Ahead of this year’s Northern Business Expo, Cat Launchbury, creative director of NS Events Group Ltd, offers 11 useful tips on how small businesses can grow to new heights as we enter a new decade.
Ahead of this year’s Northern Business Expo, Cat Launchbury,
creative director of NS Events Group Ltd, offers 11 useful tips on how small
businesses can grow to new heights as we enter a new decade.
1 Good Customer Service
In today’s market, good customer service wins time and time again. Consumers have higher expectations and less patience than ever, so without a solid customer service you’ll quickly be left behind. Consider using WhatsApp as a method for customers to contact you, or install a chatbot that people can speak to day or night. Retaining customers is considerably cheaper and simpler than finding new ones. Any issues or problems that arise are usually quickly forgotten by customers, providing they are dealt with speedily, effectively and in a friendly manner.
2 Focus On Cash Flow
Lack of cash flow is the number one reason why new businesses in the UK fail. Even if your business is looking good, you must keep on top of your invoicing processes at all times. This may sound drastic, but consider using a debt collection company to recover any old debts. And make sure you send out regular payment reminders. On a grander scale, such a policy will help improve the culture of late payments that currently exists and is a major problem for many UK businesses.
3 Delegate And Outsource
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can look after every segment of the business by yourself. This is a common trait among small business owners. Whether the task is simple or requires specialist knowledge, it could pay to allow an outside agency – or one of your employees – to take control of matters. All business owners should be focussed on the overall direction and vision of the company, rather than the daily nitty gritty.
4 Listen To Podcasts During Your Spare Time
We’re always hearing about business owners who tune in to podcasts every day. No one, no matter how successful, knows everything there is to know about their own sphere of expertise. There is always someone else whose knowledge and experience can benefit, motivate and educate even the most successful of business people. So find the time to listen to podcasts or audio books that will teach you valuable skills. It can be done while commuting or when going on your daily jog.
5 Generate More Testimonials/Feedback/Reviews
Consumers trust other consumers, more than businesses. With so much competition out there, your company’s best assets are your own satisfied customers. Encourage them to provide honest feedback of their experiences by posting reviews on Google or Facebook. It will help your business to grow and improve.
6 Never Stop Learning
You’ll never know it all, but you should always try to increase your knowledge base. You may want to attend a course, do some online learning or even find a mentor. Remain focussed on expanding your business, skills and general knowledge.
7 Don’t Slip Into A Marketing Rut
Just because you’re marketing policy is working extremely well, it doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. Facebook adverts might give you all the customers you currently require. But how do you know that Google Adverts won’t give you the same result but cheaper? You may also discover that a combination of different avenues works best for your company. The options available to small businesses are constantly updating, so keep on top of this ever-changing cyberspace world. The maxim: ‘If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’ is not wrong, but not perfect either.
8 Keep On Top Of All Aspects Of Your Business
Know exactly where your business is at, at all times. Stay fully aware and what you need to do to maximise profits, sales and leads. Being in the dark often leads to complacency and not hitting targets.
9 Introduce New Products And/Or Services
Always try to promote new products. If there is a product or service you can sell to your customers, along with their purchases, you’re much more likely to make a sale. Adding services or products will mean you appeal to a wider audience which, in turn, will help generate more business.
10 Set Clear Goals
Know where you want to go, and what you need to do to achieve it. Having clear goals is an integral part of thriving in business, as well as having a happy personal life. It’s the best method for measuring your progress. Think SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
11 Remain Up To Date
With new technology changing the way business and marketing is undertaken, it has never been more important to stay up to date. The technical world is developing at a rate never experienced before. Don’t feel you have to use every new piece of technology, or every new development in social media, but it helps to know they exist and how they work. Remember, you need to locate and educate your audience but don’t just use technology because it’s new.
The Northern Business Expo is the biggest business event in the north of England and takes place at Manchester Central on March 17/18, 2020. It’s free to attend, just get your ticket online now – search ‘northern business exhibition’ on Google. The event is being run by NS Events Group Ltd, experts in staging exhibitions.