Starting a small business is incredibly difficult, but keeping it growing and operational is even more challenging sometimes. Outside of the obvious tasks essential to daily operations, there’s so much more you can do to improve your reach and bring in new customers. Whether it’s optimizing your decision-making, building your customer loyalty, or creatively expanding your advertising, small business owners have a lot of options for increasing their profits. Let’s go over five things you can do right now to improve your small business.
1. Focus on your OKRs
OKRs, or Objectives and Key Results, are an often overlooked place for improvement. That’s where OKR software comes in. Being consistent with your OKRs is a key part of optimizing your business. Whether it’s individual OKRs or company OKRs, defining and aligning your small business’s highest priorities will help you decide where you need to improve and what you could do better to support your goals.
2. Improve the customer experience
Your customers are what keeps your business running, so make sure you have a way to provide a positive experience. Request feedback from your customers, even if it’s negative, because you need to know what’s working and what isn’t. If customers contact your business, make sure to respond promptly and in an informative way. Be patient and pay attention to their issues and communicate what you’re doing to resolve them. You can also offer loyalty discounts and rewards programs to encourage repeat business.
3. Find unique advertising opportunities
Promoting your business is more than just buying television or newspaper ads now. Whether it’s improving your social media strategy, investing in a digital billboard in a strategic location, or using viral marketing techniques, you need to be open-minded about how to reach as many people as possible. Social media especially can reach thousands of people at once when you build an audience. Pay attention to trends and figure out if there’s a way to join in with information about your small business. If your business is focused on a specific type of customer, research demographics and consider a digital billboard in a relevant location. Just keep your mind open and take every opportunity available to grow your audience.
4. Network and expand your contacts
If your industry offers conferences or networking events in your area, don’t miss the opportunity to attend. You could meet influential contacts who you can work with in the future. You can find employees, customers, and even investors if you’re diligent about expanding your network of connections. Make sure you treat your employees and partners well; word of mouth is another important way to connect with helpful people and negative comments can sink your reputation.
5. Consider taking out a loan
Everyone knows that starting a small business requires money, as does maintaining one. If you find yourself short on money, there are a lot of programs available for you to obtain additional funding. Look at different banks and lending firms to make sure you’re getting the best terms. If you’re denied, you can seek out a guarantor and have them back your application for a small-business loan. If you default, the SBA loan makes it easier for the lender. Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions before accepting an SBA loan.
Running a small business is a difficult task and there are so many areas for improvement that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Still, there are resources available to every business owner to help improve their finances, customer base, and reputation. Expanding your advertising with social media marketing and targeted digital billboards will make more customers aware of your business. You can also optimize your organization’s objectives using personal, company, and product OKRs. No matter what you choose to do, you should always prioritize positive customer experiences, and don’t be afraid to seek out a loan if you need one. If you’re thorough and conscientious, your small business will be thriving in no time.