To grow your business from a small operator to a big-time company isn’t easy. It takes time, smart investment decisions and a lot of hard work. Here are five tips to sharpen your skills and build your business.
1. Grow your business through online engagement
Information technology and entrepreneurship are more closely related today than ever before. A 2015 study published in the Information Systems Journal found most online startup business models face the continual threats of change and adaptation.
The research concludes that engaging online with a professional social network is critical for businesses to last and remain successful in the ever-changing online world. To stay ahead of the curve, small business owners must secure their company’s future by maintaining strong online ties with customers and other business partners.
2. Understand your customers’ needs
Consumer perceptions matter, especially if they live on the internet in the form of a bad online review. A 2015 survey by BrightLocal found over 90% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses.As a result, take the time to monitor your online presence and respond to customer reviews as necessary (be polite and never defensive). Always promote a positive image of your small business via as many online forums as possible.
3. Manage your expectations
Small business owners must always separate what they expect of themselves as the owner and what they want for their business. The easiest way to do this is to clearly identify what an organisation does, how it is done, and most importantly why it exists.According to New Business: Next Steps, knowing your purpose can help create a stronger small business brand and allow your customers to more readily identify a need for whatever your business offers.
4. Keep your house in order
Moving from a small business to a larger company may require greater expenditure on resources such as capital, staff and marketing. So how do others do it? They ensure they have simple but accurate inventory and online accounting systems in place. This is key in order to know exactly where your money is being spent and why.Complying with tax obligations is also another big but common hurdle to growth. An international study conducted by New Zealand’s University of Canterbury in 2015 found that tax compliance costs are typically disproportionately severe on smaller businesses. It also found there exists a general consensus for small businesses – make your own tax work simple with online accounting software like QuickBooks Online.
5. Access small business support
There is a wealth of government and non-government organisations that exist purely to offer assistance to small businesses owners, from mentoring programs to local government grants. Go online and research the many avenues available to access small business support in your industry. Remember, a good business owner knows where to go for help and when to ask for it.
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