Grow Your Small Business
Physical retail space is no longer the only way to sell a product. With the ability to sell online with sites or apps like Etsy, owning a store front is no longer strictly necessary to starting a successful small business. There are many ways to grow your new or already existing small business whether its brick and mortar or web-based. While it may be stressful, the time and effort put into the endeavor will prove to be well worth it when you begin to see results.
Its vital to know your customer and be able to cater to their unique needs; choose your target audience and really endeavor to connect with them. Forbes insists that a customer first model is the key to a successful business; in this, a small business has a distinct advantage over a larger corporation.More resources are readily available to dedicate to customer interaction. Find ways to show you truly value the time and business of customers, both old and new, to organically create a bond that will have them wanting to make repeat visits.
A good example might be an e-mail list; have them sign up at checkout or give the option to subscribe on your website. Have a weekly newsletter that details new products, sales, events, and any other useful information. In the case of a physical location, you may consider a punch card. Every time a purchase is made, the card is stamped. After a certain number of visits, a discount on the next purchase or some other incentive is offered. Overall, ensure a positive visit with good customer service interactions that will more than pay off in the long run.
A good way to build and expand your customer base is by embracing social media. Beyond having a presence on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, consider taking advantage of services like BlueJeans that offer interactive webcasting to reach out in a variety of ways. Consider hosting a live event; involve a few other local businesses if possible.The offer of a combined giveaway is a good way to boost interest and viewership. Thinking of other ways to join up with companies can be mutually beneficial. For example, if you own a bakery with the ability to brew and serve coffee, talk with a local roaster about teaming up and selling bags of their coffee alongside your own creations.
It isn’t necessarily possible to be all things to all people. Think of where you may be lacking, then think of who you know. Want fliers to help boost foot traffic? Looking to set up a more professional looking web page? Hoping to optimize your existing site’s functionality?Just need some extra help running the counter if you have a store front? Entrepreneur recommends “freeing up cash flow” by bringing in others part time (which will also help you develop a network). From freelance artists to your sister’s teenaged kids, don’t underestimate the value of bringing in help and utilizing the talents of others. This not only gives you a little extra help but someone to bounce ideas off as well.Don’t allow stress to overwhelm you; you set the tone for your business. Let it be a good one.
With some savvy thinking and flexibility, you’ll be on the path to growing your business in no time. Whether you have a physical location or will be selling product through an online venue, there are steps you can take to spur sales and interest; remain hands on where you can and take every opportunity to build community. Remember to seek out and accept help to help reduce the stress of possibly taking on too many tasks at once. Even if it takes time, the end result will be worth the work.
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