As you maintain and grow your small business, it’s important to keep continued focus on some of the solid practices that helped get you to where you are today. There are many ways small businesses can grow and expand. Generating new business by growing your customer base is important to your business success. However, it can sometimes be very challenging.
Understand Your Customer’s Needs
Most big businesses have carved out their own corner of the market. Pepsi, for instance, was losing to Coca-Cola in the soft drinks market until it segmented the market and started focusing on a young, fun-loving demographic. Today many Pepsi ads targeting that demographic feature pop stars and other young status symbols, a strategy that has helped it grow into a heavyweight cola company. Similarly, Red Bull gets its energy drinks in front of a young, adventurous crowd – its own segment of the market – and even owns a Formula One racing team. Understand your customer’s needs and develop products and services that meet those needs. You can gain insight into your customers by personalising your services and encouraging them to provide you with feedback. Create a strategic direction for your company and do your best to stick to it. That’s hard sometimes for a newer, small organisation that is trying to make it’s own place in the marketplace. Sometimes you have to roll with the changes and adjust your expectations and plans mid-stream in order to survive. However, keeping these changes to a minimum in order to stay focused on the good planning and ideas that got you this far is also important. And customers like consistency.
New Corner of The Market
You can also grow and expand your business by carving out a new corner of the market. Research your market to identify a viable segment of consumers you can target by searching the Internet and even checking with the local chamber of commerce. Narrow down who your main competitors are, who they are serving, what they are offering and areas that are undeserved. This way you will be able to eliminate part of the larger market and carve out a corner of the market for yourself that you can focus on and grow your business. As you create and develop your small business, it’s like that it is a one-man or one-woman show for a while. As you grow, it can be very difficult to want to relinquish any of that decision-making and control to someone who comes in from the outside. Trust your own judgment as you add skilled resources to your company and find ways to delegate increasingly meaningful tasks and responsibilities so that at the same to you’re actually working toward upgrading your management. Word of mouth is often a small businesses greatest lead generator, so having great products and services that people talk about is a critical part of your brand and why you are in business. Even the most outgoing and charming small business owner is not going to succeed in bringing customers back, unless the product or service they provide delivers and exceeds expectations. Don’t lose sight of your product – keep refining it, testing new offerings, and making sure you always put product first, not the money it brings in.
Expanding a small business usually requires substantial investment of time and money, which is why it’s vital to develop a marketing plan beforehand. A marketing plan will ensure you are not only sticking to your expansion schedules, but also spending your marketing resources wisely and appropriately. Typically, a good marketing plan will outline everything from understanding your target market to understanding your competitive position in that market and how you intend to reach that market, as well as the costs of how you are going to achieve your expansion goals within a certain time-frame.