Small businesses face a unique set of challenges. Operating on slim margins leaves small companies vulnerable to rapid changes in the market. This vulnerability is especially acute for new startups just finding their place. Here are six ways that any entrepreneur can grow their company this year.
Build a Strong Sales Funnel
A “sales funnel” is a model for visualizing a customer’s journey with your company. That journey should ideally take them from disinterested cold leads to enthusiastic buyers. Sales prospecting is the process of identifying and then reaching out to these future customers. Prospective customers exist in a bewildering number of places. Business-related social networking platforms like LinkedIn are practical since people are already there to engage in commercial activities. Social media groups offer another wealth of prospects. Note that digital tools such as customer relationship management (CRM) programs can help massively streamline prospecting. Above all, be warm and helpful to the people you’re trying to reach. Genuine kindness goes a long way.
Have a Credible Web Presence
All sales funnels begin with brand awareness. Awareness isn’t enough, though. There’s no second chance to make a first impression, and that impression starts with your web presence. The most fundamental attributes of a website, such as color scheme, and text layout, can have a substantial psychological impact on visitors. Making great content is also crucial. With consumer confidence at a low point, don’t focus your social media strategy on selling products directly. Instead, create engaging blog posts and videos to build interest in your brand organically.
Hire the Right Team
Having the right employees for your company is more important than ever. Many owners and managers mistakenly hire individuals based primarily on technical skills. Skill is vital, but research indicates that “soft skills” like empathy, creativity, and personal honor matter far more. Hardworking, positive, and responsive workers are more loyal to their employers and customers. Employee attitude is paramount to keeping customers invested. A hospitality industry study found that customer satisfaction correlated significantly to their experience with employees. Don’t just hire the best people. Hire those who are the most good.
Develop Multiple Revenue Streams
In a tough economy, having multiple revenue streams can make all the difference. The simplest option is to offer a new product or service. Knowing what to try should be based on sound market research. Remember to build buzz for any new offerings using a multichannel or omnichannel outreach approach. Loans can be another source of revenue, but only if used to spur future growth. It’s worth noting that many legal structures for companies allow them to participate in stock investments. In good times, a rising tide might lift your boat.
Focus on Customer Experience
Fostering a memorable customer experience (CX) is critical to business development. CX only starts with the customer’s encounter with employees. It’s the product of a customer’s entire journey with your brand. Your first goal should be to minimize inconvenience. Improving your customer service system is a powerful opportunity to do this. Instead of making customers deal with chatbots, have a live operator present. If a phone bank is too resource-intensive, offer live chat or email-based service. Both rank high among customer preferences. Making customers’ lives a bit easier will earn their trust.
Learn to Manage Risk
Often, the key to making money is not losing money. Common risks include theft or embezzlement (sometimes accomplished from within the organization) to lawsuits stemming from product failure. One growing source of danger is cybercrime. An IBM study from 2021 put the cost of a data breach at $161 per record compromised. Having high-quality physical and cybersecurity systems in place is step one. Having a reaction and recovery plan ready for when disaster strikes are the next stage. Learn your unique vulnerabilities and stay prepared.
A business must be in a constant state of expansion to survive and thrive. Keep these tips in mind when formulating your next-quarter strategies.