Take a Strategic Approach to Bring Your Business to the Next Level  

Every new business sets out with aspirations to grow in the medium and long term. How can you ensure that growth is achievable and sustainable?

This is the age of the entrepreneur. More new businesses got off the ground than ever before in 2017, and the figures for this year will likely tell a similar story. Each of those start ups will have had its own business plan, and while no two will be completely identical, there is one theme that will be common to all.

Essex has been a hotbed of innovative startups over recent years, and business finance brokers in Chelmsford are working with clients across a range of sectors who are looking to make those ambitious growth plans a reality. Here are some tips and tricks to make it happen.

Understand your customers

Today’s business environment is more bespoke and segmented than ever before. A small business needs to know its customers like the back of its hand. Who are they, what is important to them and what factors will make them choose one supplier in favour of another? Put all your strategic thinking into developing enhanced products or services that have these factors at their heart. There are plenty of ways to get to know your customers better, some of which we will discuss as we go along.

Put customer service at the top of the priority list

Even when you know exactly what customers want, you can be sure there will be other businesses offering materially the same thing. This is where going the extra mile can pay dividends. Exceptional customer service will have people coming back for more and telling their friends.

Be proactive in nurturing customers

Providing what customers need and going the extra mile – it sounds good, but even that is not always enough. Remain in your customers’ consciousness by staying in touch. Special promotions and a periodic newsletter are a good way of doing so. Proceed with caution, however, and remember that first point about understanding what your customers want. That also means knowing what they don’t want – a regular flood of spammy emails will do more harm than good, so take a “less is more” approach.

Get social

Of course, for serious growth, you need to do more than look after your existing customers. You must also be on the lookout for new leads. There are more than two billion people on social media, so to ignore this channel would be madness. Post interesting and informative content about your industry, and avoid making it too salesy. The idea here is to encourage existing followers to share with friends and develop warm leads for you. You can also use the concept of social listening to learn more about your target customers.

Monitor and refine

None of the above measures are things you can “set and forget.” Customer needs, expectations and preferences are liable to change over time, so constantly monitor where your sales are coming from and which channels work best. Be prepared to experiment, constantly work on refining your approach and adopt a continuous improvement mindset.