For many small businesses, survival takes precedence over growth. However, to be competitive, entrepreneurs need to cultivate a growth mentality. A company that doesn’t grow won’t be a player in the global market for long. Some grown strategies are more intuitive than you might think. Here are six ways to scale your operations this year.
1. Deploy Automated Tools
When it comes to scaling operations, automation can be your best friend. Advances in artificial intelligence and cloud computing are powering a vast array of tools for automating business processes. A powerful example of this is project management software. Task management, file sharing, and software development can be coordinated using these platforms. Apps like an address validation API program can streamline order fulfillment. Customer relationship management (CRM) software can be another worthwhile investment. CRM platforms automate and systematize multiple sales tasks. Look for the suite of tools that fits your company’s requirements.
2. Improve Your Sales Funnel
Speaking of sales automation, improving your sales funnel from top to bottom is a classic way to boost sales. Lead generation occupies the “top” of the funnel, and the first step in building leads is brand awareness. To accomplish this, you have to make your brand memorable. Differentiation and distinctiveness are both critical. Differentiation is about capturing a customer’s attention by offering a profound point of difference from similar brands. Distinctiveness means cultivating an image that sticks in the minds of consumers. Standing out from the crowd is always step one in building a more effective sales campaign.
3. Focus on Customer Retention
Capturing the attention of new customers is crucial, but research shows that person-for-person, repeat business is more lucrative. Repeat customers are shown to spend an average of 67% more per purchase than new buyers. The reason comes down to relationships. Businesses that nurture consumer relationships earn consumer trust. Loyalty programs are one classic method of growing these relationships. Having high-quality customer service is another. Numerous studies reveal that humanizing customer service through responsive, empathetic service shows customers that your company is fundamentally different.
4. Start Networking
It’s easy for new entrepreneurs to adopt the mentality of going it alone in the market. When this occurs, a golden opportunity for expansion is missed. Networking with other companies in your industry gets you name recognition and builds your reputation among allies and competitors. Influencer marketing is another timely strategy. Partnering with online influencers can vastly expand your customer base. Your customers will hear about your offerings from a voice they already trust. Partnering with honest and trustworthy names is a powerful way to brand yourself.
5. Optimize Workspaces
A great way to generate added productivity is through streamlining your work environment. Workplace injuries and poor workflow add up to billions of dollars in lost revenue yearly. Redesigning your office according to science is a practical option. Ergonomics is the science of how people interface with their surroundings. Workstations and entire buildings can be designed according to ergonomic principles. Even the color scheme makes an impact. Re-engineering your spaces could give your team the edge they need to be their best.
6. Adapt to Shifting Preferences
Constant market research is how you stay agile in a changing global market. The initial market research you (hopefully) did in the planning stage isn’t something you should do only once. Decades ago, few would have predicted that sustainability would matter to global consumers. Use quantitative statistical research to stay on top of these shifting cultural expectations. That said, don’t forget the human element. Surveys, focus groups, and other qualitative research methods can give you an impression of not only how your customers think but also how they feel.
Staying competitive in a changing market takes a combination of confidence and flexibility. The key to having both of these is knowledge. Stay aware of your business processes and the state of the market, and your startup can be the next great success story.