Great ideas for growing your small business this year
It’s been a strange, and tough, few years for businesses.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of many, and now, the end of government support has seen a fresh wave of firms going bust.
But it’s not all doom and gloom.
There have been plenty of success stories of lockdown businesses booming, and those companies that have survived the toughest times are well-placed to recover and expand moving forwards.
If you’re one of the ones who’s made it through, what’s next? How do you look to grow your business in 2022 and beyond?
We’ve compiled some ideas to help you take your small business to the next level.
Make a plan
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that our first tip is to plan. Despite a business plan creating a 30% better chance of growth, less than a quarter of UK businesses have one.
Work out what you want to do to meet customers’ needs, and then figure out the steps that will allow you to do that.
What’s important to remember is that your plan needs to evolve. Continue to test your ideas about attracting and retaining customers, reducing costs, improving margins, and more.
If something’s working, consider how you can get even more out of it. If something isn’t, go back to the drawing board and come up with some new ideas.
Don’t forget to plan for how you’re going to handle growth as well once you’ve achieved it. Aim high and be ready to scale when your plans start to bear fruit.
Boost employee morale
Happy employees can be a huge boon to your business, transforming your productivity, making customers happier, and exceeding their targets.
Conversely, unhappy employees can seriously harm your workplace. If any of your employees are unhappy, handling that situation should be your first priority.
But even if there’s no obvious discontent among your workers, working on ways to make them happier is still likely to have a positive effect on your business.
Open communication is likely the best place to start. Find out what you can do to improve your employees’ experience at work and go from there.
Employees also like to feel valued and useful, so consider opportunities to train and upskill them that tie into your plans for growth.
If you’re launching a new online store to complement your bricks and mortar operation, do you have the expertise to run that?
Training up an existing employee instead of hiring someone new to handle it could be an opportunity to demonstrate loyalty and investment in people.
You’re planning for expansion, and that means you’re going to be busy. Employee scheduling is likely to be a crucial part of ensuring that your business is ready to handle the extra demand.
Choosing a digital scheduling solution like Findmyshift allows you to quickly and easily adapt shifts to cope with your business’s growth.
It will also save you countless hours compared to pen-and-paper or spreadsheet solutions, freeing you up to focus on all those new orders coming in!
Let your customers help
Customers can play a huge part in helping your business to grow.
Word of mouth marketing can be incredibly successful, as over 90% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know far more than any other type of advertising. The best bit about word of mouth marketing? It’s free!
But your customers can do more than just talking about you. They can also generate genuine, relatable content for you. Encourage customers to take photos in your store and share them online, then ask if you can use the best images in your advertising.
Most people will be delighted to see their images shared, and this content will enhance your credibility as well.
Offering small incentives to share content, like a discount on their next order, can be a great way to boost this sort of marketing as well as building customer loyalty.
Sharpen your branding
Your growth is exciting, and you may want to update your image to reflect that.
If you’re going to invest in advertising, you want to ensure that your image is consistent across your marketing channels and your customer-facing elements—whether that’s a shop front or your website.
Optimising your homepage can make a big difference to your conversion rates, so now is the perfect chance to test out a new layout, call to action, or colour scheme.
Make the most of your space
Likewise, consider the physical layout of your business and whether it’s as efficient and inviting as it could be.
Is there space to fit more tables in your restaurant? More products on your shelves? More clients in your salon?
By making the most of what you’ve got, you’ll set yourself up for growth and have a good sense of when you’ll need to expand. Good luck!