Small businesses contribute more than half of the economy of the world. According to a report of the World Trade Organization, small businesses comprise 55% of the developed economies all across the world. Though Governments from all around the globe are showing great support to the owners of small startups through supportive policies, yet the fact is, that growing your entrepreneurial idea is a job that takes many sleepless nights and relentless days. There are no short and quick ways to grow a small business.
Can a Small Business Grow Big?
We see many businesses are being established every day. Some of them are starting big while others having relatively less fortune to spend. A common perception says that a bigger capital tends to make a bigger revenue. We’ve seen several former smaller businesses debunking the myth with their right course of action.
Shopify is one of the renowned e-commerce companies that was started with a simple idea. All the owner of Shopify did was to find an opportunity and fulfill the market gap. The company went on to create a fortune worth of billion, which later not only proved to be sufficient to sustain the business but to take it to the next level. Shopify showed a rapid growth as the idea was not only innovative but the need of the hour.
What Does Growing Your Business Mean?
What does it mean to grow a business means and how to measure your business?
The success of businesses are often confused with the sales numbers or revenue it is generating. The fact is, business growth is much more than sales numbers on your sheets. Let’s look at it in another way!
For example, you open up a business that sells a product or renders a service. You expect to make the sale of $500 per month. 1st month goes as predicted where sales number touched the $500 figure or even more than that. Did you make progress? The answer is an obvious “YES”! But the calamity hits and your cost of manufacturing the same product or offering the same service increase. Your business made sales $500 or above as predicted by your forecast planning.
Now the question arises, did your business progressed? A sane mind would find it hard to agree.
The growth of a business is controlled by many factors, some of them are obvious while others are subtle and goes behind the curtain. If you put these factors in simple words, you need to have situational awareness of your business and the market it operates in.
The most vital fact to know for a small business owner is to know where his business stands and where it should be.
To portray an exact image of your business, always keep an eye on every little activity within your business and markets. This will not only help you see a clear image of your business growth but will also help you find new opportunities that can either cut the manufacturing charges or lead you to find new potential customers.
Ways To Grow Your Small Business
Having said that, there are no shortcuts for the overnight success of your business. You’re probably wondering what determines the success of a small business.
Success may seem a long way away from where you are standing, but opting for some of the proven strategies a small business like yours can grow way faster than one might expect. Some of these strategies you might already know, but some of them are secrets brought to you by experienced gurus of different industries.
Here are the steps needed for you to start implementing. Even if you have a business that already doing well, it’s never too late to make positive changes to grow the business.
1 – Conduct Market Research
Whether you have an already set up business or you are about to enter the new grounds of opportunities, always make sure to know your customer base. Do market research to find out what opportunities are there. A really good research will allow you to make the decision based on facts and figures which are very important to keep track of in the world of business. Good research must answer these questions:
- What market are you going to target? Who potentially can be your new customers?
- Who are your potential competitors?
- What do you have to offer the market which it does not already have?
- Know Your Customer’s pain points: what problems do they want to solve, what do they want to aspire to be.
Once you get the idea of the market, the next step is to offer the right product to the right customer. You need to find a suitable customer for your product.
In marketing, the process is called “segmentation”. All customers are divided into some segments, for example, if you want to sell sports gear, you need to target the segment of customers who are interested in sports. The process helps you find potential customers among all the customers. Customer research also helps a new business in development and expansion in their existing product lines. The methods are seen to be highly practiced by brands like Nike and Adidas.
2 – Connect With Existing Customers
A business is all about its customer. The customers can help a business grow if loyal customers find your products or services exceed their expectations . A low-key marketing strategy would be to connect your customers through a regular newsletter or an email that prompts them to perceive you as a brand that cares about its customers. Consider using systems such as email newsletter which does not cost much to an already existing or a new business but benefits more it in the longer run.
The goal of the emails should be to let the customer know that you have new offers and products that are crafted to complement and benefit their lifestyles. Not forgetting the fact that acquiring a new customer has proven to be more expensive for a business than maintaining existing customers. So it’s important that you keep the existing customers happy first and then move out to make new ones.
3 -Innovate Your Product Line & Offering
Innovation plays a key role in the expansion of your potential customers. It also keeps you in the race with your competitors. Having said that new businesses are being established every day and each one of them is coming with new ideas that are proving to be very helpful in fulfilling customers’ needs and solving their problems. To give your competitor a run for their money, always look for new and innovative ideas that can open the gateway to new opportunities for your business. If you are not being able to come up with a new product, layout different kinds of offers that best fit customers’ purchasing power and your profits. You can do it by offering new discount offers.
4 -Never Compromise On Quality
No matter what strategies you opt to find and reach your customer, at the end of the day it’s the quality of your product & service which brings you, loyal customers.
Always make sure to provide a product with quality that is unique and compensate the spending of the customer. In other words, always make your product worth buying for your customers.
5 – Automate and Digitalize
Technology is one way to help you grow your business. Integration of the latest technology will ease off the hard work of managing and keeping track of every single activity. Use automation systems for daily and routine work which would cuts costs and increases the efficiency of your business operations.
Digital marketing tools offer great help grow the business’s revenue compared to the traditional method. The pandemic has brought on the need for businesses to utilize digital marketing to reach customers, and have a wider customer base.
The greatest of all these marketing tools is social media. The platforms have now become one of the most effective advertising platforms. You can reach double the number of customers with social media compared to any other media. The modern day’s genie made the search for new customer easy and efficient.
6 -Form A Beneficial Allegiance
Always look for new ways to expand your business, even if it takes joining hands with some of your competitors. A strategic partnership is a modern way that is quickly becoming an important step to help you grow your business.
A strategic partnership can help you attract a new customer. Even if this partnership is short-term, the addition of a new customer will be for quite a long term. In addition to customer, a well-forged partnership can grow up to be a good way of covering more and more parts of the market and its segments. This will create a vast portfolio and a brand image that can grow beyond the expected growth.
7 – Manage Cash Flow
The strategy is quite technical and much more important than you might expect it to be. Cash flow is the amount of cash that is currently running within the business. Business experts suggest that an adequate amount of cash should be kept running in the businesses to run its operation. In case the balance between the cash and credit gets disturbed, this might turn out to be a problem. A business will fail to pay its operational expenses which can be a dead-end for it.
8 – Side Hustle or Passive Income
In the early stage, a business seems to face several setbacks where the initial capital falls short to cover. Set aside a hustle, a saved sum, or another passive income to support your main business. Consider doing a 9-5 or you could opt for freelance work to cover for your initial setbacks. Relying only on the resources as an investment is good especially when you have calculated every step of the way, but a great start does not mean a good end. Always make sure to save secondary resources to fund your business.
9 – Set Goals
Once the business start-up is all set, it time to start setting up some goals to pursue. Wondering why I didn’t put the goals part in the start? A goal is nothing without a backup. Once you’ve gathered enough investment and resources to enforce your vision, now you need regular goals to pursue in order to make the best out of your resources,
A good and effective business goal contains three traits; a goal should be realistic, achievable, and trackable. Use these criteria to differentiate an efficient and effective business goal and daydreaming.
Use Barakah To Grow Your Business
Surely there is a worldly way to grow your business but this does nothing until you opt for the Divine principles. Barakah is the Arabic word for God’s blessings, and a sure way to attain success is to have His blessings.
So, how can you get your business to attain His barakah?
10 – Maintain Honesty and Integrity
Whether you attract new customers or providing your product or service to the existing ones, be honest and stay true to not only your business but your customers too. The one and only policy that you should opt for faster growth are, to be honest in your dealings.
In the case of an organization or a corporation, not only keep your vision honest but train your employees to be honest in their work and dealing with customers.
The fact is, it’s never easy to build a smaller business into a well-established organization. You face major setbacks with some devastating consequences. The only way to keep your vision insight and move on is Tawakal. The power of belief works fine to keep your focus on your goals. Tawakl rewards you for a longer run.
The past stories can explain to you that Allah helps the believer even after all the planning seems to fall apart. Have faith in one true God and it will keep you growing and be the one you once dreamed of.
One must realize that there is no quick way to put your dreams into reality. Just when you are done with planning, make sure to act and follow the right course of action that will only focus on what good and right for your business. Adapt your management methods to accommodate any unfortunate events. Use the latest tool and technology to carve your way out of the hardships.
Lastly, don’t forget the Divine teaching and never stop believing that there’s one true God that watches over you. Use the power of faith to push your limits and never be afraid of taking on newer opportunities.
Halalop Editor’s Note: Get more resources and tools to grow your business here.
Ali Haider Shah is a business graduate with specialization in market research. He holds 4 years of experience in business writing where he served renowned online publications like “Digital Diplomacy”. Currently working as a business writer and a market researcher.