How To Give Your Business a Shot in the Arm
You’re paying your bills. Your staff gets their wages on time. And your customers are happy, too. So, everything’s going great, yeah?
Wrong, you’re coasting! To move from breaking even to profit soaring, there are a few things you can do – fast.
- Think small (for now)
It’s tough to have a truly unique selling point. But even if your business appears identical to a rival, there are ways to stand out. By changing tact to focus on niche opportunities and a smaller target market, you can offer a better service than your competition.
- Think big
If your product is popular with customers, that’s great, but there’s always an opportunity to diversify your range and grow. Year-on-year, Coca-Cola is the best-selling soft drink around the world. But that doesn’t mean it rests on its laurels. The company looks for new opportunities (such as buying out smoothie brand Innocent) to keep growing. Oh, and all those quirky craft beers that have popped up? You’ll be surprised by how many are owned by large breweries.
If you spot an opportunity in the market to launch a new product range, but don’t have the working capital to act, some lenders offer a merchant cash advance in as little as 24 hours to help small businesses stay competitive.
- Tap into your existing resources
Remember, your happy customers are a resource, too. If they like the service you provide, ask for a short testimonial to put on your website. Or if your business has a trade magazine, place an editorial piece with a customer case study in there.
A case study shows how your product or service solved a problem for a customer. They’re a great way of showing leads how good you are. And in an age of pessimism towards advertising, they stand out because they feature real people and businesses with tangible success.
- Be ruthless
Your business is only as good as your people. If you run a bricks and mortar store, your sales assistants should reflect your enthusiasm. If you’re an IT service provider, staff should stay on top of emerging technology. If you have an employee who isn’t pulling their weight, or who’s disrupting the balance of your team, it’s time to move them on. Read why you should hire slow and fire fast.
- Be generous
Just as important as firing bad staff is looking after the good ones. Praise them regularly. Review their salary yearly or quarterly. And pay for courses that will benefit their learning and your business.
Remember to encourage staff who show promise, too. Team them up with a mentor. Let them get hands-on with another area of your business. And show all your employees that there’s room to develop as your business grows.
If you and your business are in cruise mode, it’s time to shift a gear and put your foot down. With so many competitors out there – and fickle customers – you have to be agile to earn their loyalty.