Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceSmall Business · 1 decade ago

How can I grow and improve my small business?

Running a small business can be a challenging task, especially in today's economic environment. What are some ways you have grown or improved your business?

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    There are many things to do, based on your type of business, location, and buyer behaviours, but here are some basics that apply to all.

    1. Never stop learning. There are lots of free and low cost educational programs across the nation to help small business owners to learn how to keep up with the changes in buyer behavior, trends, computers, networking, advertising, sales techniques, and more. Take advantage of them. Check out www.sba.org or www.asbdc.org

    2. Use "Guerilla Marketing" techniques. There are several books out there that talk about low cost and free ways to advertise and get customers in and buying. Cross promotion with other similar but non competing businesses is just one, but it cuts your costs in half, and reaches more than double the paying customer base.

    3. If you have a younger buyer, you simply cannot neglect social media networking and things like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and the like. You should have a website, and reach out to these customers often. Warning though...be sure to track the amount of time spent on these things, and measure effectiveness. It can be an addiction, and not a profitable way to spend a day. Instead, have a couple of distinct goals....five new friends a day, two Twitters, etc. Then get back to the main business at hand.

    4. Always remember your existing customers as your best source of new business. Treat them awesome, offer specials just to them, and give extra special service. We had a ladies clothing store for over 25 years, and it was the little things, like extra nice wrapping paper and bows for free, exclusive sales and offers, fashion shows, etc, and we reached out to them with direct mail at least once a month. When something I knew they would like came in, I would give them a call. Now, with digital cameras and email, I would go one further, do a little display of the outfit, photograph it, and send in an email with a total price including free shipping if they didn't have to stop in the store.

    5. Keep your customers happy. Do surveys after a large purchase, and ask if there is anything that could have improved the transaction. Send Thank You notes, handwritten, from the salesperson. Make sure every employee has the ability to make a customer's transaction as smooth and troublefree as possible.

    6. Never stop teaching employees. Motivate. REWARD. Have regular meetings that are positive, upbeat, and listen to employees ideas. Cross train the staff to do just about any job in the store or business if needed. Give performance based rewards to top performers, and to all employees in the form of profit sharing if you reach your goals. Treat your people right, and they will be loyal, and stay with you. This eliminates turnover, a very expensive cost, and creates better customer service.

    7. Give all employees the tools they need to do their job well. Business cards, cellphones if they are on the road, reimburse auto expenses quickly, and put together a binder for each person to track their own sales, goals, professional development, customer notes,etc.

    8. Keep your store clean, your merchandise fresh, and everything neat and tidy. Change displays and signage regularly. Keep the windows washed, the floors clean, and show a sense of pride and positivity to all who enter.

    9. Smile, and hire people who smile. Say "Thank You". Hire people who really love the product you sell, more than someone who just has a good education. The former will have more passion, and be a cheerleader for you every day.

    10. Make sure you are supplying what customers want or need. You may have to change your product mix to go with the current trends, the economic climate, or add different price points. That being said, a small store does not have to have as low a price as a WalMart, because people are coming to you for service, reliablity, and all the reasons listed above. If possible, do not carry things that are available at mass merchandisers in your area. Be unique, fill a need or want, and treat everyone with gratitude and respect.

    Source(s): Grew up in a small store, and own my own business now as a business consultant.
    • ?3 years agoReport

      That's a fantastic response! Hope your consultancy business is doing well :)

  • 1 decade ago

    It's imperative you hold a large advertising presence online and a well developed website. Pricing can range anywhere from about $4,500-$15,000 all depending on the Intricacies of what you want done. It may sound costly but your ROI is almost instantaneous. Having an informative navigable website receiving targeted traffic aka consumers, from a variety of search engines using CPC (Cost Per Click) advertising & SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will put you right up with the big guys. That's the great part about having an online presence. A company of 5 employees has every opportunity to be posted and advertised above a fortune 500 company! A friend of mine recently was in the same boat and researched for months. He finely went forward with a company called Redstage Networks or www.redstagenetworks.com and he has had tremendous success. They were competitive in pricing and he was blown away with the results.

    Hope this helps. Best of Luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    Forget about all the canned informations given so far, all philosophy which promisses miracles.

    You are flying over the Atlantic, you got a ruptured tank, at the rate you are despersing fuel, you cannot make it to the nearest landing strip. This are the conditions of many small businesses at the moment in this downturn.

    Remedy One, jettison all unnecessary extra costs, including firing staff that will not hurt the sale dept.

    Two, make sure you establish a policy that no matter how unfair is a customer in his demands make sure he lives your store always with a smile, even when a transaction will result in a net loss for the store. Three, get your buyer DPT. to get busy and make sure they will procure the lowest priced quality merchandise in the market, incentivy them with extra bonuses, even if you have to get your merchandise from Timbuctu, and pass on the lowered prices on to the customers. Four, Incentivie your customers to bring a friend by offering him a discount, and pamper his friend as well, perhaps with a small present? Five, If possible stay an extra our or two open every day.

    Six, cut down on your utility bills

    Seven, have a staff meeting let them know that the situation is critical, and they have to take exstra care that not a single customer be let out of the store unless he is totally satisfied of the excellent service received, and to make sure that no matter what, they have to keep those customers happy at all times, recognising that the only assets they really have are the happy customers, and inform the staff that any relation of theirs that they will bring to your business, they will get a discount, as well as earning the staff paid holliday credits ( to be figured out)

    Eight, have another look at you advertising budget, make sure the adds are bringing business, if not reconsider a cheaper and a far more agressive type of ads.

    Nine, you are doing the very best you can, but without His help it may not be enough, so go down on your knees every day and ask for His help.

    Ten, you have done everything possible for your business to succeed, don't worry any longer, stay relaxed, cordial and smile to everyone, happily.

  • 6 years ago

    Dialing for Dollars

    September 18, 2013 fahmi Business Products & ServicesBusinesses involved in collections or sales know time is money, especially time spent on the phone. Whether it’s a small business with only a handful of agents or a large corporate calling center with hundreds of employees, using the right equipment to reach customers is vital to maximizing profits as well as time. For whatever business relies on telemarketing or phone contact to schedule appointments, collect payments or provide product information there are an abundance of different dialers to make any business more efficient.Predictive dialers are used most often by sales and collection companies, allowing them to be on the phone speaking with a live person every 10-20 seconds. This is not only a much more efficient way of operating, but also a great way of increasing profits for both the company and the salesperson getting a commission for each successful call. For customers needing more information, an agent using this autio dialer will also have the capability of sending out instant e-mails or faxes, increasing the chances of making a sale or gaining a better amount from a collection.A voicebroadcast system is perfect for doctor’s offices, spas, beauty salons and other businesses who use appointment reminders. Allowing a large number of clients and accounts to be dialed in a short period of time, it’s a very efficient system which produces many call backs and transferred calls. The voicebroadcast is also good for schools and others needing to send emergency notices regarding closings and other events. Having inbound capability as well, it can let workers take not only calls but e-mails, letters and other forms of communication.Dialers are also available to help with contact received from the world wide web. An autio dialer linked with a live contact web form can immediately trigger a call to anyone who visits a web site, fills out a contact form and then hits the send button. This increases the chances of making a sale and leads to increased efficiency within a business, making a small team of 5-10 sales agents work like a team that’s 4-5 times larger. In doing so, money is not only being made but also saved. Go to www.tmaxdialer.com

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Try buying some instagram, facebook, twitter or youtube services from the place in my source. Their followers and likes are really inexpensive and have never dropped off, they always have stayed for me. The cost is only $2.49 per 1000 likes and followers. Good luck, and consider using the place in my source.

    Just on a personal opinion, I'm not sure if buying costumers is really the way to go. However it could make your business look popular, and if you can turn that into a large profit, then I guess its a go.

    This could be a hit-n-miss situation, as the followers might not always guarantee your business s popularity.

    I feel that it is more aimed towards the youth, and younger generation. And unless your doing something aimed at them, you might not get much success.

    However, when I purchased some likes and followers for my business, my sales absolutely SKYROCKETED. My business had always had a small amount of sales but after buying some likes and followers for my facebook, instagram, and twitter, sales went through the roof. I think it was because it gave my business credibility. Remember try buying them from the place in my source, they have always worked well for me.

    Source(s): Google and click on " BlazingSocialMedia "
  • 5 years ago

    re are several books out there that talk about low cost and free ways to advertise and get customers in and buying. Cross promotion with other similar but non competing businesses is just one, but it cuts your costs in half, and reaches more than double the paying customer base.

    3. If you have a younger buyer, you simply cannot neglect social media networking and things like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and the like. You should have a website, and reach out to these customers often. Warning though...be sure to track the amount of time spent on these things, and measure effectiveness. It can be an addiction, and not a profitable way to spend a day. Instead, have a couple of distinct goals....five new friends a day, two Twitters, etc. Then get back to the main business at hand.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    2. Use "Guerilla Marketing" techniques. There are several books out there that talk about low cost and free ways to advertise and get customers in and buying. Cross promotion with other similar but non competing businesses is just one, but it cuts your costs in half, and reaches more than double the paying customer base.

    3. If you have a younger buyer, you simply cannot neglect social media networking and things like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and the like. You should have a website, and reach out to these customers often. Warning though...be sure to track the amount of time spent on these things, and measure effectiveness. It can be an addiction, and not a profitable way to spend a day. Instead, have a couple of distinct goals....five new friends a day, two Twitters, etc. Then get back to the main business at hand.

  • yahoo
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    cut down as much overhead as possible by doing the task your self and definitely don't ask others to do things your not willing to do your self. Self advertising is the cheapest route when opening a business because people like to meet the new owners if for no other reason then to know who to complain to plus this gives you an idea of who and what your up against. It makes others feel like they are part of the whole picture and they tend to do business with people they know.word of mouth can make or break any business so always remember this when a customer complains the best policy is the customer is always right unless they have mental or the complaint is bogus totally.Even still take each complaint seriously and try not to ignore them if possible to correct then do so if not figure out why their complaint wasn't fixed then use that as a way to go in your favor. People complain for a reason it has allot to do with many factors and basically they want somebody to listen to them and feel as if they weren't being ignored.

  • 1 decade ago

    Strategic marketing can go a long way. Work on ways to market your target audience.

    Hire a local graphic designer to assist you with your logo, business cards, fliers and website. Professional looking materials make a MUCH better impression on potential clients. Plus, a memorable logo is incredibly important. It's the first thing your audience sees.

    Make contacts everywhere you go and spread the knowledge of your business via word-of-mouth. Ask your friends and colleagues to recommend you.

    Every once in a while, try a new form of advertising. Start off small and see what happens. Once every three months or so, post an ad in the services section of craigslist. Create a facebook ad. Hang on to that graphic designer's contact information and have them create a newspaper ad for you. As your business grows, it may be time for a radio or television ad.

    Source(s): Small Business Owner
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    2. Use "Guerilla Marketing" techniques. There are several books out there that talk about low cost and free ways to advertise and get customers in and buying. Cross promotion with other similar but non competing businesses is just one, but it cuts your costs in half, and reaches more than double the paying customer base.

    3. If you have a younger buyer, you simply cannot neglect social media networking and things like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and the like. You should have a website, and reach out to these customers often. Warning though...be sure to track the amount of time spent on these things, and measure effectiveness. It can be an addiction, and not a profitable way to spend a day. Instead, have a couple of distinct goals....five new friends a day, two Twitters, etc. Then get back to the m

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