Make Connections, Be Open to Change, and Pay Attention
The number one priority in 2015 for 46% of business owners is to increase their earnings, as a 2014 Spark Business IQ survey reported. Sound like a small number? Well, that’s because 26% said they will be focusing on online advertising and 28% said social media, both of which aid in the growth of revenue. So, in reality, more than half of the business owners who responded plan on making business growth their priority this year – do you fall into that group?
As a business owner, it can be tough to find the right avenues year-over-year to continually increase revenue and grow your business. But that’s where we come in.
At Direct Capital, we make your business success a priority. Whether you need financing to help your grow your business, or just some tips on where to go next, we’re here for you.
With inspiration from Inc. and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, here is a list of top lessons you can learn to help take your business to the next level.
11 Ways to See Growth Year-Over-Year
- Make Personal Connections: Are you a regular customer anywhere? Do you enjoy the “special” treatment you receive when the barista knows your coffee order, the checkout clerk calls you by name, or the vendor you’re working with already has your inventory ready for pick up? Who wouldn’t – it’s those personal connections that make consumers want to continue using a particular business or service. Be sure to make developing those personal connections a priority for your business by getting to know your customers. Understand what their needs are, why they continue to visit your business, and even give them special treatment every now and again.
- Recognize Everyone’s Strengths: There was a reason you hired the employees you have. You saw something in them that you knew would be beneficial to your business. And the best part? Every person you hire has a different area where they can shine. Recognize what those areas are and let them go. Let them know you’re there and open to hear the ideas they come up with. You never know what could happen. Hey, without the brilliant thinking of a Starbucks line employee, the Frappuccino would cease to exist.
- Enter into Partnerships: And do it smartly. As is widely known, Starbucks and Barnes and Noble entered into a partnership to give customers the pleasure of coffee and books at the same time. It is a brilliant match up. When thinking of partnering with another company (to help boost your sales), think of what type of business would make the most sense. You want to give your customers the best of both worlds – your product matched with someone else’s – for a great overall experience.
- Stick to Your Mission: Develop a mission statement that makes sense for your business and ensure everyone in the company sticks to it. Your mission statement has to be meaningful and encompass what your business means morally, economically, and personally. Your customers and employees will appreciate not only that you’ve given your business meaning, but also that you live by it.
- Don’t be Afraid of Change: So, you had a great idea for a business. You got the capital you needed to start that business and set up shop in your hometown. Everything was ready, you opened your doors, and… it was less exciting than you anticipated. Why? Just because you have a great idea for something, doesn’t mean everything about that idea will work in your market. You have to be willing to adapt and change parts of your ideas so you can hit the right customer base in the right location. Embrace these changes, don’t run from them.
- Choose the Right Leaders: Let’s face it. You can’t be present every day to make decisions and direct traffic. There are people that report to you, the managers and leaders who help keep the business running smoothly. Make sure those leaders represent who you are and what your business stands for; that they’re constantly motivated and excited to be a part of what you built. When the people in charge are enthusiastic, that energy will trickle down to all of your employees creating nothing but a positive atmosphere.
- Pay Attention to the Nitty-Gritty: As the Inc. article states, “Everything matters.” Starbucks didn’t want to switch to one-ply toilet paper to save money because they didn’t think it was consistent with the image they were trying to portray. It’s a small thing that many people probably wouldn’t notice, but they wanted to stick true to who they were as a company. While paying attention to expense management is important, think about what cutting certain items or costs would mean as a whole. And, when in doubt, ask your customers. (We wouldn’t suggest asking them about toilet paper, but about other ‘luxuries’ they might miss if you got rid of them).
- Be Creative: We can’t stress this enough (as you saw with our previous post about being creative in business). Creativity helps your brand and your business stand out. It doesn’t matter if you’re the 5th coffee shop on the block if you do something that sets you apart. A loyalty program, lower prices, a great atmosphere – it all works. What matters is that you are constantly innovating and thinking of new ways to be better.
- Address Mistakes Professionally: When one of your employees makes a mistake, you expect them to take responsibility for it and then fix the problem. Your staff expects – and deserves – the same from you. No one is perfect – mistakes and bad calls happen every day. But it’s how they are resolved that can make or break the situation.
- Don’t Ignore Social Media: Social media is no longer optional for businesses. A Local Vox study found that 7/10 consumers are more likely to use a local business that has information on their social media page. That means that if you don’t have a social media profile, you could lose 70% of potential business. Choose the right social platform to begin marketing your business and dedicate time to it every day. You’ll enjoy seeing your business show up on the Google search pages and the additional customers you’ll get as a result.
- It’s All About Consistency: Wait, doesn’t that contradict what we said about change? No, and here’s why. Your customers have come to expect certain levels of service, product availability, and quality from your business. If that were to suddenly change (even if, say, the décor or menu changed), they will take notice and they will go elsewhere. They like your business because of what you offer, yes, but also the way they feel when they go there. Consistently make sure they leave your business feeling like that, whatever that may be to them.
As we said, helping your business grow is our mission here at Direct Capital. If you’ve taken these steps and still need a little help, we’re here to offer financing any time you need us. Whether you need new equipment or just some cash to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website or click on the banner below to get started. We can’t wait to hear from you!