Getting your business venture off the ground is a whole new ball game, especially if you have no prior experience in it. Growing your brand requires years of effort, commitment, and persistence. When attempting to climb the corporate ladder, always be prepared for hurdles. These hurdles may be new competitions, unsatisfied customers, discontent employees, product failures, or even system glitches. Every little thing counts!
The recent years have been harsh on businesses and entrepreneurs; the pandemic has entirely changed the way businesses function. Considering the strict guidelines on physical distancing, entrepreneurs worldwide have taken a call to operate from their homes sitting with computer systems. There is no space for manual processes. Most of them have automated daily tasks such as appointment bookings, invoicing, strategizing social media content, and much more. With little time left in hand, businesses have been taking more risks to bounce back to normal. Small businesses are trying hard to make ends meet, while large companies are worried about scaling their company.
To quickly grow in this market with cut-throat competition, entrepreneurs need to take steps to deal with their customers, competitors, and stakeholders. Firstly, you have to shift your priorities and rethink strategies to reach out to people. The earliest stages of scaling your businesses’ growth involve knowing what your customers need in this present situation. However, keep a close eye on your expenses. Do not be overambitious. Try methods that fit your budget. Most importantly, step out of your comfort zone and get rid of rigid mentality to try out new avenues, even if it means adapting to new technology or partnering with new people.
If you aim to reap long-term rewards and grow customer loyalty, there are some tried-and-tested methods through which you can reach milestones.
So, take a glance at 15 secret tips and tricks to assure success and growth right from the beginning.
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1. Choose an appointment scheduling system
Every business has a slew of daily appointments with employees, clients, customers, and new prospects. Hence, there is always a rush to schedule meetings quickly. In such circumstances, an online scheduling app like Picktime will be the best solution to increase efficiency. Such apps are endowed with features for booking management like self-scheduling appointments, payment processing, invoicing, and generating business reports. Picktime lets you accept payments from clients and customers through credit cards, PayPal, Stripe, and auto-generate invoices. It also sends automated email and SMS reminders that reduce no-shows.
2. Hire the right people to build a solid team
Your business is bound to succeed if and when you have a strong team backing you up against all odds. Committed and hardworking employees have a better grasp of your company’s goals. Therefore, during the interview process, you must focus on assessing a candidate’s soft skills, abilities to cooperate, coordinate and make decisions. Above all, you have to trust your team. Free up your time by delegating tasks to your employees based on their technical know-how and qualities. It will foster a collaborative work atmosphere.
3. Properly segment your customers into subsets
Segmenting your customers into different groups based on their age, gender, choices, location, etc. helps to figure out what customers belonging to each group want. In contrast to that, in B2B marketing, you generally segment your customers based on the type of industry, location, and the number of people. Customer segmentation acts as a guiding light for your marketing team to improve their marketing efforts according to the segmentation, and thus, reach out to each group with a better message.
4. Use a Customer Management System
If you are running a startup, the path towards growth requires cutting down unnecessary time spent on manually tracking orders and leads. You need to opt for a cloud-based customer management system like Salesforce or Zendesk. It will automate the task of following up on your leads and pass them on to your sales team as quickly as feasible. So, you will get ample time to strategize your marketing initiatives like email campaigns and social media posts.
5. Expand your product/service offerings
The more you grow, the more you have to extend your product base. But, you cannot just keep adding new products without thinking about what will work and what won’t. For example, if you sell makeup products, you cannot suddenly think of selling food items. Instead, consider selling personal care products like shampoo, oils, serums, shavers, etc. It also depends on what more your present users want. Conduct market research to understand what new products or services your customers wish for. Find out how you can come out with such products but keep your budget in mind.
6. Building and conceptualizing a strong Sales Funnel
A properly conceptualized and established sales funnel can make your business grow by leaps and bounds. A sales funnel acts as an automated seller of your products/services/ideas. It is an expansion strategy that raises awareness about your products/services and lets people interpret them the way you want. It will turn those potential leads into loyal consumers in the long run. Your marketing ideas and communication strategies determine the number of people who will step ahead from one stage of the funnel to the next. It also aids in the prediction of your overall sales and how you can improve them.
7. Study your competition
In addition to studying your target audience, researching your competition is mandatory. You may use some platforms like Crunchbase, SimilarWeb, and SEMrush, that provide competitive intelligence. You will get a comprehensive look into the competition’s ad copy, landing page, and other marketing communications tactics. As long as you don’t duplicate the concepts, you shouldn’t have any problems with copyright or plagiarism.
8. Make an email list
Email marketing is a powerful tool through which businesses, especially startups, can expand quickly. You will need to start by building an email list. Include everyone you know in your email list, from professionals to acquaintances. The first few campaigns will work as a trial for assessing how people comprehend your messages. If you see more people unsubscribing, there is something wrong with your email campaign. Nailing an email marketing campaign requires the expertise of digital marketers and content writers. So, get your marketing team together and prepare an email list today through applications like MailChimp, ConstantContact, and SendGrid.
9. Create your business profiles on social media
You are making a huge mistake if you still have not created business profiles on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Social media helps you to reach out to an unthinkable amount of customers regardless of your geographical location. It is advisable to have a separate team for handling your social media profiles; include SEO experts, social media managers, and content creators in such teams. Update regularly with proper hashtags and keywords to attract more people.
10. Start a customer loyalty program
Acquiring new customers often costs significantly more than retaining the old ones. So, try to strengthen your bond with old customers through customer loyalty programs like gift cards, special vouchers, and coupons on anniversaries. Try to exceed their expectations so that they recommend your products/services to their friends and family. Remember to focus on after-sale services if you are a service-based company.
11. Team up with brands that complement your products/services
A great way to establish trust and awareness among a wide swath of new customers is to form strategic partnerships with reputed companies. For instance, if you are a digital marketing agency, you can ally with other advertisement agencies or even companies in the media industry. However, opting to choose your partners is a difficult process. So always look for companies that will complement your products and services. Suppose, you have an online clothing store, you can team up with brands selling lifestyle products. Connect with them and send a proposal for collaboration.
12. Create brand awareness by hosting local events
The first step towards creating a buzz in your locality is to host events exclusively for your community such as a fundraiser. You may even sponsor local sports teams or college/school events to cultivate personal relationships with new customers coming from all age groups. Hosting local events increases brand awareness and leaves a positive impression about your company on the people you serve.
13. Be a part of networking events
Keep an eye out for networking events happening near you from time to time. It will let you connect with like-minded individuals to discuss your viewpoints and learn from their perspectives. They will surely have insightful information and fresh ideas on business expansions that will be beneficial in the long run.
14. Maintain cordial relations with employees
Your employees are the heart and soul of your company. As a result, you should work on keeping them content and satisfied. Make sure you are offering them competitive salary packages, enough sick leaves, and added benefits like insurance or pick up and drop cab services. These days employees write reviews about their companies on websites like Glassdoor and Ambition Box, and even a few negative reviews can cost you heavily. So, try to be on their good books. Support your employees, offer help for completing tasks, send wishes on anniversaries and festivities, and plan a day out once a month with them to wind down.
15. Be a socially responsible company
Consumers are increasingly concerned about climate change, hunger, and other social security challenges. They expect the companies to be empathetic toward people and their problems. Invest in causes that matter to you and your employees, whether it’s contributing to cancer patients, spreading awareness about mental health, or providing shelter to the homeless. Extend a helping hand to the needy communities and establish yourself as a socially responsible company.
You must have heard that there is no shortcut to success, and it is true. You have to dream but with open eyes. Consider all legal compliances, even if you are a startup. Your prime goal after launching your business should be to build a brand, not just a company. Building a brand requires years of hard work, a lot of smart work, and unique ideas. Keep an eye out for interviews, articles, and blogs by entrepreneurs. You can also try blogging; write about your experiences, sign up on sites like Medium. Be active on sites like Quora to raise questions on management. Also, if you are a small business owner, you can raise funds from crowdfunding websites like OneVest, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo where you can present your ideas to individuals around the world and if they love it, they would surely connect with you and invest in your business venture to help it grow bigger and better.
Before ending, here are a few tips to motivate you. Be realistic and understand that you have to struggle to grow your business. But remember, there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you do not wish to switch back to your tiresome 9-to-5 job, look for opportunities that will increase your visibility. Network with individuals and groups online, follow market trends, be aware of the recent socio-economic and political affairs happening in the environment that you work in. If you are still contemplating the effectiveness of the above-mentioned secrets, do not hesitate any further because these tips have been curated after looking at suggestions given by many small and large business owners.
Since you would never want your business to stop growing, you shouldn’t stop experimenting. Surely, these 15 tips will help you succeed, but there’s always room for improvement through the implementation of unique ideas and strategies. Understand that every business works differently and all of them have their unique work culture, so only opt for those methods that go with your company’s ethics. Above all, try to work towards the goodwill of your employees, customers, and other stakeholders, and that is the best recipe for success in business ventures.