Imagine this scenario: You’ve just landed a huge deal, probably the largest deal you’ve ever sold at one time. Now what? Go take that long awaited, much overdue vacation? Maybe. Bask in your success? Splurge it all on yourself, family or friends?
You could do any of the above. It’s your money, right? Not really. At least, not if you want your business to keep growing. The point is you didn’t win this deal all by yourself, and when is your next big deal coming?
Here are 3 ways to avoid becoming complacent in your business:
Invest in your people.
As I said earlier: you didn’t win this deal all by yourself. You likely had the help of some talented, hard-working people and they need to know they are appreciated. So, take some of that revenue, and reward them! Offer employee perks (i.e., supplemental vacation time, promotion opportunities, employee training, bonuses,etc.) Reinvesting in your team is money well spent. As you express gratitude your employees will reciprocate by working that much harder in the future.
Find new customers.
I hear many business owners say they want new customers, but what they really mean is: “I want to hit the motherload.” Don’t get me wrong here, lucrative business deals are awesome, but they are often few and far between. So would you rather have $100,000 from one customer, or $1,000 from 100 different customers? I’d rather have the latter. That way, if one customer walks away, I still have 999 left.
So, in order to find new customers, you have to market your business effectively. This means figuring out who would truly benefit from your product or service. Then find out where they are, how they spend their time, their likes and dislikes and focus your marketing efforts on them. By targeting your marketing activities, you’ll spending your money wisely to get new customers instead of pining over your next big deal.
Expand. Explore. Evolve. Repeat.
So, once your business has matured (I would define this as your business is profitable; you have a loyal customer following, an established place in the market, and a team that doesn’t require constant supervision) it’s time to expand your current business or explore new, but similar markets.
For instance, if you own an ice cream shop and retail space has just become available in a busier area of town (i.e., a larger amount of foot traffic) it may be time to expand. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to own a food truck. By using your company name and existing brand equity, you can launch a food truck and gain even more awareness. Maybe you could start delivering ice cream or catering ice cream parties. These ideas might seem farfetched, but you get the idea.
The long-term goal is to expand your current business and explore new opportunities to keep your business evolving. Another way you can do this is by enhancing your online presence. People may know who you are in the local community, but what about online? You could miss out on new customers that are looking for a reason to try your product or service; expanding awareness online will help with this.
Ultimately, small business owners should not get complacent in the mundane day-in, day-out routine. Most importantly, never become satisfied with just “barely surviving.” Use these tips and do more than just holding on to what you have.
Monique Dean is the COO for PalmPons, LLC and responsible for sales, business development and operations. We are on a journey to become a shopping companion for the consumer and a complement for our small business partners products or services.
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