BUSINESS: Four tips for growing your business
10:49am Tuesday 20th July 2010 in News By Hannah Holdroyd, Federation of Small Businesses
With abundant public spending cuts, a rising unemployment rate and predictions of a ‘double dip’ recession, many businesses will be wondering how to continue to grow their businesses when money will continue to be tight.
Even during an economic downturn many businesses will be looking to grow in some way. Regardless of the wider economic situation few small businesses stand still and are constantly looking for ways to evolve.
However, the wider financial situation cannot be ignored and one challenge for many small businesses is to continue to evolve and innovate, but keep costs down.
So how can you grow your business when you’re worried about the economy?
1. Remember your existing customer base
Customer retention is key. Happy customers come back again, spend more and make invaluable personal recommendations to others.
Think about what you can do reward their loyalty and guarantee their repeat custom.
2. Think about your marketing
How companies market themselves is constantly changing. Social media is now more important than ever in finding new customers, and Facebook and Twitter can attract customers via word of mouth often through fairly cheap incentives such as discount codes and competitions.
Don’t forget your audience though - these methods aren’t right for everyone so don’t feel pressured into doing something that doesn’t feel like a good fit for your business.
3. Take on staff
Staff costs money right? Not always and there are many schemes designed to help young people get experience at a lower cost to the employer.
You may not need a new full-time member of staff, but need extra help during busy periods. Depending on their experience they could do something as simple as help keep the office tidy through to redeveloping your website.
4. Know your competitors
Whatever business you are in, few businesses have no competition and you need to be aware of what they are offering.
For example, if many of your competitors offer online services and you don’t you may be missing out.
That’s not to say you need to offer exactly the same, some things might not be feasible for you, but you need to give your customers a reason to come to you, not someone else.
For more information on how to get advice and help on growing your business visit businesslink.gov.uk
Hannah Holdroyd is the London policy officer for the Federation of Small Business, the UK’s leading business organisation. She can be contacted at email@example.com