Growth is fundamental for the success of any business but particularly those who are smaller or just starting out. Considering the year that we have had with Covid-19 and its effect on business, growth is more important than ever before. With this in mind, how should you approach growing your business in order to guarantee success in such a difficult climate.
When we think of business growth, there is a tendency to focus on new customers and this makes sense. The more customers that buy from you, the more revenue, profit and overall growth. However, it’s also important to focus on your existing core customers because repeat business is just as good as one-time purchases from new customers. Relationships with loyal customers are worth their weight in gold. Not only will they offer continual business, they also provide free advertising through social media posts and word of mouth.
There are a variety of ways in which to nurture relationships with existing customers. Obviously, first and foremost, excellent customer service. You could also offer perks such as loyalty schemes, discount codes and special offers. Just reminding previous customers of your existence can also be effective, for example regular emails or posts on social media.
Trust within businesses is at an all-time low with a majority of customers saying they trust the businesses they buy from less than they used to. Not to mention the mistrust of advertising with personal data being farmed and sold, leading to specific ads following consumers throughout their digital life. This is a big problem for business and the only way for a company to tackle it is to be trustworthy.
Building trust is an ongoing task that affects nearly all aspects of the business. It’s ensuring that your products and services are effective and reliable, as well as the customer service that you provide. Attentiveness, regular communication and ensuring that your customers are always happy, can go a long way in building a good, trustworthy reputation. This can also include being charitable, connecting with the local community and being an ethical business. This in turn will attract long-term customers, who will then spread the word.
Social media has become the most powerful marketing tool for businesses to utilise. Research has found that over half of new brand discovery happens on social media, meaning most of your new customers will find you there. It’s therefore important to ensure that your online presence is being utilised to its fullest. This means accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram are active and regularly updated. You should also ensure that correspondences from customers and potential customers are replied to in good time.
Whilst the majority of online marketing can be completed without the need for paid advertisements, these can also be a useful tool, particularly for reaching customers who wouldn’t find you organically.
Another aspect of business that is vital for growth is data. Whether it’s social media analytics, customer data, transactions or feedback, this information offers valuable insight. For example, if you ascertain which demographics are most likely to interact with your business, you can then tailor products and services towards these customers. Analytics also allows you to make more informed decisions, saving time, effort and money. For example, you can see which type of advertisement campaign works best with your customer base, rather than trying multiple different methods. Your approach to data will differ according to the size of your business and the resources available. It can be as easy as using a software program yourself or as elaborate as a team of experts who’s job it is to sort through your company data.
Growth often dictates whether a business sinks or swims but fortunately there are many ways in which you can boost growth and therefore ensure success.