The first few months of operating a small business are some of the toughest. If you manage to get past those initial hurdles and see significant growth in your business, it may be time to expand. When you’re ready to grow your small business, these top tips will help point you in the right direction.
Focus on Customer Satisfaction
You may think that growing your business means constantly courting new potential customers. And in many ways, it is—but don’t neglect your current customer base!
Look at what your existing customers are buying and offer them more of what they want. Complement your most popular products and services with new and innovative ones. For example, if you sell environmentally friendly makeup, consider offering vegan skin-care products as well.
Expand Your Staff
If you have crunched the numbers and determined that it’s time to grow your business, hire more employees to help you meet rising demand. Focus on hiring high-quality workers who care about your company as much as you do. To do that, look for the following traits in potential new hires:
- Honesty and integrity
- A friendly demeanor (especially important for sales and customer service roles)
- Top-tier communication skills
- Natural problem-solving abilities
- A genuine passion for helping you improve your business
Take to Social Media
Social media engagement is a powerful way to interact with your customer base and find out what they love about your business—and what they’d like to see more of.
Encourage your customers to interact with you on social media, perhaps by offering discounts or freebies to those who provide feedback. Also, look at what people are saying about your business and your products! If customers respond well to a particular product or service, expand your offerings in that area. Use negative feedback as an opportunity to fine-tune your business and fix any problems you may have overlooked.
Engage With Your Community
One particularly reliable way to grow your small business is to cement yourself as an integral part of your community. Give back!
Consider donating a portion of proceeds from every sale to charities or fundraising efforts that have a direct and positive impact on your community. Partner with other small businesses in the area to effect even greater change.
In the meantime, think about actionable changes you can make to your business that will make the world around you a little better. Invest in renewable energy solutions and environmentally friendly products, and let your customers know you care about the community at large. Your brand reputation will flourish as a result!
If you’re ready to take your small business to the next level, use these tips to help you expand and flourish. Your employees, customers, and community will thank you for your tireless work.
Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist who appears weekly in the Los Angeles Wave newspaper and can be reached at [email protected].