5 Tips to grow your small business

Once your SME is successfully off the ground, it’s time to start thinking about moving it up to the next level.

The chances are, you wouldn’t have started your business in the first place if you didn’t have aspirations to continue to grow it. But knowing where to start with this next step can be daunting, not least because there’s a host of different ways to scale.

Recognise that your own priorities will change

A crucial key to growth is realising that you’ll have to start shifting your own attention away from the mundane day-to-day tasks that take up time but don’t deliver value. As a leader, you’ll be expected to do just that – lead – as well as network, make key decisions and help the company grow in terms of skills, knowledge and experience. No one can be all things to all people, so your efforts will have to be more concentrated than before. You are no longer IT support, the office manager and a PM! This will ultimately mean ensuring that you have the right systems and platforms in place to ensure that everything is running smoothly without the need for constant oversight from you.

Do your research

From entering new markets to diversifying your offering, there’s a wealth of ways to grow your business. But a scattergun approach is almost never the best one. Instead, take your time and do some serious market research into the best way to expand your company. This will not just let you understand your existing customers, but also potential new ones. Look to gain insight into your target market, where they are and what their needs are, which will in turn let you know if you need to pivot your offering at all. And don’t forget to look into your competitors, what they are doing and what their strengths and weaknesses are, too. Doing so can be a powerful tool in helping your make key decisions when it comes to deciding your own next steps.

Measure, review, refine

So, you’ve conducted your research, you have a plan in place, and you’ve started to implement it – don’t just throw it out there and hope that it sticks. Instead, make small, incremental changes, keep keen sets of eyes on your data and adjust your strategy as necessary. This is an area where it might be seriously beneficial to use analytics apps, which collect data from your websites and apps to create reports that provide insights into your business. This can take a lot of heavy lifting off your desk and present you with the information that you need to make the required changes and boost your sales.

Focus on customer retention

Yes, you want more customers – but you also need to make sure that your existing ones stay with you, not least because the happier they are, the greater the chance of them referring you to a peer. Consider creating a customer feedback loop – because when you truly understand customer sentiment and what they like/dislike, you can take action on their feedback, refine your approach, and better meet their needs. If you ask for their input and receive their thoughts, make sure you act on it to show them that you are listening. Crucially, make sure frontline staff are kept fully informed so that they understand any issues that are arising and can act on them themselves. Security is vital here, too. A data breach can do serious reputational damage – so make sure you are fully covered in this department.

Improve productivity

If you’re looking to expand, the chances are you’ll have more boots on the ground than when you first opened your doors, and you’ll want to ensure that you’re maximising the time and potential of each and every one of your employees. There will almost certainly be efficiencies that you can make – it’s just a case of ensuring that you are supported by the right tech, platforms and partners. Think about asking your staff where they think their time gets wasted. They might tell you that too much time is spent on unnecessary meetings, or that remote working means that tasks are duplicated because of lack of communication. Do teams work as collaboratively as they should? Are documents shared in the most effective way? Do you struggle with inefficient video calling software, which creates frustrations? Gather up all of this information and look for systems that could solve them.

The perfect platform for success

You’ve worked hard to get your SME off the ground, and while a sleeves rolled up mindset is a great one, it’s vital that you don’t get bogged down in the minutiae but instead focus on the planning and bigger picture. All of this is why you need tools and apps that are as flexible as you are; that you can trust implicitly, and that your employees actively want to engage with.

Creation, connection and collaboration are at the heart of Google Workspace, which is already used by billions of people around the world.

Google Workspace also started on the cloud and runs on the cloud, so it’s no surprise that the people behind fully understand the complex nature of running your business this way. Because of this, Google Workspace can offer you and your company a highly secure, reliable and compliant environment.

Plans start at as little as £4.60 per user per month and there’s a number of options, including flexible plans, on offer depending on your business’s requirements. To find out more about Google Workspace, click this link.

Don’t forget, our V-Hub Digital Advisers are always on-hand to help with your questions, too.

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