Growing Your Small Business

When you’re still in the early stages of growing your small business, you need to be strategic about how you use your limited time and resources to take your operations to the next level. Here’s an overview of some worthwhile considerations for small business owners.

Build Your Business’ Credit

Establishing good credit for your small business is an essential part of laying the foundation for success. In order to qualify for a small business loan and obtain lines of credits or credit cards with reasonable interest rates, you’ll need to build up a good credit score. This entails taking out more than one line of credit, avoiding an excessive number of hard inquiries into your business credit, and consistently paying your bills on time. One of the most important steps of building small business credit is to continue monitoring it periodically. Inaccurate reporting or fraud can have a big impact and the longer you wait to address it, the more difficult it can be to correct.

Audit Your Competitors

One good way to assess your business’ health is to learn about your competitors’ businesses. While you likely won’t be able to find out about their volume of business, you can learn about their pricing, read their reviews, and study their physical location. In order to take on a rival business successfully, it’s good to have as much information about it as you can possibly gather.

Enhance Your Curb Appeal

If your business operates out of a physical location but you aren’t drawing in much foot traffic, you may need to put more effort into your business’ appearance. When a business does not appear to be striking or inviting enough to draw people in, they will never set foot in the front door. A business has to appear eye-catching but it also needs to be readily apparent to any passersby that it is organized and well managed; this means clean, orderly, and well finished. If your business does not have these attributes, it will create the impression that you’re not on top of things or you don’t have the resources that you need to run your business well.

Reach a Broader Audience on Social Media

Use social media platforms to reach a larger base of customers or clients than you can achieve with just advertising on the internet or in print. An important aspect of reaching a large volume of people on social media is connecting with people whose accounts are widely followed, sometimes referred to as influencers.

Get Positive Reviews on Third Party Sites

When you’re still making your way in the world and trying to take your business to the next level, prospective customers and clients may rely heavily on other people’s reviews of your business to determine if they want to work with you or a competitor who has been operating their business for longer. If somebody posts a negative review, try to respond to it thoughtfully. Don’t write anything to contradict or disparage a reviewer. A person reading a negative review can be won over if they read a thoughtful and articulate response in which it appears that you’re attempting to effectively address the reviewer’s concerns and resolve a problem.

Invite and Utilize Negative Feedback

Sometimes people will ask for feedback, but what they’re really after is a form of validation and they won’t be accepting enough of negative feedback to draw from it constructively. If people say something critical about your product or services, don’t be overly defensive about it. Think about how to use that criticism to improve what concerned them and prevent people from drawing similar inferences in the future and to be able to shape the most positive customer experience possible.

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