Small Business Owners: 8 Practical Business Growth Ideas

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Generating more customers is a crucial business growth strategy. However, it is easier said than done. But that should not always be the case. Here are practical business growth ideas for small business owners.

Know your customers 

The first step is to understand your customers. Know their needs so you can tailor your products and services to meet those specific needs. You have to gain insight into your clients. To make this more manageable, you should personalize your services and ask for feedback. A survey is another perfect way to understand your clients. 

Improve your customer service

The customer experience (CX) is fast becoming a crucial factor when it comes to business growth. You have to ensure your customer service is exceptional to retain your existing customers and attract more. When you offer great customer services, your clients are more likely to refer other people to the business. 

Leverage the power of social media 

Social media has become a very powerful business tool. Increasing your social media presence is a great marketing strategy. Additionally, you can use social media influencers for marketing your brand and promoting your growth. Use this company to build your profile and attract new customers through social media campaigns. 

Create a network 

Networking is one of the best business growth strategies. Invest your time and money into building networks that will help you achieve the desired growth. Nowadays, business is all about who you know instead of what you know. Networking will allow you to build positive relationships with like-minded people in the industry and beyond. You can also use your network to gain more customers and experience. 

Create and host an event 

Creating and hosting an event is a great way to promote your brand and expand your customer base. For instance, you can create an exhibition and invite an industry leader to offer a keynote to your customers. This strategy will encourage more people to interact with your products and services.

Nurture your existing customer base

Do you have strategies to nurture your clients? Start creating lasting relationships with your existing customers to improve the retaining rate. There are many ways of doing this. For instance, you can improve how you stay in touch with your customers. Additionally, you should find new opportunities to increase production to cater to the growing customer base. 

Create brand awareness through CSR

Creating brand awareness is essential if you want to grow your business. Initiate community development projects or sponsor a community tournament or event to raise your business profile. Corporate social responsibility is an excellent business strategy to give back to the community and raise brand awareness. 

Track your progress

With all things said and done, you should evaluate your performance to see what works and what does not work for your business. Monitor your systems and identify areas that need improvement to boost growth. Accordingly, do not be afraid to try out different strategies until you find what is best for business growth. 

Final thoughts 

If you are a small business owner, growth should be in your goals. What you do and how you do it determines the success of your company. Give your business a big presence by going online and using social media influencers, among other tips. 

Simple Tips To Help Your New Business Save Money

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As a small business owner, you understand that every dime counts. Cutting costs and making significant savings is one way to make substantial profits in your business. The second most common reason for startup failure is a lack of cash to keep operations running. A prudent business owner will maximize savings while prioritizing expenses.

Every business can benefit significantly from cost-cutting measures; however, startups must go above and beyond to illustrate their financial viability to investors. Here are a few pointers to help you keep track of your finances and maximize your company’s profitability.

#1 Use second-hand equipment where possible

To begin, it is best to purchase used or refurbished equipment, from computers to Roland printers.  For a new business that has recently received funding, you must exemplify to your investors some of your wise financial decisions. Pumping money into brand new equipment and machinery can deter investors due to the increased operating costs.

Auctions are a great place to start when looking for used equipment. Other businesses frequently close their doors and end up selling their office equipment at low prices.

#2 Start off digitally

You may be eager to open an office for your new company. That being said, it would be best if you reassessed whether this is the best course of action to take at the very beginning. For example, if your company allows you to work remotely, you can set up a structure that allows you to communicate with your customers and employees. You may also want to consider renting an office space as your company grows.

#3 Make use of open-source software

The use of non-proprietary software is a great and easy way to save money. Accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll management can all be aided by open-source software. One disadvantage of open source software is that it does not provide official support. Critical functions, such as cloud backup, could be missing. Once your business is turning over a decent profit, you may want to look at upgrading the software.

#4 Make use of outsourcing

Outsourcing work can help you save money for your company. You do not have to pay for health insurance or vacation days as you would if you hired employees. Furthermore, because the outsourced staff is typically well-equipped, you are not required to provide them with a phone, computer, or any other work materials. Thirdly, if your work demand decreases, you are free to make changes to your agreement on how many people you use or the hours that they work.

#5 See if you are entitled to any state or government funding

Governments and the private sector are often providing grants and competitions to businesses that provide cordial solutions to everyday problems. Your startup can benefit from such grants and earn more money for capital. A grant can assist your company in acquiring the necessary equipment and machinery for its business operation.

Paying close attention to these cost-cutting suggestions can result in significant savings for your company. There are always risks associated with running a business. As a result, cost-cutting measures can assist you in building your finances in preparation for any unexpected events.

Moving Your Business Into a Building? Here’s What You Need to Know

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If you’re a small business owner and you’ve started to see continual growth, that’s something you should be proud of! Small businesses are currently playing a huge role in overall economic growth in the U.S, and they have been for a while. The first three quarters of 2014 alone saw small businesses add 1.4 million jobs

With business growth, however, often comes the issue of “outgrowing” your current workspace. Whether you started your business from home or you’ve always had a small office, it’s never a bad thing to upgrade – especially if you’re adding more employees to your operation. 

If you really want to move forward with your business, you’ll need the right space to do so. But, moving to a new location for the first time can feel overwhelming. With that in mind, let’s look at a few tips you can use to make the transition to a new space easier on you and your employees, so you can continue to grow and achieve success.

Set a Budget

As you start looking at new spaces, it’s important to have a set budget in mind. While you consider the cost of the building itself (or the monthly rent), don’t forget about other fees and hidden costs you might face. 

Additionally, it’s important to think about any upgrades or renovations you might want to do and include those in the cost. Things like upgrading appliances, putting in new carpet, using roof coating, or even just painting and remodeling can all cost money, so include renovation factors into your budget before you make a final space decision. 

Research the Right Locations

You might think you’ve found the dream location for your business, but there are many things to consider aside from the size and functionality of the building. 

Will it be easy for people to get to, including your employees, suppliers, clients, etc.? What is the crime rate in the surrounding neighborhood? Are there any other businesses nearby? When you move into a building, you want to become a part of your community as quickly as possible, just like when you move into a new home. If the area around that building feels like a ghost town, it might not be the best place for you. 

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Moving is stressful, no matter what. Even if you have everything perfectly organized and you have a timeline in place, it’s not easy. So, give yourself plenty of time to transition from one building to another. 

You might even consider a “staggered” move so operations can continue in your current business space while you slowly integrate more employees and equipment into the new space. It can make the move easier for everyone and won’t feel as overwhelming. Staggering your move will also have less of an impact on workflow, so you’ll still be able to meet deadlines and work directly with your clients without feeling disrupted. 

Congratulations on outgrowing your initial business space. Keep these tips in mind to make your growth easier, so you can focus on an upward momentum, instead of getting tied up in the details of a building.

Protecting Your Brick And Mortar Store From A Storm

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Although online businesses have major advantages over real-world businesses, they still don’t have the charm of a retail store. A brick and mortar store is something you can touch, see and smell. It’s a bit of an experience for customers as they walk in and absorb your business for the first time. However there are inherent weaknesses to a real-world store also because it has to stand tall against the elements. That’s one of the biggest worries that small business owners have. How they will fair in a situation like Hurricane Katrina is always in the back of their minds. Thankfully however many things have changed and we are seeing new ways of protecting your business from such an event. Bear in mind that sometimes you just cannot avoid some damages as mother nature is all-powerful. But here’s how you can make a start.

Tying up loose ends

The number one way storms hurt businesses in the real world is through projectile damage. This is when the storm winds are so violent that they pick up lightweight objects and hurl them at your storefront. Things like sign stands, loose objects like trash cans and products that you showcase outside can turn dangerous. So avoid any of these sorts of happenings you can move everything inside quickly. Store the racks and signs in your storage space or just leave them closer to the exit so they’re easier to get back out again. Another thing you can do is to fit storm shutters so they can quickly be deployed and protect the entirety of your storefront.

Gutter and fold

Awnings are especially vulnerable to storms as they are essentially sails in the wind that get picked up or blown flat off their hinges. However the sudden increase in rain is also a concern because the build up is not usually taken into account. Awnings are not really designed to take many liters of rainwater and still be left standing. If you do suffer such damage you can contact a professional awnings repair company and keep the same awning you have but just have it fixed up. Obviously, it’s far cheaper than replacing it by buying a brand new one. They can also reinforce the awning with storm resistant measures such as bolstering the joint supports and using better materials. You can have a word with them to get your desired style as well.

Regular sweeping

Wet carpets during storm season are a pain to walk on. They also bring inside the store a bad smell as grit and dirt are sunk deeper into the weaves. Therefore the simple way to manage the incoming water is to just send an employee to regularly sweep the water away from the front of the store. This will also limit the chances of a customer slipping and being injured from water inside your store.

Any real world store has to make sure it is protected against storms. The wind damages windows and entrances of stores by hurling loose objects at them. Bringing signs and products indoors until after the storm can avoid this altogether.