Small Business is Booming


Owning your own business is the American dream, but with increased competition, tightened credit markets, and economic uncertainty, growing your small business can now be quite a challenge. You can keep your small business booming by getting back to the new small business basics.


Build Loyalty and Deeper Relationships with Customers

Many business owners are so concerned with finding new business that they overlook one very important fact – your best customers are the ones who already do business with you. Studies show that a higher percentage of sales from established businesses come from existing customers. That’s why it’s critical to work on customer retention. Try to find ways to deepen customer relationships with you. Are there other products and services you can offer them? Can you create a rewards program that gives them an incentive to continue to do business with you? Take the time to ask your customers what they need, and then find a way to deliver it to them.

Offer Referral Programs. 

Many business owners are so concerned with finding new business that they overlook one very important fact – your best customers are the ones who already do business with you. The best testament to your product or service is a happy customer. Consider starting a referral program that gives your customers incentives for referring friends, family and business associates to you.

Profile your Customers

Do you notice any commonalities among your existing customers? Are they a certain age? Do they have the same income level? By understanding your customers, you can more effectively target new prospects. This will help you determine exactly how and where to prospect.

Reduce Expenses

A great way to grow your business and your revenue is to lower your operating costs. You can do that in a number of ways. Try to reduce energy consumption, negotiate better deals with your suppliers, and reduce overhead to start.

Leverage the Power of the Internet

The Internet has brought a world of opportunity right to you. Does your company have a website that allows others to buy products or services from you? With a high quality website and a search engine optimization strategy, you can bring in prospects quickly and efficiently, with a relatively minimal cost. Be sure to include your website in every advertisement, and consider creating a blog about what’s happening in your industry or with your products or services. This will give customers and prospects a reason to visit and revisit your site.

You should also use the online power of social media, such as Facebook and MySpace, which allow you to set up a page for your products and services and get fans or friends for your business.

Form a Strategic Alliance

Is there another company that offers a product or service that complements your business? Consider forming a strategic alliance. This will allow you to share expenses such as advertising costs, and to gain access to each other’s customer bases.

Many business owners are so involved with the day-to-day aspects of managing their business that they don’t make the time to sell.Sell, Sell, Sell

Many business owners are so involved with the day-to-day aspects of managing their business that they don’t make the time to sell. The fact is, selling is one of your most important tasks. It’s critical to sell through every business cycle – even strong ones. Analyze your business responsibilities to see what you can possibly outsource or delegate to help you free up time to sell.

Get an Outside Perspective 

You’re so close to your business that it can be hard to see it objectively. Consider bringing in a business consultant. Organizations like SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) offer free consultants and seminars on a wide range of business disciplines. For more information, visit score.org.

Persevere

Managing a business is difficult even under optimal circumstances. In a challenging economy, it’s more critical than ever that you take the necessary steps to keep your business in line. Remember, the most successful business owners in life are the ones who never given up.

To speak with a one of our small business professionals about ways we can help your company continue to thrive, stop by your nearest branch or call us today.

 

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