This article is about 10 Things Every Small Business Needs To Grow, via Afrokonnect.
Starting a business is, as any entrepreneur will tell you, just the beginning of the battle.
Once the business is up and running, you then need to make sure that you’re effecting regular growth, or the business could stagnate and any potential investors could get spooked.
Growth is more than just reaching more customers;
It’s expanding your business to meet demand, identifying new potential markets, and exploiting those observations as best you can.
10 Things Every Small Business Needs To Grow
Here are 10 things that every small business needs in order to grow effectively!
1. A little cash to start with
As the old saying goes, “you’ve got to spend money to make money”.
If you don’t inject a little cash into your business to begin with, then you’re going to struggle to translate any potential investment into profit.
Spending money means hiring staff, investing in new product lines, and more, so the importance of putting money in to get money out can’t be understated.
There are lots of investment lines to pursue (more on which in a moment), but you can also look to companies like Loans2Go if you’d rather get a personal loan for your company.
While it might be true that not every single business in the world requires investors in order to get started, you will likely find that without investors to keep the business going, you’ll struggle.
Investors will bring capital and business expertise to your enterprise, and although they might ask for a return (perhaps even in the form of equity),
The additional help and support they’ll bring to your daily operations is well worth that cost.
Make sure to reach out to investors for advice and support on how to grow.
3. New product lines
If you’re in the world of e-commerce, you’ll likely already know just how important a high-quality product is to your business.
However, it’s not just about your product; it’s also important to diversify into different product lines so that you can continue to serve different demographics and new markets.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, either; if a product doesn’t necessarily seem like the kind of thing you’d naturally stock, think twice, because it might well open up an entirely new avenue for you.
4. Ongoing demographic research
Your business simply won’t grow if you don’t conduct constant research about your demographic.
It’s lethal to assume that the same people who used your business at its outset will still be customers today;
While you’ll likely have some loyal repeat custom, you’re always looking to attract new people, and the way to do that is to know who they are and what they want from you.
Make sure to engage as many new customers as you can with email surveys and other outreach programs.
5. Competitor research
Just as important as researching your customers is researching your competitors.
If you don’t know who you’re up against, then you could find yourself falling into some seriously common pitfalls.
Your competitors will likely be just as hungry as you for success, and they’ll almost certainly have already cornered some of the demographics that you and your business want to target.
Conduct regular market research and you’ll position yourself much better for growth.
6. An innovative attitude
Thinking outside the box doesn’t just apply to your product lines.
If you want to keep growing as a business, you can’t cling to the old ways forever.
Eventually, your demographic might move on, or your service might become less useful than it once was.
When that happens, the ability to think outside the box and consider new and untapped markets will stand you in great stead for growth.
If you let your thinking stagnate, your business will, too.
7. The right staff
At some point, most businesses need to hire extra staff in order to keep themselves afloat.
As your business grows, you’re going to find that the tasks before you are too numerous and overwhelming to handle by yourself, and that’s when you need to start hiring people.
Of course, it’s important to make sure that you’re hiring the right folks, too; bad hiring practices could lead to more problems than solutions.
Pay close attention to the interview process and clearly define your staff parameters before you start your search.
8. Great customer service
What’s the secret to retaining repeat customers? We’ll tell you: great customer service.
If your customers feel like they’re being appreciated and valued as both customers and people, they’ll keep on coming back.
Of course, you shouldn’t confuse good customer service with forcing your customer service personnel to endure abuse,
But making sure that your team is professional, friendly, and efficient at all times will go a long way towards ensuring growth.
9. Strong values
In this day and age, it’s more important than it’s ever been to keep strong values at the core of everything your company does.
These values will drive your mission statement and serve as the backbone for your business plan.
They should be more than just corporate buzzwords; they should summarise what you’re doing and why you’re good for both people and your environment.
Customers like to see responsible, ethical companies, so your values should communicate your approach to those qualities to your customers.
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10. Realistic expectations
Growth, contrary to popular belief, isn’t achieved by simply shooting for the moon every time you do something.
Instead, you should keep a fine balance between realistic expectations and ambition.
This isn’t easy to do; if it was, then every single business would be wildly successful.
Knowing when to take a risk and when to scale back is the mark of a great entrepreneur, and growth will come if you manage to juggle this dichotomy effectively.