Do you have trouble making progress with your small business? Sure, we all want to own a successful and profitable business, but wishing for it isn’t enough. In order to succeed, you need to have good organizational and planning skills.
If you want to make your small business more profitable, here are 8 things you need to keep in mind.
1. Update Your Business Plan
Did you create a business plan before starting your business? Having a business plan is crucial for small businesses as it helps you test the viability of your business idea and secure funding. The budgeting, cash flow projection, and balance sheet are contained in the financial section of the business plan. This helps you figure out how to make your small business more profitable by reducing losses, cutting expenses, or increasing sales.
If you haven’t created such a document yet, it’s not too late. Most successful companies tend to update their business plans every year in order to review their accomplishments (or failures) and set up fresh goals.
2. Learn How to Write Great Business Proposals
A business proposal is different from a business plan. Your business plan contains your company’s operational and financial objectives, whereas your business proposal should be created for a specific opportunity or upon request. In other words, your business proposal needs to be tailored to the client’s specific needs and persuade the client to buy your products or services.
Writing a proposal isn’t a simple task but fortunately, there’s a number of online tools and services you can use to make the process easier. For instance, if you’re a web designer, you can use a web design proposal template, so you can present the website structure more effectively.
3. Build an Awesome Website
Running a business of any size is no longer feasible without a web presence. Today’s consumers rely on the internet for everything, from searching and comparing products and businesses, to checking location and working hours. Having a well-designed website can give you an edge in your industry and open up opportunities to expand your business.
Luckily, website design software has evolved and built a website today is easier than ever. You don’t need to know to code in order to develop a functional and presentable website; thanks to website builders for small businesses, you can build one in a matter of hours.
Make sure that your website contains the following:
- Your company name
- Your logo
- A summary of your products and services
- Your company mission
- Contact info (address, phone, email, Google Map link)
- Customer testimonials and reviews.
4. Get Feedback from Customers
Your customers’ feedback is one of the most important components for the growth and sustainability of your business. But how will you know whether your customers are satisfied? How do you know what they need and expect from you? Did they find what they were looking for? To find out, you need to conduct customer surveys on a regular basis.
While customer satisfaction metrics can be somewhat complicated and tricky, asking the right questions can reveal some really valuable customer insights. Using a survey template will make the whole process a lot easier and more efficient.
5. Focus on Your Marketing Efforts
If you want to increase your sales, effective marketing is crucial. Luckily, promoting your products or services doesn’t have to be costly. There are many affordable ways to market your small business, such as:
- Social media (of course!)
- Sending out promotions along with your invoices
- Sending out press releases to local media to get them to cover your business
- Creating a media kit
- Joining directories or business organizations
- Organizing free classes or workshops related to your products and services
- Sending promotional emails to existing customers
- Teaming up with other local businesses to promote each other
- Cold calling
- Branding your company’s vehicle with your company logo and info.
6. Rely on Word of Mouth
Regardless of whether you run your business in a big urban center or a small community, word of mouth is more important than ever. Today’s consumers turn to the internet to check out the reviews and testimonials before making a purchase, so building a good brand image and reputation is crucial for the success of your business. Here are some ideas to help you get positive word of mouth:
- Make sure your service is outstanding
- Build an engaged social community
- Engage with influencers
- Give back to your community
- Reward customers’ loyalty.
7. Go Mobile
The number of people who are using their smartphones to search and shop online is continually rising, so if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out.
- Make sure that your website is optimized for mobile. Using responsive design is a great solution as it fits all screen sizes.
- You should also consider investing in mobile marketing. There’s a number of mobile marketing strategies that can help you reach your target market, from mobile ads and SMS advertising to have an app developed for your small business.
- Finally, take advantage of the fact that people are starting to use their phones to make payments. The choices for small businesses are expanding as Google Wallet and Apple Pay join well-known players in the field like PayPal and Square.
8. Hire the Best Employees
Hiring and keeping the best employees on the market is vital to the success of your business. Focus on attracting top talent and keeping them for the long run. This isn’t easy for small businesses that aren’t well known, but you can achieve it by following these tips:
- Build a strong employer brand
- Offer flexible opportunities and attractive rewards
- Offer competitive compensation
- Offer a good level of work-life balance
- Design creative benefits perks and packages
- Offer a meaningful career ladder
- Write appealing job descriptions.
Success is not something that happens by default, so if you want to make your small business more successful, you need to take the necessary steps. That may require something as simple as buying a couple of new tools or as complicated as rethinking entire business segments or processes. These 8 tips should provide you with a solid starting point to prevent your business from stagnation.