Business growth is the holy grail of success for many small business owners. However, unless you plan carefully and establish realistic business goals, the expansion of your SME business could turn into a runaway train putting your business at risk of incurring expenses that outweigh the returns.
To support the growth and long-term goals of your small business, consider these tips:
Invest in cost-cutting and time saving processes first
There’s an adage in business that ‘you have to spend money to make money’, but you can also spend money to save money. Look for where you can make your business leaner, more productive or more efficient and invest in those areas first. For example, by automating processes and repetitive tasks, you can free up money and manpower to scale your business. Try chatbots for customer service queries, and software with automated functionality to handle inventory and business accounting processes. Wherever you can, streamline your workflows. In doing so as it will make it easier to integrate new functions and requirements to support your business growth.
Hire the right people
Hiring and retaining the right people during your growth phase is crucial. Aim to recruit people who share your vision, possess the skills and experience to support you in achieving your business goals, and make up for any weaknesses in your existing team. Delegate wisely, demand accountability and make sure you offer compensation and benefits that will not only attract good employees, but also help you keep them. Providing high-quality training and ensuring your employees read and understand your business’ policies and procedures will help to get the best out of your people. What’s more, be sure to encourage teamwork and pair new employees with an internal ‘business mentor’ to support the on-boarding process and to make their entry into your business a smooth one.
Strengthen your company culture
When it comes to hiring and retaining good people, creating a positive culture can help maintain and motivate your team, especially during times of exponential business growth. On top of having great staff benefits, it’s also important to emphasise professional development opportunities and look for ways to enrich your work environment with activities that make your employees feel connected to each other and the business. Make sure you communicate your vision, share your core values and have concrete business goals to work towards.
Keep your existing customers happy
If your business growth strategy is focused on acquiring new customers, it can be easy to forget the loyal customers who have supported you from when you were a start-up business. Your existing customers can be your biggest brand ambassadors, so make sure you keep them in mind and consider rewards or incentives such as early ‘VIP’ access to deals, new products and services. You can also consider asking valued long-term customers to help you enhance your customer service as you grow. These customers can also be an invaluable source of information and insight into how you can improve your business and customer service, so leverage that with surveys and polls to find out what additional products or services they would like to see from you.
Build your brand visibility
Social media and community networking is a great way to build awareness of your business, both online and offline. Find influencers in your industry and work with them to help promote your business and products. Align your marketing materials with your core message, create a clear brand ‘voice’ and stay consistent across your business’ social media platforms and other marketing channels. Above all, remain accessible and responsive to your target audiences while you are growing your business. If there's a hitch, effective communication is always the best way to handle things, whether you're struggling to meet production demands or having issues with shipping vendors. Look at bumps in the road as opportunities to continue building a positive relationship with your customers.
Want to know how BOQ can back your business? Contact us today, to speak to a BOQ Business Banking specialist.