by Brian McKay
When you are starting up and running a small business you will plough all of your efforts into getting it off the ground. It needs to have a strong start, to build up a good reputation from the outset. But what about beyond those initial weeks and months? How do you keep everything going from strength to strength? Today we are sharing with you 3 ways to ensure your business thrives, beyond that initial surge.
Be open to new ideas
Whilst you will want to stay true to your business’ vision, mission and values, it does pay to be open to new ideas.
Adapting as you discover what works well and what does not makes good business sense. Look out for trends and patterns and look to understand them so that they can be replicated or expanded upon. You might find that the avenues that you were confident would work best for you as you launched are actually surpassed by other income streams so adapt and adjust to these new possibilities.
You should also regularly look around at what competitors and others are doing within your industry. They might come up with innovative ideas that you can learn from, or they might hit walls that you can see a way around.
You will also want to encourage your team to feel confident and able to approach you with any and all new ideas. They are often the first people to spot that there can be better, improved ways to do things as they are the people on the ground, so ensure that everyone has the opportunity and willingness to put new ideas out there.
Always look for new opportunities
Whether you are looking to source government contracts or drum up business within your local area, you will need to be consistently looking out for new opportunities to source your next contracts and find your next customers.
As your business evolves, so might the opportunities that you have, so do maintain contact with as many potential customers as possible. Whilst you might not be in a position to help them today, you might be one day in the future, so keep their needs and requests on record.
Search relevant databases for new contacts and attend local networking meetings regularly. Whilst new business might not present itself instantly, you can build up potential clients over the long term in this way, and develop relationships that could lead somewhere at some point.
Deliver to your customers
Whether your customers are other businesses or consumers, you need to ensure that you deliver to their standards and expectations all of the time.
Maintaining a strong relationship with your customer base should ensure that you get their repeat custom, and develop an excellent reputation leading to more customers.
It is worth regularly seeking customer feedback to ensure that you are delivering and exceeding expectations and to gain valuable insights into how you might be able to improve your service to them. Customers will appreciate being asked and respect you for responding to any criticism swiftly and professionally.