It’s not easy to scale a small business to a successful and sustainable position. If you are the owner, you have to head multiple departments to make sure everything you want is done the proper way. It means you have to oversee the finances, sales and marketing, customer service, inventory or service contracts, and much more. Here are a few tips to make your job easier and more effective.
In the digital age, customer service is at the top of the list for most companies. Testimonials and comments on social media can sink a small business fast because people take the comments seriously. Your customers need to have their questions and complaints answered quickly and helpfully.
Fortunately, this can be outsourced to professionals who learn about your company and interact with happy and disgruntled customers. The professionals are trained to handle any situation and can take a big burden off of your shoulders, so you can attend to the part of the business you love.
A customer loyalty program is a good addition because it costs at least three to five times more to sell to a new customer than to a repeat customer. Loyal customers spend more time and money with companies they are loyal to. They also drive referral traffic. Here are three of many possible loyalty programs:
- Customers accumulating points with purchases to get lower prices
- Special prices for repeat customers
- Partnering with another business for all-inclusive offers
With social media dominating most people’s attention online, is email marketing still effective? According to several recent studies, email marketing is 40 percent more effective in acquiring customers than social media. Because social media filters content, the information does not reach all people.
The same studies show that 91 percent of people check their email every day and prefer to receive business information via email. One of the main benefits of email marketing is that the receivers get information that interests them. The effectiveness of an email marketing campaign depends on:
- A planned email strategy
- Relevant information to targeted individuals
- A call-to-action that motivates people to click on the right button
- Since this takes a lot of time and effort, your best option is to employ email marketing services. Some of the benefits of these services are:
- A planned, creative campaign that makes your business look professional on PCs and smartphones
- Live phone support so callers can talk to a knowledgeable person when they have questions or issues
- Eye-catching, well-designed emails
- Send you details on how many emails are opened, bounced, or clicked on
- Set up automated welcome emails
- Extend your reach to social media
Build a Professional Team
The success of your small business will also depend on the dedication of your employees. One way to motivate employees is to let them see your goals and be part of the big picture and not just a niche worker.
Effective branding is not just to attract customers, but also to give pride in belonging to your current employees and attract high-quality new employees.
Employees need to feel you will listen to their ideas and concerns. They also want to grow professionally. You can send them to training sessions, seminars, and conventions to increase their knowledge.
Many top people will only work for a business that shows social responsibility. You may publicize that you are associated with and support certain causes that complement your business’s identity. You can also support community projects such as a local sports team or annual events. These activities will not only please your employees, they will positively increase your brand awareness.
Spend Time Networking
Extending your network with other businesses and people is very important. Many small business owners overlook this important fact. If you have the chance, attend conventions where you may find investors, employees, or customers. You may find a mutually advantageous relationship with another business that helps expand both your companies.
The main benefits of networking are:
- Getting recognition
- Creating strong business connections
- Getting fresh ideas
- Getting advice and support
Growing a small business to sustainable success takes a lot of work. However, you don’t have to do it all yourself, when you can outsource some jobs to professionals who will make you look good to your customers.