With National Entrepreneurs Day recently passing us on November 16th, it is a great opportunity to really hone in on how those businesses can grow and flourish within the new year of 2022. Entrepreneurs have faced quite a few challenges and roadblocks throughout the last two years. With the everchanging restrictions, working on a business plan that is successful can feel impossible. However, there are ways to really set yourself up for success and set your company apart from the rest.
Before we begin, within all of these strategic tips, you have to think bigger when tackling these advancements. When taking a look at your game plan, simply believing in yourself can make or break your business. Getting you, and especially your team, in the right growth mindset will push the company that much closer to expanding the business to be the successful entity it is meant to be. Think globally but act locally on your small business objectives. 2022 will be a year for improvement, keep reading on ways to truly push yourself ahead.
Provide Quality Service
First and foremost, know your product through and through. This goes for everyone within the business. Your employees should feel the same passion you feel when describing the service or product you provide. This buy-in will ultimately transfer over into the quality of service you are providing. Truthfully, having a positive attitude should be encouraged around customers, but more importantly, when customers are not there! The more your employees have a positive relationship with the brand, the easier this will relay to the customers.
Rapid response is also imperative when ensuring a valuable experience for customers. While the consumer will understand when a more complex query takes longer to resolve, communicating on the status of the issue will ensure a positive experience for them, which will lead to the customer returning. Being self-aware when your business is customer facing is also beneficial. You will need to be able to field questions and provide them with seamless conversation and solutions to their problems. If they have an issue – don’t leave your clientele on hold!
Lastly, personalize any service you can. 71% of customers in the U.S have ended a relationship due to a poor customer service experience. Customers want better human service, meaning interaction with a person and not just an automated company message. This humanized approach will sky rocket your business and truly set you apart from your competition. As your business grows, this will be harder to succeed at. It is critical that you plan ahead. This may mean you have to prioritize hiring more employees or creating a department dedicated to customer service. If you are able to pinpoint this goal, you can focus on that this coming year. Quality service seems to be hard to come by as of late, so to be able to emphasize on this will differentiate you from your competition.
Balance the Finances
With the massive amount of changes the last 2 years have provided, the need to balance our finances and create a practical budget is higher than ever. While these uncertainties are vastly different from those that we faced before the pandemic, they are no less challenging. Will your clients require different forms of consultation with the pandemic still prominent? Will you need to pay for an office space while employees work remotely? Is there a need for travel in your budget? Essentially, what is the new business norm?
While your obstacles may be different, your main practices remain the same. Perfect what you can control. For example, manage your billing strategy. This is one of the key ways to keep your finances in check. Getting paid for the services you provide is essential in growing your business. Begin the relationship with a clear and concise way you will handle invoices and enforce these practices throughout the entirety of the relationship. Additionally, you should be monitoring and mindful of your books. While this is obvious, it’s one of the most vital practices to maintain. Any wasteful spending should be accounted for and addressed immediately.
Oftentimes, however, no matter how much time you take to balance your budget, you still feel as if you are digging your business out of a never-ending hole. While monitoring your books, take a look at the current state of the finances. There may come a time where entrepreneurs have to take things into their own hands and invest in themselves. A smart way to adapt your finances to meet your budget would be to refinance some of the larger purchases you have made in your personal life. For instance, taking the time to research the benefits and cost to refinance your mortgage could be a wise move to get cash out of your equity. Using these low-interest funds could be your investment in yourself. Taking this calculated risk will give you the opportunity to pull yourself out of any company debt you may be facing and to get back on your feet.
Set Productive Goals
Goal setting is one of the most important actions you can do for your business. Goals and objectives help you stay focused and keep you challenged. Without them, you run the risk of the business remaining stagnant and never fully reaching its potential. Entering the new year of 2022 provides you with the perfect opportunity to set clear objectives and a fresh start for your company. However, it is important to note, this is not the only time for you to lay out your goals. A growing business should be taking a look at their goals consistently and adjusting them as they progress. Establish due dates for yourself and your business to help keep you accountable.
To ensure you are setting up your business in the best possible way, use SMART goal setting. A SMART goal is when it is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Being able to reach these goals and measure your progress will create a huge change in your growth. Begin by asking yourself what your broader goals are, write them down. Next, think of smaller, more specific goals to write out. Once you have narrowed down the objectives that are the most crucial to your success, begin to break them down to fit into the SMART way of thinking. Lastly, and arguably the most important, share this with your team. It can be so easy to not spread this knowledge with your employees and colleagues. However, if you want them aligned with where you want to take this business, giving them some context and a timeframe will help them create a productive environment, chasing those goals.
For reference here are some SMART goals to consider for your business:
- Hire your first employee
- Create a new product offering
- Post on social media five times a week
- Establish a management structure
Utilize Social Media’s Potential
Creating a social presence for your company and brand is no longer optional. Between gaining market insights, reaching customers, and extending your reach there is a long list of pro’s to create that account for your business. Not to mention, the speed the internet provides while remaining inexpensive, it is a no brainer.
If you’re looking to grow your business, social media marketing will be instrumental. For starters, you will increase the web traffic to your site. Whether you decide to invest in Instagram ads or link to your website through a Twitter post, more people will have access to that, and will ultimately click through to your brand. A roadblock some entrepreneurs face is hitting a hard plateau with the amount of customers they have. Businesses develop their regulars but then have trouble generating a new pool of consumers. This challenge is simply another reason to invest in your social media presence. Generating leads through social networks is a common practice and one you can model your profile to be successful at.
On the other hand, you are able to source ideas and content from social media. Taking time each week to research competitors in the industry or even studying what other companies are doing through all platforms will be beyond beneficial to your strategy. You are also able to easily be able to connect with your consumers, and possibly even source ideas and content from them. Featuring a picture from a real customer will humanize your brand, while also encouraging a true connection between the company and the consumers. Next time you’re uploading a post to the company’s instagram, create a poll to ask the customer’s opinion! Having that say in the brand will foster a positive experience and encourage a returning customer.
2022 will be a big year for entrepreneurs. Be sure to continue to nurture your current customer relationships but at the same time, take that big leap of faith and expand your company. The challenges we have faced in the past 2 years will likely remain, so it is essential to get ahead of it and adjust your business strategy. You got this!