Starting your own business takes a lot of effort and hard work.
There’s a great saying that goes along the lines of ‘entrepreneurs are the only people who work 80 hours to give up working 40’.
In the beginning, when you start your own business, you might very well be able to cope with everything by yourself, just about. But as time goes on and your business grows, the amount of work involved can become overwhelming for a single individual.
This is when it’s time to reflect on your practices and think about adapting your processes to best allow your business to grow.
Consider the below tips to help grow your small business:
Seek professional advice
For valuable business and financial advice enlist the help of a professional consultant. Learn from those who have built successful businesses before and already know what works and what doesn’t. Receiving coaching or a mentor to guide you through the next steps could be all you need to achieve your business goals.
There are several mundane tasks that can be automated every day to save you precious time and allow you to focus on growing your business.
Email marketing, social media updates, website logins and website reporting are all examples where you can save time each day through automating.
If you sell goods use a customer management system to track orders and manage stock control. Small businesses and the self-employed can even automate their accounting with thanks to online software such as Quickbooks.
Hire a virtual assistant
When growing a business, particularly if you are a solopreneur, you may not want to commit to hiring a permanent member of staff.
It may be too expensive at this stage and you may not have a consistent workload to give.
This is where a virtual assistant is a great idea.
As they are self-employed you can hire them on an ad-hoc basis as the workload demands. Let them take over non-essential tasks that are wasting your precious time each day; phone calls, email filtering, bookkeeping and social media management, for example.
As well as reducing your own personal workload and growing your business, there are several things you should focus on to maintain the business you have successfully created:
Create an email list
Depending on your type of business you’re going to want to be capturing emails. Whether it’s customer emails for you to increase sales or a personal list of business contacts. Both are beneficial to your business.
Let your website capture these emails for you with inviting sign up forms. Growing an email list is often cited as one of the best things you can do for your business.
Have clear branding and ensure your brands message is consistent, particularly if you hire staff. Make sure they understand the brand and represent it just as you would. Ensure your branding is consistent across all online platforms and marketing materials. Not only does this look professional, but it means your brand will be recognised and remembered.
Ask for referrals & testimonials
Ask your existing customers if they know anyone else who needs your services. If they are happy with the service received, encourage them to spread the good word or alternatively provide you with a testimonial you can use in your marketing materials or on your website.
Provide great customer service
Your customers are only going to return if the service they receive is above and beyond. Make it impossible for them not to recommend you to others or return for more. Nurture existing customers with loyalty rewards, email newsletters and discounts to keep them interested and show appreciation for their custom.
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