So you’ve finally got your business off the ground, and you’re seeing reasonable growth. Your profits aren’t going to set the world on fire, but you’re doing comfortably and your employees (if you have any) are satisfied. You can’t just stop there, though. There are things that your business requires if you’re going to keep up this level of growth or increase it. Here are 10 needs every growing business has, and how to fulfil those needs.
- An IT support network
If you’re not an expert in computers yourself, you’ll need someone on staff (or someone close at hand) who is. You can also appeal to businesses like Netstar – bespoke IT solutions providers who will help you run your network – in order to successfully outsource your IT. A small business without IT support these days is rather like a person without oxygen, so make sure that whatever option you have in place for this, it’s robust and reliable.
- An understanding of tech
It’s not just IT that your business needs to stay on top of. The tech industry is massive and growing exponentially. From smart devices to smartphones and everything in between, you should be staying on top of tech. Regularly hit informative sites like Tech Exclusive to see what tech is popular, how people are using it, and how your business can exploit that usage to increase your dividends. It’s not really possible to be successful in 2019 without understanding tech thoroughly.
- Reliable staff
You can only get so far by doing everything yourself in a small business environment. In order to be truly successful, you need reliable staff. Whether you have good staff depends on a lot of things; your interview process, the perks you’re offering your staff, and your interpersonal manner are all crucial when you’re thinking about how to improve the quality of your workforce. If you don’t put effort into finding good staff members, you won’t get results.
- Good market research
While you may well be able to carve out your own successful niche, you won’t get very far if you don’t have a thorough understanding of your competition. Understanding the business strategy of companies in direct competition with you will help you fill gaps and identify weak areas in the market where you can capitalise. If you stay turtled up and pretend your competitors don’t exist, you’ll only fall foul of something they’re doing better than you.
- A positive attitude
This goes for both you and your staff. If you don’t keep a positive attitude throughout your business dealings, then your negativity will show and your customers will flock to someone who seems more optimistic. There are many methods you can use to promote a positive attitude in the workplace; from positive brand messaging to mission reinforcement, every business owner should be making sure they’re constantly making their staff feel motivated.
- Business acumen
It might sound obvious to you, but you’d be surprised how many businesses manage to trundle along without anyone who actually understands business in them. The basics of business success are absolutely vital for any healthy business, so if you – or any of the key personnel on your team – don’t have them under your belt, you’ll suffer. It’s a good idea to book courses, hold workshops, and have regular meetings to make sure you’re all on the same page.
- A unified mission
It’s no good if your staff are all working to either undermine or undercut one another. To succeed and grow as a business, you’ll need a single, unified mission that’s reinforced constantly throughout the rank and file of your operation. Your mission could simply be “provide great products and service”, which, of course, should be the mission statement of every business. Still, it’s something you can reinforce and make sure departments are adhering to at all times.
- Customer loyalty
It’s one thing to attract a customer for the first time, but the truly successful business keeps customers coming back again and again. The good business owner builds a loyalty plan that rewards customers for repeat business but doesn’t give away too much in terms of stock value. This balance is important; if your loyalty program is too generous, you’ll quickly start to lose money, but if it’s too stingy then it won’t make customers want to keep coming back.
- Good networking
Remember when we said you won’t be able to succeed if you don’t research your competition? That goes double for building a network. Relationships with other businesses are key to your survival; if you carve out a niche for yourself and exist alongside other ventures, then you’re going to do great. The best way to do this is to identify businesses whose products could sit comfortably alongside yours and reach out. Don’t wait for your phone to ring; get out there and do it yourself!
- Superlative customer service
One of the ways businesses can distinguish themselves from the competition is with excellent customer service. This isn’t quite the same as a loyalty program, because customer service means helping customers who may not have had a particularly positive experience with your business. Helping those customers – identifying what you’ve done wrong and what areas are ripe for improvement – means you’ll build both robust customer service knowledge and good word-of-mouth.