research, or spending money on your IT infrastructure. Use budgets, projections, and modelling to estimate costs so that you’re making smart, informed decisions. Track ongoing costs and monitor your expenses.
Poor cash flow can constrain and cripple any business, even organisations with highly successful business models. Manage your expenses with care and never spend more than you have to. Protect your business credit so you can always access financing to fund growth – or to prevent a cash-flow or expense emergency.
4. Refine your sales pipeline
Growing sales is central to the growth of your small business. If you don’t have a clear picture of your sales pipeline, your sales staff are working in the dark. Rather than leaving the customer acquisition process to chance, map out your sales pipeline and implement it proactively. Gather information and feedback at every stage and continue to track the outcomes so you can refine your sales pipeline.
In addition to boosting your sales outcomes, having an effective sales pipelines lets you qualify customers. This means your sales agents won’t be wasting time on unqualified leads who aren’t close to the purchasing stage.
5. Integrate referrals into sales processes
Accelerate your sales by building referrals into your sales processes. Take every opportunity to encourage your customers to share your business or products with others. For example, follow up orders with emails or texts with discount coupons or credits for each successful referral. Instead of taking loyal customers for granted, why not turn them into advocates for your business by rewarding them for promoting your products or services?
Combined with a great customer experience, a multi-point referral program can drive rapid sales growth and allow you to scale up your small business quickly.
6. Balance planning with agility
Preparing and planning by updating your business plan for the year to next five years is essential. However, it’s just as important to stay flexible and open to change. Sudden changes in regulatory shifts or new consumer trends can impact your business, so you need to be ready to react in an agile way.
Consider ways you can avoid over-committing if you don’t need to. For example, if you can hold less stock on site, this could be a way to free up more cash flow while avoiding exposure to lowered customer demand for that product.
By balancing methodical planning with the flexibility to make changes, you could lower overall business risk and ensure your small business can pivot to take advantage of new gaps in the market.
7. Sell with conviction
As a small business owner, you’re the number one ambassador for your product or service. If you sell with conviction, this could have a contagious effect on your team and in turn on your customers.
Selling with conviction goes beyond setting up great sales funnels. It means taking advantage of different types of opportunities to promote your brand. For example, you could seek out public speaking opportunities at conventions and industry events. Join online forums and establish yourself as a credible authority on the customer problem your product or service solves. Contact local media outlets and use press releases to highlight new products or news about your business.
Drive small business growth today
Accelerating your small business could be about focusing on your sales strategy as well as tracking and managing your business finances. Focusing on the customer’s problem ensures you’re committed to generating value for your buyers, while sales funnels and referrals can boost your trading volumes. By also staying agile and learning to market your business as an authority figure, you could supercharge growth and make the shift from small business to enterprise.
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