Small businesses make up nearly 98% of all businesses operating today. Unfortunately, only about half of new business owners will make it past 5 years, and only one-third of new businesses will reach past their 10th anniversary. If you want to defy the odds and see your business not only survive for decades but establish healthy growth, listed below are a few tips to help you do exactly that.
Ways to Effectively Market
Before the net, business owners had to rely on direct mailings and trade shows as the two best ways to market themselves. While both of these still offer positive results, there are new ways to market your products that can give you almost instantaneous profits. Social media is something that a majority of the population, young and old, use daily. And, while costs continue to rise when it comes to promoting your business, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter provide a cost-effective way to reach millions of people in a single day. You can place ads that target your particular audience and gain the use of exceptional tools with customizable options to put your business out in front of the competition.
Farming Out Services
Running a business, especially a small one, requires everyone to be on board. Keeping up with the administrative stuff like your website and marketing preparations can consume a lot of your valuable time. This is where outsourcing can help. For instance, transcription services are cost-effective since you will use them only as needed, they allow you to meet deadlines, and free you up so you can focus your efforts on the business operations.
Adopting New Employee Practices
Every small business owner knows how hard it is to find good employees. Recruiting services now play a big role in finding quality help. However, once you have your dream staff, you want to keep them happy. Thankfully there are several ways to keep your employees happy and discourage them from looking for a new job. Sometimes your employees may need to work different hours or even from home. Offering flexible hours and the ability to work from home is a new perk offered by many companies. Promoting from within is another benefit to existing employees who want a job where there's room for advancement.
Let's face it, there are a lot of people selling the same products and offering the same services as your business. So what makes your business stand out? Many business owners still don't understand the value of excellent customer service. Poor customer service can ruin your business's reputation, cost you existing customers, prevent effective marketing results and even cause good employees to seek new employment. Today with everything happening instantaneously, it doesn't take more than a millisecond for your business to begin to spiral downward. Make sure that everyone who deals with your customers has proper training on the company policies and learns effective ways to handle dissatisfied customers.
Presence in the Community
In order to sustain growth year after year, you must continue to bring in new business and keep them around. A great way to do both is to connect with people in your community. Hosting a sponsored event or setting up a booth at the local fair gives your exposure in a setting outside the office. It lets people who might only know of you by name get up close and personal, making a real connection.
Small business owners don't have a large budget to shell out large sums of money. However, they can offer incentive programs to drive up their sales numbers. Using existing customers by offering a small finder's fee will encourage your loyal base to refer clients to your business. A rewards program also works for your employees; the more sales they produce, the more they earn in their paycheck each month.
If your small business numbers aren't growing at the rate you desire, it only takes a few simple changes to get you headed in the right direction to achieve success.