Running a small business is no easy task. You’re constantly spinning plates, trying to develop and maintain a loyal customer base while still making money in the process. Luckily, 70 percent of small businesses last at least two years. To make sure your business is a part of this majority, here are a few steps you can take.
Grow at the Right Rate
Common sense says that the goal of a small business is to grow as quickly as possible. However, you should rethink this mentality. Growing too quickly, before you have the proper support, capital, and production abilities, can be disastrous. It is much better to grow at a slow pace, only taking on further tasks, larger orders, and greater business opportunities when you have better established yourself. By waiting to grow until you have the profit margin to do so, you’ll be able to avoid losing money and will have a great system in place for even further success.
Conduct Customer Research
A good company is one that can anticipate and respond to their customers’ needs. To do this well, you should be in constant dialogue with both consumers and those who are simply in your target market. This can be done very informally by allowing reviews to be posted online or by talking to customers at your point of sale. You can also take a more formal approach by offering anonymous surveys and questionnaires to your customers. You’ll get a good sense of what they expect from your company, and they’ll feel valued and heard in the process.
Keep up with Digital Marketing
In this day and age, using traditional marketing alone is inefficient and ineffective. Your marketing should reach all channels, and a major part of your focus should be on digital marketing. This includes your website design, online advertising, and social media presence. This will allow customers to engage with your brand whenever it is most convenient to them, and you’ll be able to keep them updated on new products and promotions. As this is such an important part of a thriving business, don’t be afraid to hire outside help to make sure your messaging is as effective as possible.
Network with Other Businesses
One way to help your business continue to thrive is to work with other businesses in your community. Finding other entrepreneurs that work with your target market will allow your partnership to be mutually beneficial. You’ll each be exposed to each other’s client base, leading to a large number of new potential customers. You can try selling some of each other’s products in your stores, or both write guest posts on the other’s blog. You’ll be helping support the local economy, and customers will be impressed by your hospitality and goodwill.
Starting a small business takes a lot of time and hard work. The last thing you want is for all of that effort to go to waste on a business that fails before reaching its two-year anniversary. However, with careful planning, you can be sure your business thrives for years to come.