Keeping your business growing year over year involves more than just selling more products. You need to find a way to keep your brand fresh and relevant, so customers keep coming back for more.
Unfortunately, more than 45% of small businesses close their doors after the first five years.
Don’t become another statistic. Use these proven small business management tips to help you grow your business and ensure your long-term success.
1. Invest in Your People
Your employees are the backbone of your business and they’re the ones that interact with your customers or clients every day. Rather than hiring the first person that applies for an open position, take your time and interview several.
Choose employees that understand and agree with your company’s values. Look for people that want to stay in the role for more than a few months and train them so they can grow with your company. If you need to fill a managerial or supervisory role, open the position to your existing staff first.
Treat your employees like the vital resource they are. When employees feel valued and know that their employer is willing to listen to their concerns or ideas, they’ll be happier going to work each day. And the happier your employees are, the better they’ll be able to help your clients and customers.
2. Manage Your Inventory Well
If you sell physical products, staying on top of your inventory is the best way to maintain profitability. Get in the habit of checking inventory at least once each quarter. This will help you identify stock that’s not moving and allows you to monitor shrinkage or loss throughout the year.
You can take inventory by hand, counting each product and checking it against your physical records, but it’s an incredibly slow process.
As your business grows, you’ll want to invest in software and apps to help streamline the process. When you’re searching for the best app to track inventory, make sure the programs you’re considering will work as your business grows.
The last thing you want to do is have to learn an entirely new program every year because your old app couldn’t keep up with your growth.
3. Stay on Top of Your Bookkeeping Efforts
If you want to keep your business growing, you need to have a clear picture of your company’s finances throughout the year. The best way to do that is to stay on top of your routine bookkeeping and accounting efforts.
Track your expenses. Monitor your profits and losses each month and maintain clear records of any purchases or expenditures you make for your business. This will help you establish and stick to a budget so you can plan for growth over time.
Try to review your books often so you can monitor for any changes and make the necessary corrections before trouble hits.
4. Listen to Your Clients and Customers
Your customers experience your brand, products, and services every time they interact with your company. Use this to your advantage. Ask regular customers for their feedback on your business.
If they have recommendations or suggestions for how you can improve, pay attention to those suggestions. If they tell you the things they love about your company, keep doing those things as you grow.
When you’re working with new clients or customers, pay attention to the questions they ask and the concerns they raise. If you can listen to what your customers are telling you, you’ll be better prepared to meet their needs in the future.
5. Continue Growing Your Product Offerings
When businesses offer the same products and services without changing them, customers are more likely to look to their competitors. This is because customers’ needs change, and they change often.
As you grow your business, continue improving your product offerings and services. Just make sure the new products are in line with your company’s values and core offerings.
You want new products to make sense with the items you already offer. The new items should anticipate your customers’ needs and encourage them to spend more money at your business rather than confusing them.
6. Watch What Your Competitors Are Doing
One of the best things you can do when you start to run a small business is to look to your competitors. They’ll show you what you can and should do differently and what you need to do right to attract customers that will be loyal to you over them.
As you grow, watch what your competitors are doing to drive traffic to their business. Then, think about how you can improve on what they’re doing and implement those changes if they make sense for your company and your budget.
7. Prioritize Customer Service
About 63% of customers are willing to stop supporting a brand after receiving bad customer service. Unfortunately, maintaining great customer service as your company gets bigger and more successful will only get harder.
As you grow, continue to prioritize great customer service with every interaction. Encourage and empower your employees to do what they can to make every customer happy.
The better your customer service is, the more likely your customers will be to stick around. And if you can wow them consistently, they’ll tell everyone they know, thereby getting you new customers without you having to expand your marketing efforts.
Follow These Small Business Management Tips
Creating a successful and long-lasting business means staying on top of your small business management efforts. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll set yourself up for success each year.
Remember that each business is unique and the challenges you’ll face will change as you grow. But as long as you listen to your employees and your customers, you’ll be ready to meet those challenges head-on with confidence.
If you’re ready to further streamline your company, check out our latest posts for more tips and tricks to help you plan for your brand’s future.