As you would have heard numerous times, we live in a fast moving world especially where business is concerned. New today, obsolete tomorrow. Selling your product/service is more about reaching out to your customers unlike when, it used to be the other way round. This however, could be very challenging when you are stretched and have limited resources or at least not unlimited. There’s a never ending list of tips on what every small business owner should know. However, I’d like to focus on 5 tips which is a good place to start. Please note this is practical advice for real results from feedback from businesses we have worked with.
1. Know your market (Have an online presence). Retain your current customers or clients with the most efficient form of marketing. A smooth operation leads to smoother growth. If your clients or customers are happy, you will be their first go-to and they will be more than happy to recommend you without realizing they are actually advertising your business for you. However, there needs to be a stable balance between gaining new customers (via marketing) and retaining current customers (via operations). To gain further insight into this area, have a look at our quick guide on how to develop your business performance strategies.
Effective sales and marketing lies at the heart of any successful business growth and helps to achieve business goals. Your system of marketing will very much depend on your products / services and your target market. Some businesses feel they don’t need a target market. In this day and age, for any business to grow, it needs to have a system of marketing which is geared towards its market. This could mean having an online presence, inbound marketing, social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. An intelligent investment in marketing will ensure stability and growth, if combined with strong customer retention. This will therefore help in making your business sustainable and therefore also compete effectively. Our Business Consultants at RBSS will help ensure your marketing goals align with your business goals.
2. Hire the right staff. This includes knowing your weaknesses and hiring the right staff including professionals to help put the right systems in place. Richard Branson emphasizes on this throughout his business book; ‘Like a virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School’ This could mean outsourcing which will give you more objective ideas from a different prospective (your customer/client’s prospective), including those you and your staff may have never thought of or procrastinated on.
3. Know your finance options. The truth of the matter is that, whether you are a start-up business or an existing business that wants to grow the company to the next level, you may need some form of cash injection to help you on your way, alongside the right plan. But asking for money isn’t often that simple or easy to obtain. This includes knowing what each available option has to offer, such as business angels, equity funding, bank loan etc. Any funder, be it a business loan, equity finance or any other kind of finance will want to see a business plan and financial projections, to help them decide if investing in your idea is going to be a profitable one, or not. Some alternative funders don’t require a business plan, but carry out their assessments in a different manner. The business advisors at RBSS Consulting in Romford, Essex, help companies of all sizes get finance ready. They will also give you various options open to you. Our aim will be to help you get the right business finance, at the right rate and the right time and aim to make it as least daunting as possible.
4. Understand your product/service. Many experts agree that you need to know your product or service ‘like the back of your hand’. That is so true when people want immediate answers and you have to ‘sell yourself’. This does not pertain to you alone but your staff. There is no use having a sales person on the floor in a restaurant that does not understand what’s on the menu when a customer asks for advice. They may know what’s on the menu but not understand it. You may be the chef who owns the business but be in the kitchen. In other words you (and your staff) have to prove to be the expert in your field and you can’t afford to get questions wrong either! Knowing and understanding your product/service which is your brand should also determine your purpose, mission and values which should serve as your guide to your decisions and what you hope to accomplish in the future, which also comprises what you stand for; hence your ‘pitch’. You should truly represent your brand, keep learning more about your product/service continuously and improving it along the way by keeping yourself abreast on how to better it and therefore bring more satisfaction to your customers/clients which brings us to my next point.
5. Understand your competitors. There is often a lot of competition regardless of which industry you are in or decide to venture into. Although this again depends on your product/service. Whatever the case may be, the only way you can be ahead of the game is by knowing what your competitors are doing and aiming to deliver beyond them or something different that will bring more satisfaction to your customers/clients. Going on line, visiting your competitors’ shops. Our researchers at RBSS Consulting Ltd will help you research your local competition. We will do more than check out their websites. We will visit your competition in person, book appointments with them and see how they run their businesses. Ask them their challenges and pain-points. This in-depth research will only make your business more viable and ready to start, continue or expand your business with what you need to know as a business owner.
If you can identify with any of the 5 tips or more or require further insight into these key areas to help your company start and grow or you just want someone with the required knowledge and experience in business please connect with our business advisers at RBSS Consulting Ltd on 0333 355 1696 or drop us an email on the link below. We provide real business solutions for start-ups and existing micro and small businesses.
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