Whether it is for the flexibility of work hours, to be your own boss, to pursue your passion, or for a better work-life balance, no one starts a small business to see it fail. Every business owner aims to succeed by growing their small businesses into profitable organizations.
While aiming for success is excellent, not every business owner will be successful at running a business. What does it mean for small businesses to fail, and how do you safeguard your business from that?
In this blog post, we’re going to dive into what it takes to grow your small business and make it successful, including how to grow your social media presence, how to get more customers, and how to take your small business to the next level.
Before we get started, let’s differentiate between big and small businesses. It may seem like the difference between the two is simply the size. However, there are other indicators that will tell you where your business falls.
Unlike small businesses, big businesses have a set management structure and hierarchy between employees due to the number of people that work in the organization. The CEO or board of directors are the highest decision makers and have the most control.
In a small business, the business owner runs the business solely in some cases and sometimes with a few other people. However, that isn’t always the case. There are plenty of small businesses out there that are a team of one (and killing it).
While small businesses and big businesses may overlap in their target audience, big businesses can often target audiences in a number of different markets due to resource abundance, providing them with larger audiences.
Since some small businesses are confined to locations and regions, their target audience can be more local. However, if they have the resources and invest in their online presence, they can expand their target audience exponentially.
Small businesses focus on financial support from low-risk sources like crowdfunding, investors, venture capitalists, community development finance institutions, and government/small business grants.
Big businesses, however, source money by obtaining loans from banks and other large financial institutions. They also issue equity capital, sell stocks or corporate bonds, and have assets that can stand as collateral when needed.
Many people start businesses based on hobbies and passions. If your passion has an already saturated market, breaking into the market will be difficult.
Instead, your product or service should be fulfilling an unmet need. It’s easier to sell a product/service that meets a need than to convince people they need to spend money on a new product for a problem they didn’t know existed. Make sure you conduct adequate market research to determine if your small business is offering a solution to a problem that people need solved.
A realistic business plan sets your business up for success. However, when you stop following the plan, you increase the chances of failure.
If there’s something wrong with your plan based on observation, find out what that is and fix it, or develop a new business plan instead of making decisions without guidance.
Every business plan should include things like your market analysis, company description, service or product you’re selling, sales and marketing plan, and financial projections, just to name a few.
Poor location affects foot traffic which can become a problem if your business relies on in-store purchases.
In the same way that a bad storefront location can hurt your business, so can poor internet presence. Even if you rely on some foot traffic, people like to purchase things online, so it’s crucial your small business site is easily found online. If not, your credibility could come into question and discourage people from doing business with you.
This is where your marketing plan comes in. Poor marketing can affect your exposure, messaging, and how it connects with your target audience. It’s crucial that you have an advertising plan as well as an effective SEO strategy so you can be found in more ways than one. Otherwise, your sales and business operations could suffer, negatively affecting revenue and forcing you out of business.
Scaling up the business suddenly without proper research, planning, and strategy development can lead to failures for business expansions. This, in turn, can affect the entire business.
Instead, treat every expansion as a new business and put in the work you did when you started your business. Don’t scale up too quickly and forget to take the right steps to ensure each new location, product line, or additional employee isn’t set up for success. If it means running a smaller operation until you’re ready to focus on a bigger commitment, then so be it.
Obviously, you don’t want your business to fail. And by staying away from the points mentioned above, you’re already doing a great job. But there are things you need to do proactively if you’re to see your business grow and prosper.
You need to continuously bring in new customers for your small business. Doing so will keep a healthy flow of revenue and ensure things are running smoothly. Here are some ways to do that:
Market share is essentially how much of the market your business or product controls. You want it to be high, as that leads to business longevity, but it’s easier said than done. Here are some tips:
Everyone uses social media, including brands. It’s a great way to connect with your target audience and humanize your business, which can encourage loyalty and create a community.
Your small business should be active on social media, using it to drive engagement and increase visibility. Here are some small business social media tips to follow:
The cost of keeping a customer is much less than the cost of acquiring a new one. And while we highly recommend (and already have) actively gaining new customers, that doesn’t mean you should neglect to keep the ones you already have.
While you’ll need new customers to fill your pipeline, increase sales, and grow, you must also work on retaining current customers for repeat business and stable revenue.
To improve customer retention, try:
The better your product or services, the better your customer experience. You may be able to get existing customers to purchase more and attract new clientele by simply improving the products or services you already offer. Some ways you can improve what it is you’re selling is to:
The growth opportunities are there for your business. You need to put the pieces in place to make that growth a reality. By implementing one or more of the above strategies and avoiding the mistakes common to failed businesses, you are well on your way to becoming part of the top 25% of businesses that make it past the 15-year mark. For more information and assistance on growing your small business visit our services page to see how we can help. Alternatively, you can book in for a Free 30 Minute Discovery Call.