When you develop a business there’s single set method for increasing your chances of success. There’s no single formula or guide to follow that will light the path and guarantee your small business success.
However, there are certain steps and time-honoured small business tips for growing a business that you can follow to increase your chances of succeeding in business and growing your small business. These steps just make it that much easier to run a successful business as a small business owner. Here are some top tips for how to promote a business and marketing tips for small business owners in Australia. Although growing a small business will take time and efforts, here are 8 strategies you can use to help accelerate business expansion.
1. Get into the habit of being super organised
In business, as in life, being organised helps make everything flow more easily and avoids things being unintentionally missed or forgotten. In fact, achieving long-term success running your own small business can, in part, hinge on how good you are at organising your business priorities and your working day.
It’s not rocket science, but great and achievable small business tips such as this will help you complete tasks and stay on top of all the things that you have to get done.
A great way to add a new layer of organisation to the day to day running of your small business is to rely on a to-do list. Again, this is not exactly cutting-edge innovation, but the humble to-do list is a great way to ensure that you don’t miss a beat throughout your working day.
A fantastic way to help manage a business successfully is to create a to-do lists. At the end of every working day, create your to-do list for the following day. Do this right before you leave the office for the day. What you are effectively doing here is planning out your next work day, so it’s a win-win for you as a busy small business owner. Or you may wish to use digital tools to help keep you on top of your to-do list.
2. Competitor analysis
While not a new concept, a thorough competitor analysis is still one of the most effective ways to intimately understand your key competitors. After all, your competitors may be doing something great that you can refine and introduce into your own business to improve your chances of success.
How you analyse your competition can vary depending on what industry you are in and how much access you can get to them. But as a general guide a well-rounded competitor analysis could include these steps:
- Identify your competitors.
- Perform a competitor SWOT analysis on each competitor.
- Review your competitors’ websites and customer experiences.
- Determine your competitors’ market positioning.
- Look at your competitors’ pricing.
- Review your competitors’ social media performance and feedback.
If you are looking at expanding a business or achieving growth in business, in the immortal words of Kenny Rogers, you can benefit from, “knowing when to hold ‘em, and knowing when to fold ‘em”. One of the keys to succeeding as a small business owner is knowing when to take calculated risks and when to avoid them.
Being able to tell the difference between the two will help you gain a competitive advantage over your competition and help you grow your business. For small business owners it’s important to not fear risk. Rather, work on getting comfortable with assessing risks, weighing up the pros and cons, and strategically deciding which calculated risks you should take on, and which risks you should give a wide berth to.
A good approach is to start by considering the downside if you take the calculated risk on and things don’t go your way. Answering this question honestly will enable you to visualise what the worst-case scenario will look like if things don’t go according to plan.
3. Think outside the box
When considering how to manage a business so you can get ahead and grow your company, a little creative thinking and creative problem solving can go a long way. Be creative when looking for ways to improve your business and make your small business stand out from the competition.
It’s important to understand and accept that you may not have the answers to every question or problem that your business or clients throw at you. So you may benefit from being open to new ideas and different approaches for your business.
Whether these new initiatives come from yourself or from friends, family, business advisors, or even from your clients, it doesn’t really matter. If you think it’s a good idea and it has the potential to help grow or improve your business, it could be worth following it up.
4. Reduce your exposure to risks
Risk is something that simply comes with the territory when you operate your own small business. You can’t control everything, but as a small business owner you can control how you actively manage and reduce your exposure to risk. It’s about protecting your livelihood and the business you’ve worked so hard to build.
By their very nature, some small businesses are exposed to more risk than others, depending on their industry. But there are certain risks and liabilities that many small businesses have in common that can be reduced by business insurance such as Professional Indemnity insurance* and Public Liability insurance.
How you choose to manage the risks to your business is completely up to you, but it is something worth considering. It’s one of the reasons why so many small business owners choose to protect their business with small business insurance.
5. Stay focused and hold steady
The old saying goes that, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. And the same old adage applies to growing a business too. Running a small business takes time and you will benefit from having a business growth strategy to guide you as you raise awareness and create interest in your new business. You know your plans for your new business, so stay focused on achieving the business goals you have set for yourself.
Many small business owners may even make a profit for a year or two while they use their revenue to recoup investment costs. This is called being ‘in the red’. When you are profitable and make more than you need to spend to cover debts and payroll, this is called being ‘in the black’.
That being said, if your business is not turning a profit after a substantial period of time, it’s worth looking into if there are issues with the product or service, if the market still exists, and other possible issues that might be impacting your growth potential.
6. Get comfortable with making sacrifices
There are many, many types of successful small business owners, but one thing that they generally all have in common is a plan for small business success.
It is not easy to start a business. But once you have opened your doors, the work truly begins. You may have to work harder than if you were working for someone else, and this can lead to less time with your family and friends.
For those who are determined to make their business a success, the old saying that there are no weekends or vacations might be true, at least for the time being.
7. Become a diligent record keeper
Many successful business owners are fastidious when it comes to keep detailed records in their business. By doing so, you’ll know where your business stands financially and what potential challenges you could be facing. Just knowing this information can give you time to create strategies to overcome the ever-present challenges of successfully running a small business. And remember to keep copies of your critical business records in both physical and digital form.
8. Attract the right people to your business
Your business is the sum of its parts, and that includes your staff. Hiring the best people you can is a great way to rapidly achieve your business growth plan. When you have driven, smart and dedicated employees, your business will be well equipped to grow. In addition, delegating key tasks to your skilled team can enable you to focus on big picture, business critical tasks.
Small business FAQs for growing your business
What is the fastest way to grow a small business?
In many circumstances, businesses will organically grow at their own pace, and this is often beyond the control of the owner or the employees in the business. There are certain aspects of running lean that can help a business grow quickly. These include focusing on a smaller range of curated products or services, scaling up strategically rather than scaling up without a clear growth plan, and giving your business a clear competitive advantage over your competitors.
How can you increase sales?
There are many ways to increase your business sales. Indeed an increase in sales can come from a variety of marketing, sales, and promotional activities. You can increase your advertising and marketing spend, seek referrals from your existing customers, and reward them when they refer their friends or family to your business.
You can also increase sales in your small business by expanding existing product lines. If you choose to experiment with this strategy, be sure to closely track its effectiveness. If it isn’t delivering the sales increases you are looking for, nip it in the bud and try a different tact.
What makes a start-up successful?
Although business success can be difficult to measure, it is possible to generate returns for stakeholders through start-ups. Start-ups that are successful have a product or service that can be scaled. There are many ways to grow your business. However, regardless of which strategies you choose to implement, it is important to measure which ones are working – i.e., which are providing returns – and which are not.
For example, if your business has a customer loyalty program that doesn’t improve customer retention, it may be time to change your strategy. Perhaps it’s getting a CRM and engaging customers on a regular schedule or using social media or email campaigns to engage with them.
Reduce your business risk with small business insurance* from BizCover
As you work on strategies for growing your small business, remember to also consider how you will safeguard it from the potential risks and liabilities that it can face every day. Regardless of the types of small businesses you may be considering launching, a great way to reduce the risks to your small business is through small business insurance.
Having the right types of business insurance can be the difference between the longevity of your small business, and it potentially being exposed to risks that it may not be able to recover from
At BizCover we’ve created a uniquely simple and fast way to compare business insurance quotes online, saving you time and money when it comes to business insurance. Get your small business insurance online from Australia’s leading insurers in 10 minutes at BizCover.com.au or give us a call 1300 920 864 to see how we can help protect your small business.