Have you always dreamed of starting a successful business?
For most people, that’s because they want to be their own boss and have the freedom to work on their own terms.
But what those aspiring entrepreneurs don’t realise is that running a business is a lot harder than it looks.
And most new businesses fail in the first few years.
But, don’t despair just yet.
You can avoid that fate by focusing on building a strong foundation and growing your business quickly.
So what exactly does that involve?
In the following post, I’ll share my 10 expert tips for building a thriving business.
Follow these tips and you can concentrate on what matters most in achieving your goals.
Tip #1. Use Diverse Ways to Reach Customers
If your main business operates offline, such as a physical store, try increasing the number of channels you use to reach out to your customers.
If you don’t already have an online presence, that’s the first place to start.
One quick and easy way to do this is by signing up to a marketplace which attracts your target audience.
Try selling your product there.
Once you’re online, reach out to potential customers via email, social media, and forums..
For example, say you have a small business that sells handmade jewellery.
To reach a larger audience, you could create an online store on Etsy eBay or Amazon.
Then use social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to showcase your products.
Use social media to drive traffic to both your online and retail stores.
The key is to use multiple channels for your new business.
Then you’ll find the most effective way to get in front of your ideal customers.
Tip #2. Know Your Finances
As a business owner, it’s important to have a good grasp of your finances.
Analysing your financial statements can help you identify where your business is overspending.
Use that information to save money and redirect it for marketing and sales.
For example; a restaurant owner who wants to reduce expenses can analyse their financial statements to see which menu items are not selling well.
They can then consider removing these dishes from the menu to save on food costs.
Pro tip: If you don’t know how to analyse your financials, hire a bookkeeper.
Tip #3. Increase Customer Retention
It costs five times more to acquire new customers than to keep existing ones. This is why, for a new business, customer retention is the easiest way to grow.
Customer retention also helps in word-of-mouth marketing.
When people like your product they will likely tell their friends and family.
As your customers persuade more people to buy from you, your brand will quickly grow.
Consider offering a loyalty program and personalised offers.
Exceptional customer service will keep your old and new customers coming back for more.
Tip #4. Hire People Who are Eager to Learn
People who love to learn are typically highly motivated, adaptable, and willing to take on new challenges.
As a new business or startup, you can’t afford to have people who specialise in one task or who resist stepping out of their comfort zone.
You need employees who can multitask and get things done efficiently.
By hiring people who always want to try new things and expand their skills, you create a culture of continuous learning and development.
A team eager to grow will help your business stay competitive and adapt to changing market conditions.
Tip #5. Attend Networking Events
Networking events are a great way to meet new people, build relationships, and explore new business opportunities..
New relationships help you gain insights into the industry, learn about potential clients and competitors, and create opportunities for collaborations and partnerships.
For example, if you have a brand new idea for a business, you can attend a networking event for entrepreneurs.
That’s where you can meet potential mentors and business partners.
You can get feedback on your business idea, and learn about the resources available to new businesses in the community.
Tip #6. Build Partnerships
Building a partnership is a win-win situation for both parties involved as they use each other’s strengths and resources.
By collaborating with businesses that complement your own, you can create a mutually beneficial relationship that leads to:
- Faster growth
- Increased brand recognition
- More opportunities for success
For example, a local coffee shop could partner with a bakery to offer fresh pastries and baked goods in their store.
With this kind of arrangement, the bakery can reach a new customer base, and the coffee shop can offer a wider variety of products to their customers.
Tip #7. Leverage Google Maps
Google lets you create a Google My Business account for free.
This account helps you manage your online presence across Google search results and Maps.
It’s one of the quickest and simplest ways for offline stores to get foot traffic.
It’s a Friday night, and John wants to go out with his family for dinner. He doesn’t want to go to the same old restaurants and wants to try something new.
John heads to Google and searches for ‘Family restaurant near me’ and here’s what Google shows him:
What you see in the image are Google Maps listings.
If you own a restaurant, you can list it on Google Maps via a Google My Business account. Just like IHOP, Loyola’s, and Cracker Barrel.
When people can find you it will increase your restaurant’s reach in the neighbourhood.
Tip #8. Go for Quick Wins
The short-term goals you set for your business will help you achieve your long-term objectives.
Examples of short term goals are:
● Talk to 2 new leads every week
● Add a new feature to the product every month
● Post on social media 5 times a week
Next, set the metrics for tracking your progress and adjust your strategy as needed.
Tip #9. Take Calculated Risks
Growth and innovation come when you take calculated risks.
A calculated risk is a decision you make after analysing the pros and cons of an idea.
For example, a software developer will often test a new feature with beta testers before rolling it out to all customers.
Evaluate the potential benefits and risks of any new tactic you’re considering before making a decision.
Then prepare to fail!
Remember, every successful business fails many times along the way.
The difference is they learned from the failure each time.
Don’t think of it as failure.
It is research and development.
“Approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years. Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more.”Investopedia: Top 6 Reasons New Businesses Fail
To get to 15 years, you have to face failures every now and then.
The businesses that succeed are those which don’t give up.
Tip #10. Use Social Media Strategically
Social media can be a powerful tool for growing your business.
But most entrepreneurs use it at random, without any clear strategy in mind.
Or they jump straight into promoting their products.
But they have yet to build a relationship with their audience.
People will more readily buy from someone they know, like and trust.
You must take time to build an audience, and then earn their trust.
So, instead of pushing offers, take time to educate your target audience.
Show them how you are an expert in your field of interest.
Let them know how your product solves their related challenges, problems, or dreams.
Once you’ve built engagement, you can start promoting your products or services more directly.
For example; a skincare brand can educate their audience about the benefits of using natural ingredients.
Show how those ingredients can improve skin health.
They can use social media sites like Instagram to showcase before-and-after photos of their customers.
Also, they could offer tutorials on the most effective use of their products.
Then, and only then, should they start sharing links to buy their products.
Putting It All Together
If you’ve already made the jump into starting a business, you know it can be hard work just to tread water.
But what you need is to start earning a healthy profit.
Be aware that you’re guaranteed to face challenges and setbacks along the way.
If you stay focused on your goals and follow the tips is this post, you can definitely achieve your entrepreneurial dreams.
The most important thing to remember is to stay flexible and open to new ideas.
The world is always changing, and that means your customers’ needs will change too.
By staying curious and willing to learn, you can continue to grow and scale your business for years to come.