Countless businesses of all types are launched across Canada every year. They range from small, one-person consultancies to major companies employing hundreds if not thousands. No matter the size or the industry, all these startups have one thing in common: generate revenue and grow business.
When we started our company Array Marketing, that was our goal. Over time, we’ve experienced dramatic growth. There are several factors at work when it comes to growing a company. I’m glad to share five of them with you here.
Know your customers and provide excellent service.
It’s important to get to know your customers in a way that goes beyond simply knowing what they buy. As a company owner, your role is to be a solution provider, one who helps them do business more efficiently and profitably.
For example, if you sell farming equipment and related goods to farmers, it’s your role to ask lots of questions related to how the farm is operated, how your products are being used and what the farmer’s outcomes are. If the farmer tells you that the crop isn’t as good this year as it was during previous seasons, it might be that you can provide advice or even different products or services that can address those needs. When you do this, you become a helpful advisor. By solving a problem, you’re strengthening the vendor-customer bond.
Use social media effectively.
Today, everything is being promoted via social media channels, and for many companies they’re helping to create tremendous growth. If your company doesn’t at least have accounts on Facebook and Instagram, stop right now and set them up. If you have visuals to show, consider Pinterest as well.
Now, once you have those platforms, use them strategically. Consider what types of information your customers will appreciate and develop a calendar of posts that cover them. That said, there are specific things you’ll want to do. Plan posts that are relevant to your business, your customers’ needs, and the season. A word of caution, though: Social media is meant to be social, not overtly promotional. When you’re too heavy-handed in a promotional mode, your posts can get tuned out. The key is to understand your customers and know what kinds of information they’re likely to appreciate, then create posts that appeal to their interests and needs.
Be a smart networker.
In business, especially for the leader, a price can’t be put on the power of networking. The good thing is that there are many opportunities for networking, whether it’s meeting a potential new client for breakfast, playing golf with a customer or attending professional organization functions that give you the opportunity to speak, meet others or serve on a committee.
Be aware that networking doesn’t mean randomly passing out business cards to everyone you meet, but having substantive conversations, asking questions and listening attentively. We naturally want to talk up our companies, but we build stronger relationships and create more opportunities when we actively listen.
Use a customer relationship management system.
If you’re not already doing so, install customer relationship management (CRM) software on your computers. A CRM will help you manage your company’s relationships with current and potential customers by analyzing data related to customer history. It will help you improve your business relationships with customers while focusing on customer retention and sales growth.
It works by compiling a variety of data gleaned from different communication channels, from your website, telephone, email, live chat, marketing materials and social media. By using this, companies can learn more about their target audiences and how to address their needs more effectively.
These are but four tips to help you grow your business. Here’s hoping that 2020 will be your finest—and most successful year yet.
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