Growth is a continuous process and business growth is no different. You need to put certain things in their right places in order for your small business to experience a meaningful level of growth and possibly catch up with bigger businesses. If you get things right your business can really grow very fast even beyond your expectation. -find more info here
What do you require?
For your small business to grow at a fast rate you must carefully implement the following rules:
1. Have a predictable timetable: If your small business is located in a particular spot and you expect customers to patronize you regularly then you need to run it in such a way that your customers are able to predict when you should be in the business premises and when your shop is closed. Have a regular time of opening your shop and a regular time to close for the day. If a customer is beginning to build a relationship with you and he comes from a distant place to buy only to get there and your shop is under lock and key he may never come back next time. He would rather go to a place where he would not waste his precious time and transport. When your customers know your timetable they understand when to come for business and when not to come.
2. Do a special packaging: You should package your goods in such a way that it is distinct from others around you and this will attract customers who are always looking for something unique. You could use specially designed labels, or you could use polythene/nylon that carry your business name, address, etc to package what they buy from you. This gives you an edge over people who use general packaging materials. It makes yours look special and valuable to them and they handle it with pride.
3. Give gifts to your customers: Know how to say ‘thank you’ to your customers by giving them special gifts when they come to buy from you. The gifts may not be expensive but they speak volume when you tell a customer you appreciate his/her patronage. The gift items could be pen, jotters, openers, key holders, calendars, etc – but make sure your business name and address are printed on them. It is another way of making them remember your business each time they use those items. It also helps to spread the good news about your business to others who would see them use those items and encourage them to patronize you too.
4. Deliver on time: You may do a hand delivery of goods ordered by customers to their doorsteps if you have the time. When customers place an order by phone and you promise to deliver their goods make sure you actually deliver as promised (on time). This builds the confidence of your customers. When you run out of stock tell them precisely when to expect the new stock and make sure they are there by the expected date.
5. Value your customers: Each time your customers come to you for business you must learn to treat them as people with value – give them seats, make them comfortable; if possible slot in an interesting programme for them to watch while you attend quickly to them (first come first served). You can also give them soft drinks while they wait. Never keep them standing and never ignore them while you attend to one customer. Find out what they need and make them sit down comfortably as they wait for their turn. That will make them feel respected and valued – they will come again.
6. Advertise your business: Use every available source that would cost you less to advertise your business – use word of mouth to get people to know about your business; use niche newspapers advert that would not cost you much, use social media sites online, use articles marketing and write your own e-books with your business links and give them out freely online. Make sure any gift you give out offline has your business name printed on it. That would help attract more people to your business.
7. Be honest: Try as much as possible to be honest to your customers. Don’t try to deceive them to buy a particular product. There are times you may have a low quality product in stock; let them know of it and leave them to decide either to buy or not. When they decide by themselves they won’t blame you for it because the decision to buy was entirely theirs. But if you deceive them and they find out you will never see them again.
8. Reinvest your profits: The little profits that come into your business should be reinvested, by so doing you gradually expand your capital base. Don’t use your profits to buy luxury goods, and don’t also eat all your profits. If you eat your profits in no distant time you will start to eat your capital and within a short time your business would be gone.