Small businesses start small for a reason.
Keeping your organizational and management structures limited not only reduces your startup costs, but also allows you to focus on honing your business strategy. Without a payroll to manage or debt payments to fulfill, you’re free to concentrate on streamlining the operations of your business.
But once you’ve developed a clear vision for the future of your company, it’s time to grow. A steady source of financing, great employees, and a loyal customer base are three key ingredients to small business growth. Read more to find out why.
1. Stable financing.
Great ideas are the foundation of any business. But what’s the use in having a great business idea if you don’t have the funding to get it off the ground? Whether you need to buy new equipment or purchase new office space, capital is essential to the growth of your small business.
Many entrepreneurs start a business with personal funds and loans from friends and family. But sooner or later, it’ll be time to turn to more formal sources of capital. Small business financing comes in all shapes and sizes, ranging from traditional bank loans, to crowdfunding, to angel and venture capital investments.
The sheer number of lending options can be overwhelming, but that’s no reason to give up on your pursuit of financing. The US Small Business Administration (SBA) and online credit marketplaces like Biz2Credit work with networks of accredited lenders to help make your dream of growing your business into a reality.
2. Exceptional employees.
You may be working in an office. You may be working out of your apartment. You may be working out of a coffee shop with great WiFi. It doesn’t matter where you work (at least not at first), but it does matter with whom.
Great employees make for a great company. The key is to know how to hire the right ones. Write a detailed description of exactly what you want in a new employee. Clearly state what skills and experience your require, and when interviewing, don’t settle for anything less. A+ employees are worth the wait.
3. Faithful customers.
No business can survive without customers, which is why it pays it treat yours like rock stars. Take good care of the customers you have, and they’ll be sure to refer you to their friends to your business. Try out these simple tips for great customer service:
Get to know your customers, and get their feedback on your product. They’ll feel flattered that you value their opinion, and your business will benefit from their suggestions.
When it comes to customer service, friendly, face-to-face communication reigns supreme, but if you run your business online, don’t underestimate the power of thoughtful social media outreach. Whether their comments are positive or negative, show your customers that your business is interested in their thoughts and concerns by responding to theirs Tweets and posts on your Facebook Wall.
Finally, don’t forget about the little things. Thank you notes, surprise discounts, and fun packaging are just a few ways to show your customers that your business is run by humans—not by robots.
Liz Jacob is a writer and editor living in New York. She is a writer for Biz2Credit Business Loans , the #1 online credit resource for small business loans, business loans for women, equipment financing, working capital and other funding options. Biz2Credit has secured $800 million in funding for small business owners in the U.S. since 2007. Follow @biz2credit on Twitter and Facebook for company and industry updates.
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