What makes one small business grow and another just survive? For quite a while, we have attempted to deal with this one question. As harsh as it may sound, it is as true as it is. Many people spend years cultivating a small business that stays a small business.
If you were to ask any small business owner what their ultimate goal is, at least 90% of them would say, more sales, more money, more clients. But do they understand what it takes to grow your small business? Being in the business of selling ice cream machines, many of our clients are small businesses that have hopes of expanding across the nation. There are 11,024 ice cream shops in the US who’s population is 328.2 million, resulting in an amazingly huge space for growth. Remember we said that the average American eats ice cream 4 out of 7 days a week in our last blog, so we don’t even need to crunch the number to understand the growth possibilities for an ice cream business. If you were curious though you can check out calculator to see what the numbers look like for yourself. As any other business there are core rules for business growth, but today we’ll want to touch on some of the not so foundational ways of growth for small businesses.
1. Choosing the best employees for your business.
You want to create an interviewing process that will weed out the potential employees who aren’t committed to seeing your vision work. Yes, we know that many job applicants may not usually be as passionate about the business as the owner, but an intense interview process can be a great tool for choosing the best employees. The chosen employee ought to trust in your vision and needs to execute it as well as could be expected. Your staff is your more distant family, however in contrast to family, you have a decision in the person hired.
2. Always Think Ahead Of Your Business.
Ordinarily, entrepreneurs become nearsighted, seeing only a limited perspective on business which they are quite content with. What gives some room for growth over others, is the ability to think and plan ahead. You must be able to foresee changing trends and patterns and adapt the business to suit. Take for example the trend for vegan food items including ice cream. The plant -based industry is expected to be valued at $10.7 billion by 2027, so if you were thinking ahead, you should already be serving vegan ice cream or preparing to add some vegan options to your menu.
3. Focusing On Customer Service For Your Business
Nowadays, every business owner we talk with stresses on the importance of client relations and services; well they are so right. Compared to larger companies, small business owners are usually the ones who answer the questions, reply to the comments, and take all the phone calls; so it’s an easier task for you to leave a lasting impression on your clients. As a small business you have a better opportunity to anticipate, and respond to customer’s needs much faster than a big corporation. Although engagement is a big part of dealing with your customers, personalizing their experience plays an enormous role for returning clients. Use this for your benefit. Make sure everything in the business is consistent with the client’s viewpoint without altering what your business stands for.
4. Invest In Your Business
Within the early stages of your business, you’ll most probably see a lean profit margin if any at all, so everything that the business makes should be invested into its growth. Small businesses have a better opportunity to invest in themselves in the early years, more so than larger companies. It is important to invest heavily into your business from early, as this sets the pace for your growth in the future. We know it’s tempting to pocket your profits, but putting back into a part of the business that needs it, would allow you to reap greater rewards later on.
5. Your Business Social Responsibility
Consumers want to purchase from businesses that have morals. People want to know that they are supporting a business that adds value to the world, through change or consideration. Such things are feeding the poor, clothing the homeless and even just donating a portion of funds to your favorite charity can be favorable to you and increase your business’ growth. There are so many ways to be socially responsible, you should be able to find one that aligns with your business.
6. Focus On Your Business Social Media Presence.
As we all know, social media is a great way to grow your brand’s awareness in your industry. Creating profiles on platforms gives ways for strangers (non clients) to get to know who you are. Social media should be used to tell the bussiness’ story through high quality visual campaigns. As a small business social media can be used as a free marketing and advertising tool. You can use these platforms to spread the word of your menu items, specials, or even just general business information. The content shared should be engaging and focused on who your business is. If you are an ice cream shop, your social media should reflect that. If you’re the one who’s providing the supplies for the ice cream shop, then your social media should reflect that. It’s also a great tool to check out your competition and stay engaged with your clients.
There are so many rules and guidelines to follow when it comes to the growth of you business, but at the end of the day, each business is different, and would take different steps to grow. Knowing what your business stands for; the master plan of the business, and how you envision your future to be, definitely affects how you plan and implement the strategies for growing your business. Don’t be discouraged by set backs, those are expected, but be courageous in pushing your business to the highest level of success and the rest will fall in place.