Running a small business can be both a blessing and a curse. A blessing, of course, because you are your own boss, you determine the course of the business every step of the way, and you benefit primarily from the business successes you manage to achieve.
So why would it be a curse? Well, everything that goes wrong with the business is your personal headache, the buck stops with you on all decisions, and it’s up to you to find solutions when growth begins to stall.
For the sake of helping you with the last of those points; here are some ways you can help promote growth in your small business, whether you’re managing a security company or a tech startup.
Increase the rate at which you market (using a virtual assistant)
Marketing is pretty much the name of the game for any self-employed individual or solopreneur. While it might not be what you signed up for, it is something you absolutely must become accustomed to.
The bottom line is that clients are the lifeblood of your business, no matter what it is that you do, and you need to attract and appeal to those clients somehow. The way this is achieved is through marketing — by cold-emailing, flyering, attending networking events, and all the rest of it.
If your business isn’t growing, you need up the rate at which you market yourself. While you, yourself, could dedicate a few extra hours to this per week (and might need have to), another solution could be to employ a virtual assistant to pick up some of the slack. Specifically, a virtual assistant could compile lists of prospects, and reach out to them via cold-calling and cold-emailing, using a template you’ve approved.
Look for areas where you can cut out waste
To drive growth in a business, you need to expend your resources wisely, directing funds, time and energy to areas of your operation which need to be streamlined, and which are most likely to attract potential customers.
This is especially important in the case of small businesses, as funds are generally not plentiful enough to spare without some serious consideration.
What this means, is that any situation in which resources are being wasted in your business, is essentially a catastrophe which can severely inhibit growth.
Be on the lookout for any areas in your business where waste can be eliminated and operations tightened up. Then put the freed up resources to better use.
Watch your competition like a hawk and work to match or exceed what they’re doing
Your competition is your competition because they’re doing something right. At least, they’re doing something right to about the same extent that you are, which is why customers are drawn to them, and why they are in conflict with you in the first place.
Paying attention to what your competitors are doing, learning from their actions, and then working to match or exceed them in overall customer benefit, is the key to market dominance.
Of course, all of that is easier said than done, but remember that you should never stop monitoring your competitors and weighing yourself up against them.
*This is a contributed post