Startups are popping up globally at an alarming rate. They are increasingly popular because people today are generally more adventurous and risk-taking, and are more open-minded to the idea of entrepreneurship.
Setting up a small business is relatively easy because all you need is enough capital. Growing a small business, however, is not so easy.
Most startups don’t make it past their fifth year because of the general difficulty of sustaining the business for long-term growth. Starting a business from scratch means that a lot has to be invested at the beginning, which also means heavy losses, and if the start-up doesn’t reap profits by the end of the first few years, it becomes difficult to continue running operations.
Building a unique brand
For a small and new business, it is difficult to break into the market, especially when there are larger competitors with a well-established market presence. Therefore, it is important to capitalize on the difference between your product or service to make it seem like a better alternative. This draws attention to the proåduct as well as the business and helps to bring in loyal customers.
Of course, this has to be done only after careful market research of the industry. Finding out the top competitors, figure out what the industry is lacking, and offer that – an unrivalled uniqueness.
Maintaining good customer relations
Customers are the primary source of revenue for all businesses or business services providers in terms of sales. Customer relations are extremely important to small businesses because they are relatively new and small, and therefore easily gets overshadowed by larger competitors, which makes it difficult to attract more customers.
This means that every single customer is precious, and it is the firm’s responsibility to maintain a good relationship with previous customers for customer retention.
Having good customer service will also contribute to increasing the number of repeat customers. They will help to spread the word of the business by mouth after having their own satisfactory experience, and this is free publicity for the company. It helps to build brand reliability, and will ultimately increase sales.
Customer relations can also be maintained by using a CRM (customer relations management) tool to record every single transaction ever made, as well as information about past customers. With the CRM tool, regular updates can also be sent to customers to constantly update them about what the company has been up to, or their future plans.
Trading in general
Trading, if done properly, can be an additional source of income for a small business. However, this should only be done if the company has additional reserves they want to invest. Spending too much on investments will be detrimental because the small business is not large enough to withstand the high risks that come with trading.
Companies can learn to trade in different markets depending on what is relevant to their industry, and by doing so they will also get to learn more about the market.
To grow a small business, long-term planning has to be done. The truth is that most small businesses end up failing because of bad planning, or short-sighted planning.
A good business plan should include clear-cut goals and objectives, and specific strategies to achieve such goals. For example, a specific marketing strategy to achieve the intended customer base by the end of the year.
Long-term planning is also important to prevent the growth of the company to stagnate. Smaller goals are set when the company is of a smaller size, but as time passes and if the magnitude of the company’s goal does not increase, it will remain a small company forever.
Of course, plans will change based on various circumstances, and the inability to adapt to changes often results in the company doing badly.
Get on social media
Social media has proven to be very powerful in advertising products, and potential customers can be gained, especially in today’s economy. Through social media, the company can also find out what the general consensus about their product is, and get the help of influencers to further promote their product.
This will be particularly effective if the company is doing something that can be presented in a visual way – for example, a travel business. Photos of scenic places can be posted on social media platforms such as Instagram or Pinterest to attract customers.
Attending related networking events is important for small businesses. Since being small can be a disadvantage, getting to know competitors or other larger companies in the industry can be advantageous. It allows for learning and refining of the products put out, and teaming up with a larger company will definitely help to put the smaller company’s name out there in the market.
Networking with companies in other industries can also help the new business in other ways, since building relationships with other people allows them the opportunity to refer potential clients to your company. Also, there might come a day in the future whereby their help can be enlisted, and become even more beneficial to the company.
As today’s economy is increasingly digitalized, companies need to keep up with the trends to avoid falling behind and instead continue to their growth in the ever-changing market.