Thursday, July 23, 2015

Preparing your Small Business for Growth

Your business is busy trying to deliver a solution while standing out in a crowded marketplace and keeping up with developments in your industry -- it can be exhausting. Things like your brand can sometimes get lost in the happy-to-have but crazy commotion that is growth. 

Here are a few tips for staying on track while your business is making moves: 

Set distinct goals. To improve and maintain traction in the marketplace you must set goals. An easy starting point: write down your business objective and then break down how this objective will be met. Make your business goals clear and definitive and most importantly, relevant. Establish who is responsible for meeting each aspect of the objective as well as a timeline, so that everyone is held accountable as your business evolves. As time and circumstances allow, employ analytical tools to evaluate what’s working and what needs tweaking. 

Understand your market. In order for a business to grow, doing your due diligence with market research is a must. It helps you understand your industry, competition and target customers. To start, conduct an internet search using trustworthy and credible sources. For more tailored results, connect with your customers through surveys, q&a's and focus groups. Once you have a stronger understanding of the customers who make up your demographic, reach out to them regularly via a blog or email newsletter. Interact with them on social media and most importantly, listen. Encourage your customers to give you feedback and embrace it as a way to celebrate and/or improve your business endeavors. 

Be the brand. Ensure your employees are educated -- and receive continued education -- on the business’s key points and purpose. You and your team are the best branding tools imaginable. Take advantage of this and empower your colleagues to bring the brand to life. They can communicate about your brand confidently and accurately while your business evolves. Developing an elevator pitch is a great way to give an employee a springboard for how they present themselves and represent your business in the community. 

Anticipate change. Change will happen. Be thoughtful of your core principles while you do your best to roll with the punches. You’ve made an investment and it’s important not to allow it to be lost in a changing marketplace. Staying true to your point of view will allow you to further strengthen relationships with your existing community while at the same time earning the trust of prospective clients. 

Are you a rising new business less than a year old? Apply to become a New Business Sponsor. The program will arm you with the tools you need to keep up with your business’s growth. Is your business more established? Get Accredited with BBB as part of your formula for success.

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