Even the most confident entrepreneurs can feel stuck in a rut sometimes. Constant improvement is the key to scaling your operation, and even though it might seem like a tall order in tough times, there are many small and easy things that any business owner can do to make improvements. Here are six solid strategies for kickstarting growth in your company.
The first step in improving your business is protecting it. With around two-thirds of businesses having at least some web presence, and with data breach costs rising to around $186 per record compromised in 2021, taking simple steps to defend your assets against cybercrime is critical. Try upgrading your security with new tools and techniques such as single sign on authentication logins, centralized endpoint security and patches for operating system flaws. Every added layer will play a role in keeping your business safe from digital crime.
Effective marketing research should be about far more than just focus groups and online quizzes. It might be worth doing a deep dive into polling and demographics to get a general read on public perception regarding certain issues. For example, recent studies revealed that 59% of Generation Z consumers are buying upcycled products. Why not capitalize on that by adding a commitment to sustainability to your public relations outreach? Even a modest outlay of resources in this respect can do wonders to boost the perception of a company's relevance and relatability.
Preferred channels of communication vary by niche and subculture. Once you learn what channels will work best, engineer your social media marketing campaigns to reach out across all of them. This doesn't have to be costly. Posting one-minute TikTok videos and Instagram Stories can give your company a greater sense of accessibility than stale ads and it's an excellent vehicle for cross-promotion.
Another budget-friendly marketing option is SMS marketing. Various surveys have pegged the open rate at 80% to 98% for texts and they cost little to send. Text and messenger-based communications are also favored by consumers as a method of customer service, since it's quick, convenient, and they get to speak to a live operator.
It's hard to grow your business if you don't know your business. Business analytics is both an art and a science, and it's increasingly dependent on leveraging big data to generate accurate forecasts. Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, business intelligence software is getting better at making sense of that information. Remember, though, that data isn't the same as knowledge. Owners and managers themselves need to master the critical thinking skills necessary for turning raw data into wise decisions.
This is especially important for sales teams. There's a common misconception that having a strong conversion rate means hard selling and other aggressive techniques. Studies show that the performance of salespeople during personal encounters with potential customers is the number one driver of overall satisfaction. In short, people are too savvy to be as susceptible to the hard sell as they used to be. This is a good thing. As perceptions of authenticity increasingly drive customer loyalty, it's time to learn the skills necessary to connect with the people you mean to serve.
If your business isn't growing as fast as you like, the problem could be with the organizational structure you're using. Having a traditional hierarchical structure is great for generating specialists and keeping employees hungry for promotions, but an overemphasis on middle management might be dragging down your cost efficiency. You might also consider allowing work from home if you haven't already done so, since a recent Stanford University study found that remote workers were 13% more productive than their office-bound counterparts. If a business isn't growing, it's not succeeding. Fight back against the urge to stick with the status quo, and try out these fresh new ways to scale your company.