Regardless of how long you’ve been in business or how successful your business is, there’s always room for improvement. You may naturally seek out ways to level up, or an event could trigger your desire for change. Whether your sales aren’t climbing like they used to or your employees aren’t motivated, there’s always room for growth.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Every business goes through a tough time at one point or another. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to go about improving, both big and small.
This article will walk you through 10 different ways you can reinvigorate your business growth.
10 Ways to Improve Your Small Business
1. Get Organized with SOPs
SOPs (standard operating procedures) are like a cheat sheet for your business. You can make SOPs for any technical, repetitive jobs. Then, those SOPs can guide any employee through the process so you have time to do the work that you specialize in. A few examples of SOPs could be:
- Onboarding process for new employees
- Returns process
- Sales calls
SOPs give you a place to put all of the scattered knowledge that different employees have and organize it into a concise document that anyone can read.
With everyone working from the same guide, you’ll get consistent results, improve clarification for employees, uphold standards, stay on schedule, improve efficiency, and ultimately increase profits.
2. Drill Down on Finances
Before you can decide on what to invest in to grow your business, you need a firm grasp on your finances. You can use accounting software to help you get everything organized, then look for insights. Pay special attention to your cash flow, as businesses with irregular cash flow are almost twice as likely to fail compared to those with consistent cash flow.
Once you have your finances locked down, you can consider potential investments. Here, it’s key to think in terms of value rather than dollars.
For example, a new office space with a fancy game room isn’t necessarily going to make your employees more excited to come to work. Meanwhile, an investment in an email marketing strategy could earn tons of money down the line, therefore providing more value.
3. Accept More Payment Methods
One of the top reasons online shoppers abandon their cart is because the retailer they’re shopping with doesn’t offer their preferred payment method. Whether they like to use Google Pay, Apple Pay, an American Express card, or something else, you need to prepare your business to meet your customer's expectations.
With Pay.com, you can show your customer how flexible your business is by accepting a wide variety of payment methods. Plus, you can effortlessly select which payment methods you’ll accept from the Pay Dashboard, making this one of the easiest ways to improve your business. Click here to get started now!
4. Strategically Plan Your Time
It’s easy to get bogged down by the day-to-day tasks of running a business, but you need to be strategic with your time. You can use a couple of different tactics to do so. The first is the CEO power hour - an hour of the day or week in which you devote yourself to “CEO” activities - that is, strategizing and planning for growth.
The other is the 60/20/20 rule. Here, you spend 60% of your time doing value-adding tasks, 20% on strategy, and 20% on planning. Regardless of how you approach it, you can use this blocked-off time to set goals and then do the research and plan how you’ll achieve those goals. This includes planning marketing campaigns, deciding how you’ll attract ideal employees, and more.
5. Reward Loyal Customers
It costs far more to attain new customers than it does to retain existing customers. While it’s important to have both new and old clients, you can really maximize your efforts by keeping current customers happy. One way to do that is to offer a loyalty program.
You can customize the rewards to your unique offering, customer base, and budget. Having a juicy perk program is a great way to encourage your customers to shop with you instead of the competition. Here are a few ideas:
- Stamp card (e.g. buy 10 cups of tea, get the 11th free)
- Seasonal freebies
- Free shipping
- Early access to new products or sales
- Prioritized scheduling or skip-the-line benefits
6. Ask for Reviews and Testimonials
Customers depend on reviews to help them decide whether a product or service is worth the money. In fact, 93% of customers say that online reviews shape their purchase decisions. With this in mind, it’s important to encourage your customers to leave a review.
Here’s how to ask for reviews:
- Offer an incentive for customers who leave reviews (e.g. 10% off your next purchase)
- Ask for reviews on the post-purchase landing page
- Request reviews on social media
Regardless of how you ask, you can help boost the likelihood of reviews by making it easy. Link your customers to whatever page you want them to leave the review on, like a product page, Facebook, or Yelp. Ask them a direct question, like, “Were you satisfied with your experience today?” or “Would you recommend this product to a friend?”
7. Optimize the Checkout Process
Customers are quick to abandon their cart if there are any issues during the checkout process. For example, if your checkout page doesn’t load fast enough or requires too much personal information, they’ll likely buy elsewhere. Additionally, if the checkout window doesn’t look secure or trustworthy, your customer won’t want to enter their payment information.
You can easily address this issue if you sign up for an account with Pay.com. Using the Pay Dashboard, you can create a customized checkout page with your logo, brand colors, and more. This ensures that the customer enjoys a seamless checkout experience that feels just like the rest of your website. Plus, Pay.com has Level 1 PCI DSS compliance, which is the highest level of security.
8. Simplify Roles So Employees Can Thrive
As a small business, you’ve likely grown your business by adding roles over time. That could mean that some jobs contain a wide variety of responsibilities. While this might make sense at the start, it can also lead to burnout as employees struggle to master tasks under many umbrellas. That can also feel demoralizing for employees who want to feel a sense of accomplishment and mastery.
Instead, restructure and streamline roles. For example, you might have three secretaries who answer the phones, handle client complaints, manage the schedule, order supplies, send invoices, and track the books. Restructure the roles by giving one of them the bookkeeping tasks, another the customer service tasks, and the last can act as an office manager.
This can help boost employee satisfaction and allow them to thrive in their roles. In a tough labor market, this practice can help you hire effective employees.
9. Create an Advisory Board
Once you reach a certain level of growth, you may need outside help to continue to expand. By forming your own advisory board, you can get personalized assistance with the opportunities and challenges your business is facing. Plus, there’s typically a very low cost to start a board.
You’ll need to carefully choose and invite a few people to join the board, then set up quarterly meetings. If an advisory board seems a bit too advanced, you can also seek out a business mentor and create a one-on-one relationship that functions the same.
10. Acquire Related Businesses
One of the smartest ways to grow is by making strategic acquisitions of related businesses. By purchasing an already successful business, you maximize profits, control your costs, and gain a new customer base.
You may choose ancillary businesses that offer related products or services, but not the exact same ones. For example, if you own a cafe, you might purchase a local dessert company. On the other hand, you may also choose to purchase a competitor and gain more market share.
The Best Way to Improve Your Payment System
When you improve your payment system, you enhance your customer experience. That can encourage customers to shop with you again, leave positive reviews, and tell their friends about your business. The best way to improve your payment system? Switch to Pay.com.
With Pay.com, your customers can enjoy a wide variety of payment methods, a seamless checkout experience, and high-level security. Meanwhile, you can use the Pay Dashboard to track payments, update customer details, view reports, and dig into analytics.
The Bottom Line
As a small business owner, you know that growing and improving your business is an ongoing mission. There are so many ways to re-energize your business, whether that’s getting organized, improving customer retention, or boosting employee morale.
No matter what you decide to work on, having an effective, straightforward payment system should be at the top of your list. With Pay.com, you can be up and running in no time and offer your customers the wide variety of payment methods they desire, all in a matter of clicks. Click here to get started now!