Growing your business can be difficult, but it’s only half the battle. It takes key strategic planning to ensure that your small business or startup also maintains its position over time.
Businesses need to invest in smart strategies for growth, while avoiding common traps which can lead to business losses. These strategies will ensure that your small business startup grows quickly and maintains a reliable income stream.
Write a Business Plan
The first step to any good business is a detailed plan. Your business plan should highlight exactly what your business does, including its goals, identity and target market. It should also list any current or future obstacles and how you’ll deal with them. It’s important at this early stage to assess your finances properly and take out adequate insurance in case things go wrong.
Devise a Marketing Strategy
Your marketing strategy should begin with researching your competitors. Consider what strategies they’re using, why they’re successful and how your business can improve on them. Once you’ve developed and implemented your marketing strategy it’s important to stick with it. If you make changes too often you won’t be able to tell what action is having the desired effect.
Tip: Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool for your reputation. Focus on delivering quality service and encourage your customers to leave social media reviews for your business.
Retain Your Customers
It costs up to five times as much money to acquire a new customer rather than sell to an existing one. Your focus as a business owner should always be in providing value and top-notch service to your existing customers. This is a quality over quantity mindset and opens many more possibilities for expanding your business, based on your good relationship with your customers.
Tip: Consider creating a loyalty program for your customers, where each side will benefit from repeated business. This can help you retain existing customers as well as attract new ones.
Networking with other people can help you discover new opportunities and will expand the reach of your business. Meeting with other business owners can also help you develop strategic partnerships which are mutually beneficial. There are sure to be many networking events in your local area, but further opportunities exist in business groups whose members keep in touch over the internet.
Tip: Building an email list and sending out a weekly or monthly newsletter will help you stay in touch with new leads and inform them about your business.
In Australia, insurance to compensate injured workers is a Government requirement. If your small business or startup has any employees, they need to be insured appropriately or you’ll be held liable.
Insurance is especially important for small businesses and startups, as they don’t normally have the funds to cover unexpected problems. Proper insurance can protect a small business startup from everyday risks and maintain its reputation and financial stability when it’s needed most.
Negotiate Your Contracts
As a small business or startup, it’s important to spend time understanding and negotiating your contracted expenses, such as rent. This not only ensures a better deal for your business, but can uncover any hidden fees.
If your contract is near its expiry, you can leverage your freedom to leave by negotiating a reduced rate with your current provider. Unavoidable expenses such as electricity should be put on a long-term contract for a cheaper overall rate.
Growing your business while maintaining a reliable income can be tough, but with the right strategy and protections in place, it is possible. What are your best tips for growing your business? Share them with us on our social media channels.