Wanting to grow your business.... here are some tips!
Some days it feels like growing your business is an uphill battle with no end in sight... here are a couple of tips on how I keep climbing that hill without wearing myself out!
1. Quit comparing your business & growth to other businesses
It is so easy to look at other businesses and compare your current sales volume and your current growth with theirs, but you can't compare apples to oranges. No two businesses are the same. Even if you are in the exact same industry and selling the exact same item... your businesses are still going to be very very different.
2. Focus your energy on dollar generating activities... not penny generating activities
I can't tell you how often I see business owners so focused on picking up pennies that they aren't seeing the dollars they are missing out on. Sales are important... absolutely... but the right sales are more important. If you are spending a lot of time on a consistently over demanding customer that equates in only an occasional sale, then you are spending time picking up pennies (investing time in that customer) instead of focusing on dollars (investing time in other potential customers who could become a regular customer).
3. Know when to say "no"
Customer experience can make or break a small business. Don't bite off more than you can chew just to try to please a customer, because the end result will more than likely be catastrophic for both of you! Customers don't know what your capabilities or limitations are. You have to set a realistic expectation with them... and I guarantee you 99.9% of them are going to continue to do business with you even if you tell them you aren't able to do something for them. Why will the continue to do business with you? Because they trust you & know you aren't just trying to do whatever you can to make a sale.
4. Don't underestimate the importance of industry knowledge, trend awareness & professional development
Every industry is constantly evolving, and in order for your business to stay relevant, YOU HAVE TO STAY RELEVANT. Staying relevant means being an industry expert & staying up-to-date on what is happening in the industry. Staying relevant means being aware of current trends and forecasting future trends based on your niche's wants. Staying relevant means consistently bettering yourself to make sure you are able to be at your best for your customer base (I recommend self help books and Ted Talks!)
5. Grow at your pace... not your customers
When sales are coming in it is easy to get caught up in the adrenaline of seeing those dollar signs.... but don't let that adrenaline cloud your judgement on reality. Over and over again I see great small businesses get so caught up in doing anything they can to get sales that they over do it and end up with more orders than they are realistically capable of handling. As a small business owner, you are 100% in control of when you are accepting orders and it is your responsibility to make sure orders are sent out within your stated turn around time. Know what you are realistically capable of handling based on your current business structure and only do business within those parameters.
Growth and customer experience/satisfaction go hand-in-hand. If you are offering a quality product, growth will come. If you are processing/shipping orders within the expected turn around time, growth will come. If you are providing stellar customer service, growth will come.
Growth won't come over night... and you don't want it too. You want it to be steady... consistent. That way you are able to make adjustments to your business model in parallel to your growth, like hiring employees or using new software to help streamline processes. If you grow too fast you are missing out on those opportunities to be intentional with the direction your business is growing... and often times that will result in bad customer experiences which ultimately will hinder the success of your small business.