Owning a business is something people dream about and, unfortunately, many never realize. If you are fortunate enough to currently own a business you know all too well the sacrifices you and your family made to pursue your dream. However, as time passes, many fail to properly invest their money and time into their business. Until one day they wake up to the hard truth that their business is not growing. The good news is if your business is not moving in the right direction, you can make changes.
You may have at one time experienced a wealth of customers who recognized your name through a successful marketing campaign and now with a reduced presence, your competitors steal the limelight. It happens. You get comfortable and as a result, begin to feel the effects. Luckily, this is something you can fix. Getting involved once again with your community through self-sponsored events is one way. Setting up pop up canopies at trade shows and local fairs will help reinforce your efforts. Getting back to the tools previously used to achieve success will help you move forward.
Too often business owners fail to see the direct effect employees can have on their business. If you think about it, they are, in most cases, the first form of communication between the business and the customer. Employees who don't feel part of the company or are there simply to earn a paycheck can have a negative impact. It's very hard for any business to retain good help and if you see that your once loyal staff is now disengaged, it's time to make changes. Offering company benefits, monetary incentives and internal promotions are all practices large corporations use.
Know Your Competitors
When a business owner becomes comfortable with its existence, they often let the competition retake the front stage. The good news is that you still have time to restore your presence. Find out what your competitors are currently doing to promote business. Are they utilizing new technology? Are they keeping in touch with their customers through periodic emails? Are they offering other services? These are things you need to discover.
Take A Step Back
Perhaps you have a type A personality and feel the need to do everything yourself. While it does keep you in the loop, it also consumes valuable time, a commodity you cannot afford to waste. Instead of doing things like payroll and bookkeeping, outsource the services. Today most successful businesses outsource certain aspects of their business. First, accept that you cannot be in two places at once and secondly by outsourcing, you won't need to hire another employee. With less to worry about, you can focus on your ultimate goal: growing the business.
Keep in Touch
Without customers, you have no business. It's a simple truth. So it only makes sense to keep them happy. Touching base from time to time will let your customers know that they are more than just a source of income. Sending out random emails several times a year is an effective marketing tool to maintain contact. In these emails, you can see if there's anything they need, or advise your customers of a new product or service offered. For customers who commonly refer clients, offer them an incentive to keep sending business your way. It doesn't need to be anything large. A small monetary thank-you such as a prepaid gift card will do wonders.
If you feel that your business isn't moving in the right direction, you have the ability to make changes. Take a hard look at what's working and what isn't and then find ways to correct the problem.