When you’ve been working hard in your business, you are naturally delighted when it starts paying off. You’ve spent uncountable hours developing your brand, working on your website, streamlining processes, and marketing your business on social media. It’s taken time to transform your initial business idea into a viable business.
As you balance on the edge of success, it can be a nerve-wracking time. How can you keep the momentum going and continue to grow your business? How can you ensure that not only your business survives, but it thrives?
Get down with the data
The temptation when you first start out in business is to try and appeal to everyone, but this is just not going to help your business in the long term. By now, you will have harvested a substantial amount of data from your clients and customers. Now is the time to really examine the data you have collected so that you can understand exactly who is buying your products or services.
Understanding your customer is not as complicated as you might think. Look at the data that you have before you and see how you can segment data into meaningful groups.
- Income bracket
- Education level
- Buying behaviors
Once you have identified the different groups, you can then extend your marketing actions to appeal to the individual groups directly. By understanding your audience, you are in a healthy position to target the market by delivering products or services that they need and want in a way that gives them and your business value.
You should also be keeping a very keen eye on your website’s data: the metrics. Your website’s metrics give you a bird’s eye view of how your visitors behave on your website in real time.
- How long are they staying on your site for?
- What links are regularly being clicked?
- What are they searching for on your website?
- What is being shared on social media?
Metrics provide you with the ability to identify shopping patterns so that you can predict what the customers want – even before they have had the thought themselves.
To get to your business to the point it is at now, you will have come across many obstacles and challenges to your business vision. Your resilience has been tested, and you will have had to draw every ounce of determination to overcome these unexpected complications. Business is a learning curve.
However, now that you achieved some success, it does not mean that you can take the foot off the pedal. You need to learn how to run your business strategically and how to avoid making decisions that put your business at risk. Suffolk University Online provides a great solution; it will give you the tools to be able to grow your venture using its data. You can accomplish an MBA remotely so that you can still earn while you learn.
By advancing your education, you can progress and drive your business forward without having to rely on expensive business consultants. This is a long-term business survival solution.
Surround yourself with top talent
No business can thrive without the right people. The people that you choose to work with to grow your business are crucial to its success. Whether you are in a position to hire talent directly or are thinking about outsourcing tasks to external parties, make sure that you select the right people for the job.
This means that you need to identify the skills that you need for your business to grow. Don’t limit your reflection solely to skills that you don’t possess. This is your time to think about your time management, and whether you can delegate tasks that you do so that you can focus on revenue creating activities.
Collaborating with other professionals is a great way to gain new perspectives on your business and your plans for it. If you are thinking about recruiting someone to join your organization, here are five things you need to consider:
- Is your drafted job description written to appeal to the candidate? Remember, recruitment is a two-way process.
- Be realistic with your expectations. No candidate is perfect, so knowing what you don’t want in a person is just as important as knowing what you do.
- Don’t just focus on a candidate’s performance to date; think about their future potential too.
- Think about the wage that you are offering. Is it like other roles that are being advertised? Be fair about the salary that you are offering. If you go to too low, you take the risk that the position won’t appeal to top talent. Look at the packages that are being offered by your competitors to guide you.
- Don’t recruit for today’s needs; have a clear understanding of where this role will go. You need to be able to give candidates a clear vision of how their career will develop. It will also help you focus on what your goals are.
Be customer service champions
Customer service is more than giving people the ability to refund and exchange. It’s about identifying ways that you can improve your business. While there are people who play the system and return goods or make complaints about what appears to be no good reason, the majority have a very good reason to contact you. Why are people complaining?
- Delivery took too long
- Goods not as described
- Goods damaged
- Got it cheaper from a competitor
All the above is feedback that you may have received. However, what did you do about it? Assuming that you honored your refund policy, did you do anything more with the information? Every piece of information that you are given from customers can be used to strengthen your brand.
- Did you seek a new courier firm?
- Did you update your website so that the product description was more accurate?
- Did you check your remaining stock for similar flaws?
- Have you completed recent competitor analysis?
Growing a business is tough, but with grit, determination, and hard work, you can continue to make it a success. Invest in top talent, learn about strategic business, learn from your customers, and above all, treat them as you wish to be treated.