Feel like you’re treading water in your small business and not making progress towards your goals? Have you chosen abundantly clear goals to work towards?
How do you get from your current experience-treading water with no end in sight to walking your beach of success? It's the million dollar question.
If you want your small business to be more profitable, here are my suggestions for how to make it happen. And remember; building a successful business is a marathon, not a sprint!
01 Customer Service Is Your Main Focus
Americans tell an average of 15 people about a poor service experience, versus the 11 people they’ll tell about a good experience. Even more staggering, after one negative experience, 51% of customers will never do business with that company again.
Loyal customers are much easier to sell to, make epic customer service your top priority. Analyze your current customer service system and make the changes that need to be made to ensure that your small business is providing amazing customer service compared to your competitors. Whether it be investing in staff training, revamping your return policy, or basic improvements such as responding promptly to voice mail or email from customers. Do whatever it takes!
02 Build Word of Mouth for Your Business
Whether you operate your business online, in a small community or in a large urban center, word of mouth is more important than ever for business. Most consumers turn to the google and search for reviews of businesses before deciding where to shop, so building a good reputation is vital to the success of your business.
You will receive positive word of mouth by providing good, professional service, building and monitoring your local (and online) reputation. Acts of charity and giveaways...yes giveaways move mountains too.
03 Your Marketing Expansion Efforts Should Be Second To None
Effective marketing is key to increasing your sales, but you don't have to break your bank to promote your business. There are many inexpensive ways to market your products and services, including:
Social Media Marketing (icomeup has social media leading tools that will drive your business and increase revenue).
Creating and using a promotion kit.
Joining professional and/or business organizations.
Involving the television and radio in your grand openings, moves, or charity events.
Giving free workshops or classes related to your products/services.
Developing business partnerships and doing cross-promotion with complementary businesses.
Cold Calling (yes it can still work!).
Advertising your business on your vehicle with a vehicle wrap.
Sending personal messages to the top 10 influencers in your target market.
04 Build Your Online Impact with a Business Website and Social Media
Creating a professional looking website can be quick and easy. Your small business needs to be in the online space if you want to compete. A whomping 88 percent of consumer pre-research their buys online before making a purchase either online or in-store.
A simple website that describes who you are, what you do, and how to contact you will suffice for many small businesses. At a minimum, your site should contain:
Your business name, logo, a summary of what you do - your products and services, contact information, your address, your mission, e.g. "I write ideas for brands." Testimonials from customers.
Social media is the single greatest way to promote your business. 44 percent of local businesses said they depend on social media to generate brand awareness, and 41 percent depend on it to drive revenue.
05 Cutting Your Business Costs
Business costs for everything from office space to vehicle expenses seem to be always on the rise, so keeping expenses in check is a crucial task for business owners.
Keeping track of expenses is time-consuming and tedious, so wherever possible use technology to make the job as easy as possible. For example, there are a number of mobile apps for expense tracking, including some of the newer cloud-based accounting applications that allow you to automatically add expense information into your accounting system by snapping pictures of receipts with your mobile device.
Annually or semi-annually review your major costs, such as office space, business insurance, staffing, and vehicle expenses. If you are in an area with abundant available commercial space, think about relocating, or if you don't need a storefront convert to a home-based business.
Review your major supply costs regularly and always look for discounts or ways to pool supply purchases with other businesses to save money. Make reducing expenses part of your job description, and involve your employees.
06 Go Mobile
If you do nothing else this year in your business, you must go mobile! I know it sounds crazy to say since we are on our phones all the time but stats show a percentage of businesses are not mobile friendly. You need to make sure that your online presence, including your business website, is mobile friendly, as ever-increasing numbers of people are surfing and searching with their phones – even when they’re at home. Social media users access sites 91% of the time from their phones.
Two other trends that your small business could profit from. The first is mobile marketing. There’s a whole range of mobile-specific strategies you could be using to reach your target market with great effect, from text message advertising and mobile display ads through having an app designed for your own business.
The second is mobile payment systems. The choices for your small business are really expanding since Apple Pay and Google Wallet have joined the game with such systems such as PayPal. Using phones to pay is a significant convenience to customers but your small business could also realize considerable savings from being able to use a mobile POS systems.
07 Wealth Is Nothing Without Your Health
No one goes to the grave wishing they had spent more time in the office. Too many business owners sacrifice their mental and physical health, family relationships, and friends in pursuit of their buisness goals.
Don't be one of them - it is not worth it. Find an acceptable level of work-life balance. Getting enough sleep, taking time for family and friends, and getting regular exercise will help you stay healthy and allow you and your business to prosper over the long term. Its a marathon-never a sprint.
08 Make Your Business Amazing
If there’s one point I want you to give you from this article, it’s this; success is not a given. If you want your small business to be more successful, you need to make the necessary changes to bring that about.
That work may be as simple as investing in a new tool or as difficult as changing your thinking about some of your business processes. But you haven’t brought your business this far to just let it fail, have you?