After getting your business off the ground, the next step is to grow and expand. This means making your brand memorable to consumers. Some tactics have emerged as things that any entrepreneur can do to build and keep momentum. Here are six strategies for growing your company in the new year.
Develop Your Network
Name recognition is an important part of building your brand. There is an assortment of ways to accomplish this. Attending local chamber of commerce meetings, handing out business cards at industry events, and joining groups on LinkedIn are great ways to get your name out there. Many business owners also forget that part of building their company’s brand is branding themselves. Think of yourself as a walking advertisement for your brand’s lifestyle and ambitions. Becoming part of Wikipedia for CEOs is just one of many strategies for creating an association between your name and your business.
Make Infrastructure Virtual
The past two years witnessed a mass migration of corporate infrastructure to the web. A year ago, going digital was a necessity, but keeping some business processes virtual can help cut overhead permanently. Offices.net reported that the average cost of office space in 2020 was $35 per square foot. Using project management software such as Basecamp and Voice over IP (VoIP) systems like Skype in lieu of a physical office can save a tremendous amount of money. With property costs increasing rapidly, going digital can help your bottom line.
Automate Business Processes
Digital technology can do far more than just replicate real estate. Business process automation (BPA) tools can help companies grow by automating tedious tasks. Customer relationship management (CRM) software, for example, is rapidly becoming indispensable. These program suites can coordinate customer outreach and track sales progress. Analytical algorithms are able to process data points faster than any human could hope to, leading to more accurate performance forecasts. The same kind of algorithms can aid in the effectiveness of market research while cutting its cost considerably.
Get Better at Customer Service
Customer service can make or break a company. Research shows that customers overwhelmingly prefer to interact with a live, empathetic voice when they have a tough question. The consequences of poor service can be dire. Statista reported that 40% of customers who had a bad experience dropped the company entirely.
Automated chatbots can and do tend to increase sales, but that’s mostly a function of volume. They can handle the small, simple questions quickly. Striking a balance between automation and the human touch is hard, but making service a breeze for customers will always pay dividends.
Hire the Best
Having the best workforce possible is more important than ever, but what does it mean to have “the best?” The consensus a few decades ago was that technical skill and a degree from a prestigious university mattered most. It turns out that character, critical thinking, and alignment with the company vision are far more important.
Study after study reveals that the “soft skills” like empathy and team building are objectively better predictors of performance than raw technical proficiency. Skill level is still important of course, but a solid training program can help sharpen those, especially in people who have the drive to succeed. The important thing is hiring people who care and who want to learn.
Adopt Sustainable Practices
One of the best ways to keep your company growing is to evolve with the times. Business owners used to groan at the idea of adopting green energy. The march of progress in engineering has changed all that, with residential solar energy prices averaging $0.06 to $0.08 per kilowatt-hour in 2021. Include government incentives in the equation, and the best time to go green is now.
An added boon to incorporating sustainability into your business plan is the effect it has on consumer opinion. According to a recent McKinsey study, 66% of consumers think of sustainability as an important metric when making a purchase. From the quality of the product to the behavior of the business that made it, there is a growing demand for corporate responsibility. Try to capitalize on it this year.
There’s no single best way to grow a business. Success comes from making the right moves at the right time. Keep these tips in mind when planning the future of your company.
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