Talk to any small business owner and you’ll likely hear something along these lines: “Business is going well, but we’d love to get the word out even more.” Establishing and growing a small business is no easy task, and there are certainly no magic formulas to get there. Thankfully, by avoiding common mistakes small businesses make and adhering to a solid business plan, it can certainly be done. Here are our top five (5) fundamentals for growing your small business.
1. Start with a Fundamental Business Plan
No successful business started without a strong business plan. Business plans can be as simple or complex as is required for your industry and for your goals. For example, an independent contractor looking to start his or her own plumbing business might not need the level of detail as a tech startup. Yet plumbers still need to set out goals, set prices, and understand the economics of their industry before striking out alone.
Starting with a solid business plan is only as effective as your willingness to stick to it. Adaptation to changing circumstances notwithstanding, the fundamentals of a solid business plan should remain a central part of your decision making moving forward.
2. Store and Analyze Customer Data
Customer data analysis is nothing new. Companies have been studying their customers and non-customers for centuries to make well-informed business decisions. Today analyzing customer data has never been easier! With modern POS systems and/or Enterprise Resource Planning software, businesses of all sizes can store, track, and analyze customer activity. With this information, it is possible to manage inventory, shift your business model, and even pinpoint future marketing efforts to maximize growth potential.
3. Differentiate Your Business from the Competition
Market saturation is a pervasive issue in many modern industries. How can your business be expected to grow in sectors that are already dominated by well-established companies? The answer is to differentiate your business from the competition and find your unique niche in the market. Common methods of finding your niche include:
Solving a unique problem
Targeting a smaller, more specific market
Innovate with new or improved technology
Offer goods and/or services which cannot be found anywhere else
Offer unparalleled customer service
And much more!
4. Focus on Customer Experience (Wow Moments)
The dream scenario for businesses of all sizes is to turn their customers into loyal brand advocates. If you have an army of loyal customers who are willing to spread the good word of your business, organic growth is sure to follow. But how exactly can this dream scenario be achieved? While providing top-end products and services is always a huge priority, creating “wow moments” for your customers is the most surefire way to keep them coming back.
Customer experience is the cornerstone of brand advocacy. The fact of the matter is that most products will have an equivalent elsewhere in the marketplace. What your customers will remember is their interaction with your brand. Whether you focus on customer experience through excellent customer service, using customer feedback loops, or anticipating customer needs, wowing your customers is a great way to ensure that they will continue to think of your company well into the future.
5. Use Marketing Techniques to Build Your Brand
Last but certainly not least, marketing for small businesses has never been more accessible. In fact, with the advent of blogs and social media marketing, small businesses can put out loads of marketing content for little to no up-front investment. Through email newsletters, social media marketing, creating free content, and community outreach, marketing remains the best way to grow your small business.
It should also be stated that despite the accessibility of free marketing methods, most small businesses will at some point invest in advertisements, work with a marketing firm, or both. The key is to find a reputable firm and/or advertising platform which will give the most bang for your buck.
As a final thought, all of these outreach programs should be considered an extension of your brand personality. Every interaction your business has with the public through an ad or through a google review, the response should reflect your unique brand personality. Customers will get to know your values, your ideas, and your products’ unique selling points through this curated personality.
True Merchant Helps Growing Businesses with Payment Processing and More!
True Merchant is proud to offer payment processing solutions that are simple, secure, and supported by a qualified team of industry professionals. Our products range from online payment solutions, credit card machines, mobile credit card machines, and of course payment processing.
At True Merchant, we understand that choosing a payment processing service is not what most business owners look forward to. It can be daunting, confusing, and it isn’t the most thrilling part of operating a business. However, working with a well-established payment processor will allow your business to meet customer expectations for convenience, stay protected from fraudulent activity, and avoid costly fees.
This is a very important decision for any business. Contact True Merchant today to learn about how our payment processing services can help your business reach the next level!