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How to Grow Your Business and Help It Thrive

According to the latest ONS figures, 24% of businesses currently trading reported that their turnover had decreased between May and June 2022. Only 13% said that it had increased.

Owning and running a small business is a dream for many. Getting up and running is hard work that requires grit and determination. However, once it is up and running, many owners wonder how to grow and develop it further. 

Following these tips can help your business grow and thrive.

Engage with Old and Attract New Customers

Many businesses have lists of old customers and contacts they are no longer in touch with. These leads are precious, as you have already done the difficult part of getting them to engage with your brand. Google Ads has a great feature that allows you to deliver targeted ads to people and companies that have previously visited your site.

Alternatively, the more traditional methods of email campaigns and social media are effective ways to allow you to re-establish connections with old contacts.

If you want to grow your business, attracting new customers is one of the most effective (and intuitively obvious) ways. Here are some tips on how to do that:

1. Make sure your products or services are easy to find online. If they aren't, you could lose out on potential customers who might never find their way back to your website.

2. Ensure your website is reliable, fast, and mobile-friendly. This way, it will be easy to navigate the website for any potential customers, ensuring they have a much more positive experience with your company.

3. Use social media sites to build relationships with potential customers before they become actual buyers who purchase from you regularly. This will help you create trust with them over time as they get to know who you are and what makes you worth doing business with in the first place.

4. Develop new products or services and open up new markets and growth opportunities. You can use your existing customer base to trial them to make them easier to sell into new markets. 

5. Don’t overlook potential new customers – for example, the government is committed to procuring a significant percentage of its products and services from small businesses. 

Retain Existing Customers

It is easier to keep a customer than to find a new one. And it's cheaper.

When you think about it, that makes sense: the more you do business with someone, the better you know them, and the greater your chances are for providing exactly what they want at a competitive price. The opposite is also true — if you don't know your customers as well as you should, you are more likely to lose them.

SMEs need to understand how important it is to retain their existing customers and how much money it can save them in the long run. Here are some key reasons why:

You have existing personal and professional customer relationships, making it easier to grow new business together.

• It costs more money (and time) to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one happy and coming back for more.

• Your existing customers will be more willing to refer others to you if they had a positive experience doing business with you in the past.

There are several ways to ensure this, whether by offering loyalty bonuses to long-time customers or offering great product service to ensure customers have a great experience.

Connect with Other Businesses

Working with trusted third parties can help you grow and expand if you own a small or medium-sized enterprise. Working with third-party partners can open doors to bigger markets, provide new opportunities, supply more skills and resources, and enhance and build upon your existing business model. Asking the right questions and ensuring you find the right partner is crucial if you want to lead your company into the future.

There are a number of ways in which SMEs can connect with other businesses online, like our B2B Members’ Community. One of the most popular is through networking events. These can be formal or informal and are often hosted by local chambers of commerce, business associations and networking groups. Alternatively, small businesses can choose to host them as well. Events like these provide an opportunity for business owners to get out and meet new people, expand their networks, share experiences and learn from each other.

If you would like more information about the benefits of business collaboration, visit our page about how collaborating can benefit your business health.

Securing Access to Additional Finance

If you are an SME, securing access to finance is one of your biggest challenges. Not only can it be difficult to obtain funding, but it can also be tricky to find the right product at the right price. According to the Small Business Finance Markets 2021/22 report, only 37% of small businesses would be willing to use external finance to grow.

There are many different types of finance, so you should forecast your need before deciding what type and how much. This is vital as lenders will need to see a clear plan for how the funds will be used and to assess how likely they are to be repaid. Make sure that any repayments are covered adequately – falling behind in your debt repayment schedule is immensely stressful and potentially damaging to your business.

But why is securing finance important?

In short, it helps you grow your business and stay competitive in a rapidly changing market. With additional funding, you can make sales or invest in new technology to help your business thrive. This could mean missing out on new opportunities and losing sales to competitors with access to funds.