Our business growth survey asked amongst other things about the biggest drivers of growth for SMEs.
We gathered these 10 top tips on running a successful business from the more than 1,000 business owners who responded.
1. Instil a passion for strong customer service. High standards of customer service are the bedrock for growth. Existing clients will come to rely on you if you’re flexible, always available and great to work with. Quality staff who buy in to your vision and share your passion for customer service are key.
2. Get competitive on pricing and delivery. Greater cost efficiencies could let you offer the same quality at a better price. Fast turnaround times can be just as critical. In some sectors, that means maintaining stock availability for next day delivery.
3. Answer customers’ ever-changing needs. The market is constantly evolving; make sure you change with it. If a customer is looking for someone to provide a new service, consider offering it yourself. Selling more and better services to existing customers is an easy win in the current climate.
4. Invest in product development to diversify. Regularly launching new or improved products can generate consistent growth. Research what it is your customers want and get inspiration from your most profitable lines. If you’re looking to export, design new products that will take emerging markets by storm.
5. Maintain a glowing reputation. Deliver what you say you will, when you say you will. If your customers trust you and know you’re reliable, you’ll always be in demand. Word of mouth might even bring you new customers keen to try you out.
6. Source new and different customers. You should always be on the lookout for new business relationships. Picture your ideal customer, then tap into existing contacts and make carefully targeted approaches to key prospects. Network, network and network some more. If necessary, recruit dedicated sales staff.
7. Do more marketing. Communicate with your customers and prospects. Generate interest using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the like. Tell the world what you do and how you do it differently. Then follow it up with regular client contact closer to home.
8. Expand into new markets. Your usual market not showing you enough love? Others may be more appreciative of your skills and expertise. Take your offer to complementary markets within the UK or test out overseas markets with targeted products.
9. Reinvent your business. Adaptation is often the secret to survival and success. Get out and make discoveries. And grab every sound opportunity that comes your way.
10. Keep putting in the hours. Never underestimate the power of your desire to stay in business.
What are your tips for accelerating business growth?
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