Successful small business owners have a lot to be proud of. Since the majority of new businesses fail, business owners who are able to beat the odds and build a successful small business prove that they are indeed exceptional. However, small business owners also know that the key to long-term success is to continue finding ways to innovate within their business, and ultimately grow it to a larger size.
The following are five tips that can go a long way in helping small business owners grow their business, and ensure the longevity and success of their hard-earned company.
Use customer service as a way to learn about your customers
Successful business owners know that providing excellent customer service is key to building customer loyalty, as well as developing a robust and reliable referral source (it’s also the right thing to do for your paying customers). However, customer service can also be a direct benefit to your company as well.
Customers that call in with questions, concerns, or for any other reason can provide critically valuable insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your business. You should instruct your customer service team (or customer service call center partner) to pay attention to the specific reasons for customer service calls, as well as which solutions prove to be the most effective. By tracking these trends over time, you can gain valuable insights into your customer base — something you might otherwise pay a consultant thousands of dollars to do instead!
Take advantage of digital marketing — but be smart about it
Digital marketing has grown into a 12-figure industry, and is only set to grow in the years to come. There is no doubt that digital marketing can be an effective — and cost-effective — method of targeting new customers. This is also true for small businesses, including those who primarily operate in their local market (e.g. a restaurant, massage therapist’s office, etc.). However, it is important to find a digital marketing firm that spends your budget wisely. Ask them for specifics, such as what they will deliver, how they will increase sales, and specific measurements of success or failure after one month or one quarter.
Monitor your brand’s reputation online, and engage with both advocates and critics
Your reputation is critical to the long-term success of your business. In addition to having a presence on social media platforms like Facebook, you should also keep an eye out for both positive and negative mentions of your company online. See if you can directly and publicly address the concerns that are mentioned. This can go a long way in boosting your company’s reputation.
Provide loyal customers with an incentive to remain loyal
Loyalty programs are a great way to show repeat customers that you appreciate your business. The loyalty program that will work best for your business will vary depending on a number of factors, including business size, profile of your customers, industry, and countless other factors. Don’t be afraid to try different strategies out to see which works best. Remember, you don’t need to break the bank with these offers; the key is to simply show your appreciation for your loyal customers so that they remain loyal for years to come.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with advertising
Advertising is one of the most powerful ways to grow your customer base. Small business owners often get scared off by the potentially massive costs of an advertising campaign. However, the reality is that an effective advertising campaign should generate significantly more revenue than it costs to run. However, you must be willing to experiment with advertising to find the campaign that will actually produce this result. Try committing a specific amount of money each month or each quarter to “experimental advertising.” Try to think outside the box and find the most effective way to find new customers and grow your business with advertising.
For assistance with improving your customer service or capitalizing on your marketing/advertising spend, call MAP Communications today. We are in business to help you succeed by enhancing your customer experience and capturing more sales leads to grow your small business.
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