4 Ways To Drive Business Growth
Fundamentally, business success arrives when what you make in revenue is more than what you pay in expenses. As a small-to-medium enterprise or SME, to drive business growth you’ve got to focus on both sides of the equation. Here are four ways of considering the growth levers available to your business, while at the same time improving the customer experience.
1. Take Care of Current Customers
Current customers cost you much less to keep happy, than new ones cost to acquire. You can spend a vast amount, and end up offering a lot of incentives, in order to attract those who don’t yet know you. With your existing customers, the hard work is already done. By looking after your customers you not only secure repeat business, but create your own brand ambassadors, which can drive business growth.
The aim is to make them feel special, to thank them, reward their repeat business and encourage their word of mouth (it is just as powerful online). Consider offering, or taking part in a loyalty scheme that caters to your customer base. Make sure your aftercare and customer support is as good as your face-to-face interaction or online sales care.
Invest in a good customer relationship management system (CRM) – they are now affordable, simple to setup and are incredibly powerful when it comes to keeping your customer relationships healthy and on track.
2. Demo an Online Billing Service
Small businesses often spend more time, or more money, than they really need to in order to keep their accounts accurate and up-to-date via basic tools such as spreadsheets. A streamlined online invoicing service can help you to manage your billing process more efficiently and enable your business to get paid faster. It is also likely to hasten your move away from cash, which is a more costly and inconvenient way to do business – for you and your customers.
3. Use a Web Builder not a Web Developer
If your business does not need a technical or highly bespoke website, then spend a few hours building your own. Do-it-yourself online website builders are perfect for helping small businesses to get a website up and running within a day or less. You should find them easy to use, they require little technical knowledge and, thanks to their ‘themes’ and templates, you can do an awful lot just by dragging and dropping in the layouts you like. They often have their own image libraries, with image licence fees often covered as part of your
subscription, for you to use and select from too, so with the content and imagery you already have, you’ll be up and running in no time.
4. Try DIY Marketing
There are many ways you can drive business growth though promotional activity. Most require no more than a little dedicated time and creativity. Here are four ways that might be useful:
- Learn basic SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – If you have a website then make it work for you by ensuring it can be found by consumers searching online. Share content and learn a little more about your customers. Where are they, what interests them, and what questions do they have that relate to what you sell? This will also help you spot and then get to grips with new consumer trends.
- Build a database – Create an email opt-in on your website or blog. You can offer a free download, discount or gift for customers who are willing to add their email address. There are plenty of online tools that enable retailers to create professional marketing content for free or for very little cost, but make sure you’ve looked into privacy laws to ensure you’re in compliance.
- Connect contacts – Network, join local events and online groups where you can meet complementary businesses and potential customers.
- Let others help – Ask for a referral and send something afterwards to say thank you – if your recipient did not actually get round to making the recommendation, then they soon will.
Finally, always be open to new opportunities, whatever the size or shape of your business. Exploring these suggestions is a great place to start for any small business, but every business is different so you should consider what is best for your business and seek guidance on where to start. At Visa, we think about how to help small businesses drive growth in three ways – by creating connections, promoting convenience, and enabling security and a strong brand.