The goal of most small business owners is to grow their businesses, and they want to do so as quickly as possible. However, rushing into expansion without a strategy can have disastrous results and can even cause you to lose all the progress your business has already made. To avoid these risks, it is a good idea to carefully plan your expansion strategies and structure your small business so that it can handle growth. Here are some tips you can use to help you grow your business the right way.
- Cultivate a Strong Company Culture
In order for your small business to grow, it must have a company culture that will support growth. This strong culture will act as a foundation for your company and keep your team united as you expand business. If you are unsure how to start cultivating a strong company culture, begin by thinking about your small business’s mission, values, and vision. What does your company do? What does it believe in? Where do you want it to go? Pose these questions to your team as well to get them thinking about the work they are doing, why they do it, and why they love the company. This will make your employees feel more connected to your small business, which will in turn make them more likely to stay with your company through times of expansion and uncertainty.
A strong company culture can also make your company appear more attractive to your target audience, especially if they find it relatable and in line with their own values. Whenever possible, make your company culture visible on platforms such as your website, social media, and marketing materials. When potential new customers can see the values held by your company, they will feel a deeper connection to your company and will be more likely to want to do business with you.
- Hire the Right Employees
It’s not enough to just have a good company culture; you also need a team of employees who will uphold that culture and support your business. Hiring the right employees is critical to having a successful and growing business. When you want to grow your business, it can be tempting to rush the hiring process just to get the number of employees you think you need. However, it is much more important to take your time to make sure you hire the right candidates for the job. Hiring the wrong people can cause your small business to fall apart right before your eyes, so you should do everything you can to avoid this.
You should hire employees both based on their technical skills and experience and based on whether they will be a good fit in your company at this time. Just because someone has the skills and experience you need doesn’t mean they will work well with the rest of your team or want to help your company achieve its vision. A good question to ask a potential employee is how they interpret your company’s vision. This will help you determine if they will mesh well with the rest of your team. When you are wanting to expand a small business, it is important that the employees you hire are up to the challenge and won’t run away if things get difficult.
- Innovate in Areas Other Than Product
Innovation is one of the biggest keys when you are trying to expand business. When most people think of small business expansion and innovation, they think about improving current product lines or creating new ones. This will become an important step later, but because it is so expensive, you should first focus on innovation in other areas. To help expand your business, you can easily make innovations in areas such as your on boarding process or by updating to newer technology, such as adopting a live chat on your website to help improve customer service. Innovations to your small business’s current processes are much more cost-friendly and can still have a major impact on business growth by helping you improve your customer base with your current product offerings. After making these innovations and achieving stability, you can then start adding new products.
- Work on Building Brand Recognition
Having a recognizable brand will make a big difference toward growing business. You want consumers to see your logo, slogan, product packaging, advertising, and other elements and be able to recognize that they belong to your company. Brand recognition isn’t something you can build overnight, but it is well worth the time and effort so that your small business can become a well-known brand. One way to start the process is by becoming more active on social media. Making people see your company’s name, logo, etc. more frequently online will make them much more likely to remember your company and consider purchasing your products or utilizing your services.
- Keep Your Existing Customers
The mistake that many small business owners tend to make is placing too much of their focus on gaining new customers and not putting enough effort into keeping existing customers. It actually costs more money to acquire new customers than it does to keep current customers. Because your current customers have already chosen your company at least once, they do not need as much persuading to choose you again.
The best way to retain customers is to make them feel valued, and one way you can do this is by creating a survey to gain insight into what your customers love, what needs improvement, and what they look forward to with your business expansion. This feedback can then be used to improve your business and, as a result, customer retention. When your current customers are happy with your business, they will spend more of their money with you and will be more likely to recommend your company to their friends and family. This will all help you make strides in expanding your business.
Grow Your Business with the Help of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce
For small business owners, the idea of expanding business is very exciting. However, it is important that you don’t get carried away in the process. Creating an expansion plan first will help keep you grounded and ensure your business will not lose sight of its core mission and values as it grows. Including the above tips in your business expansion plan will help your business maintain its values, keep its good employees, and both retain and acquire customers, which will all contribute to effective and efficient business growth.
The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce provides many opportunities and resources you can use to help your business expand. Our members can enjoy the benefits of networking opportunities, business referrals, advertising options, educational opportunities, and more. If you have a business in Jefferson County and successful business growth is your goal, let us help. Become a member of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce today to start taking advantage of all the benefits we have to offer. To find out more about how to join, contact us online or by calling 865-397-9642.