When it comes to small business, we're all about the big picture. Small Business owners are some of the hardest working individuals in Canada - they work hard and they dream big. Growing your small business is a journey that requires a sound strategy and consistent execution. Whether an established operation or a fledgling startup, here are 5 great places to start:
1. Hire a Dream Team
Talent is the backbone of Canadian small businesses and gathering a strong team will make your small business a powerful force. A positive work environment will almost always translate into a positive customer experience, and the quality of your product or service is a direct result of the people behind it. Individuals with highly specialized skills can be expensive, but can also give you a competitive edge. Expanding your team is a smart use of business capital as a larger workforce increases your capacity to do more – that’s an investment with a measurable, bottom line impact.
2. Restructure Your Debt
If you’ve relied on loans, a line of credit or a small business credit card to fund your venture, chances are your debt is holding you back. Fees, charges and high interest rates are not only wasteful, it can be stressful and cumbersome to manage multiple debts. Consolidating your debt or re-examining your debt structure is an important step towards running a smart, financially sound and efficient business. The goal is to simplify operations, so opt for innovative lenders that offer a streamlined process, flexible repayment options and competitive rates.
3. Try a Marketing Refresh
As a small or medium enterprise (SME), marketing is critical to keeping your brand top of mind. Taking a fresh approach to marketing – whether through a rebrand or through expanding into new channels – can help you reconnect with current customers, reach a wider audience or take your small business from local to global.
Investing in better signage for instance can boost traffic into your store, while an online ad campaign can drive traffic to your site. Whether digital, traditional or a mix of both, opt for targeted marketing strategies that directly support your business objectives, to get the biggest bang for your buck.
4. Invest in Innovation
Innovation is more than just a catchphrase, it’s one of the building blocks of small business growth –and it’s not just for tech startups and entrepreneurs. Innovation can be found everywhere from your indie coffee shop to your local dry cleaner. It’s about investing in research and exploring ways to do what you do better. Funds put towards research and development are funds you will see returned, and then some. Developing new ideas and new products that better serve your target market will keep you on the leading edge and push your business forward. Staying adaptable to the changing landscape and economy will allow your small business to thrive.
5. Put Customers First
Whether your business is B2C or B2B, customer experience is priceless. Your current customers sustain your business: Listening to their needs and responding well is essential for growing your small business. Investing in your customers means they will invest in you. Customer referrals can make a big difference in growing your business – and with the proliferation of social media and online review sites, this is more true today than ever before. Their experience with your small business could become a fantastic story to share, or it could fall flat. Needless to say, customer and client experience is an important expenditure where increased efforts and funding can quickly result in increased business.