5 tips on growing your small business in 2016

Helen Daniels, digital content creator at TextMagic, presents a detailed guide on growing your business in 2016

Starting a successful small business is a difficult task in itself and maintaining excellence standards while struggling to balance the books can be daunting in the beginning but once you’ve mastered it you can take a deep breath and celebrate that it’s taken off. Now that you’ve managed to build and shape your business you may be looking into smart and cost-efficient ways to expand it.

There’s no perfect formula for growing a small business but there are many ideas than can inspire you to create your own development version according to your resources and needs. Here are a few tips that you can use, mix and try in order to help you increase your customer base, productivity, sales and revenue.

1. Optimise operations

Before you make significant investments in expanding your business make sure there are no major improvements that are still needed within your company’s infrastructure.

Maintaining the excellence of your operations is vital for upholding the high standards of quality and efficiency that have helped you succeed so far and having a strong infrastructure will ensure that your company will be able to handle the growth. Keep allotting sufficient resources to maintaining and optimizing your operations so that your business keeps running like a well-oiled machine. If your infrastructure stops being reliable every aspect of your business will feel immediate negative consequences of that fact.

Focusing too much on development can impact other vital aspects of your work such as product quality and customer support, which are factors that make your business successful in the first place. Lowered product quality can cause your business to lose many customers and it can easily happen if you don’t pay enough attention to internal company practices.

2. Monitor costs

Establishing a wise growth strategy is vital to your success since failing to monitor operating costs can lead to financial instability. It’s better to grow your small business slower and keep product quality and customer relationships at high standards than to focus too much on expanding fast and disregarding other important aspects of your work.

Repeat customers and repeatable sales are very important for the long-term success of your business so retaining existing loyal customers and maintaining quality rates should always come first. Make sure that your planned growth takes place at a reasonable pace so that you don’t have to stretch your resources too thin and that other aspects of your business don’t suffer because of the expansion.

3. Advertise

Advertisement is a necessary part of any successful marketing strategy and there are many easily accessible tools that can help you run a great marketing campaign and increase your customer database.

Build your business by advertising smartly and effectively and use all the resources you have available to you. Online advertisements, business text messages, emails and social media accounts are all great marketing tools so learn how you can use them to promote your business.

There are many marketing strategies that you can use so find the methods that work best for your company and build on them.

4. Open another location carefully

Although opening an additional location is one of the most common ways in which entrepreneurs try to expand their business, it needs careful planning and research in order to be successful. Costs should be monitored very carefully so that your bottom-line profits stay the same throughout the process and your management and administrative infrastructure should be in tip-top shape in order to successfully start a consistent and efficient activity in your new location while keeping your company operations running smoothly.

Make sure you do your research when it comes to economic and market trends before you decide to expand this way so that you maximize your chances of success. Opening another location is a natural step in developing your business but you should start considering it only after you’ve seen steady growth in your business over a longer period of time. 

5. Become more visible online

When it comes to growing your small business on a budget nothing is as efficient in this day and age as creating a strong presence for your company online. With more and more companies turning to the internet for transactions, marketing campaigns and research it’s almost compulsory that you take your business online.

Having a user-friendly, effective website is a must for most companies nowadays and establishing your business’ internet presence will go a long way in enriching your customer base. Most people go online to find information about the products and services that they need so the easiest way to make sure that your customers find you easily is to create a company website.

You can use the website not only to showcase the products and services that you are offering but also to help customers access all the basic information they need to know about your business without having to make phone calls or write emails. Keeping your website appealing by frequently posting relevant content on it will also help draw more visitors to it and help you get more visibility which, in turn, will generate more interest for your products.

Another excellent idea is to provide value for your website's visitors. Whether that involves a thorough content marketing strategy, a series of podcasts, instructional videos, white papers, or case studies is up to you. Many up and coming businesses can also make an impact by providing a useful free tool that visitors can benefit from. CoSchedule has created a wonderful headline analyser for content writers to use, GreenLaneSEO has an outdated content finder and Swissotel created a jaw-dropping resource whith their world etiquette map. The key point is that online visibility is accessible if and when you are creative and use your niche's particularities as strong suits. 

Creating Facebook, Twitter and Istagram accounts for your business will help you establish a better relationship between your company and your customers. You can get customer feedback on your services and products and interact with clients online in order to improve customer relationships.

Another great way to create a stronger presence online is to get involved in relevant debates about your business on social media platforms by responding to articles, blog posts and comments concerning your company. Interacting with your customers on the internet and answering their questions or sharing your opinions will help you establish better customer relationships while also garnering more interest in your products and business. If you’re new to a certain social media platform, do your research first and make sure you know all the do’s and don’ts before becoming more active online.