Seven ways to shift your business from survive… to thrive

Savvyg -Surviving to thrivingLaunching a new business is exciting – you’re passionate about what you’re doing, clients are excited about your new product, and you’re living on adrenalin.

But what happens when, a few years later, your small business is chugging along but not really living up to your dreams? Have you become too caught up in its day-to-day management? Did you lose sight of that original vision?

Here are seven practical ways to sort out the small stuff and focus your energy on what matters – so you can get your business to thrive.

1. Track your performance. It might seem tedious, but regular evaluation is important – it helps you set and reach goals, which give you structure. Monitoring cash flow helps you make financial decisions and budget (should you buy that new printer now, or can you hold off until next month?), and keeping track of customer satisfaction will tell you what you’re doing right and what you could do better.

2. Foster relationships and build community. Make sure your customers know the face behind the product – take the time to connect with them. You probably know that it’s much easier (and cheaper) to sell to existing customers than it is to find new ones. So make the decision to return easy. Loyalty programs, freebies, or even just taking the time to chat to customers can keep bringing them back. Happy clients could be your best advocates because they’ll tell their friends… and colleagues!

3. Up your web presence. 64% of Twitter users and 54% of Facebook users are more likely to buy from brands they follow online . Social media is an increasingly powerful marketing tool, so use it to your advantage. Monitor your online presence, reply to tweets and Facebook comments, and if it’s all too much for you, find someone else to do it! (See tip 6 for more on this.)

4. Make sure your staff is on the same page. This means hiring based on shared values and vision for the business, and making open communication a priority. Creating a positive working environment will keep you and your employees motivated and productive. Remember – your customers aren’t the only people you need to build a community with.

5. Take cues from others. Talk to other business owners or join industry groups. This doesn’t take up loads of time or money – try joining groups on LinkedIn to connect, or read other small businesses blogs. Often the advice of someone else in a similar situation is the most helpful.

6. Get help – hire or outsource to do the things you can’t do (or don’t have time to do). When you started out, you might have taken on most of the responsibility for every aspect of your business. But haven’t things changed? Your business has probably grown, and you can’t always be a jack of all trades. Know your own strengths, and let your employees use theirs.

7. Take time off. This doesn’t have to be a major commitment – it can be as simple as taking a couple of hours each week just for you. Read a book, go to a conference, go for a swim. If your mind is always entrenched in the day-to-day of your business, you won’t be able to expand that vision for the future. Remind yourself why you started the business and reignite your original entrepreneurial passion.

Do you have any other tips to give a business that extra push? Let us know below.

 

Comments

  1. Patricia says:

    I think it is so important to take time off. Although I hate to do it and wish I didn’t need sleep, a few hours to be creative in another way is quite refreshing.

  2. Yakini says:

    I am honestly working on all of these. It isn’t easy growing the company without these steps but I also have to consider time and help. This is a good check list to make sure that you are on the right track.

  3. Thanks for the information… very helpful

  4. Clive says:

    Great advice. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Indira Pierrot says:

    Thank you so much for this! Exactly my issue now

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