Tips on growing your business – from marketing to magnetic name badges

Establishing any business is of course a big deal, but getting past that first hurdle is just the beginning. If you’re looking to grow your business, you’ll need to do your research, make some plans, and follow through with them. Here are just a few points to keep in mind when growing your business.

Create (and recreate) a business plan

Every business owner needs to create and implement a business plan. This should outline what you want to achieve with your business, what services and/or products you will offer, it should set realistic goals, and outline how you hope to achieve your goals. If you‘re unsure just how to write a business plan, you should look for professional resources to guide you. The Australian Government’s business.gov.au website is worth visiting, providing varied information and tips on establishing and developing businesses of all sizes. Another tip? As your business grows, your business plan should also adapt. Make a point to assess and modify your business plan regularly.

Establish a marketing plan

Marketing and social media strategies are vital for any business, regardless of your budget. Your business is going to have a hard time growing if people don’t know who you are, or how to find you. A marketing plan might entail using a combination of advertising, listings, a website, and social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to help spread information about your company and services. Social media is an increasingly popular and highly effective tool that can be used both to attract new customers and help keep your customers coming back. Even better, it can be very cost-effective.

Give time to staff relations

The Queensland Government’s Business and Industry portal has some useful tips on managing staff. Essentially, staff that feel informed, appreciated and part of a team are more likely to give you their all. There are some simple ways to help staff work together as best they can. Keep staff informed via meetings or regular email bulletins or newsletters, implement team-building exercises and training programs, consider mentoring opportunities, and even try something like magnetic name badges, which are not only great for customer-staff relations, they can also help staff feel part of the team. Any business owner should also of course be aware of employer and employee legal rights and obligations.

Focus on customer relationships

Building good customer relationships is vital for business growth. Making a sale (whether it’s a product or service) is just the beginning. Being able to provide fantastic customer service every step of the way – from an initial inquiry following through to the completed transaction – is part and parcel of good customer service. Follow through means everything from providing information and returning calls promptly, to answering queries satisfactorily.

Many businesses that deal with customers face-to-face find something as simple as magnetic name badges are a great first step in setting up a relationship with a customer. Magnetic name badges can break down that initial barrier, and help your staff to create an instant rapport with customers. They are also easy to design, and being magnetic, are simple for staff to wear comfortably.

And how else can you keep customers coming back? Mailing lists and social media accounts can be highly effective in helping to keep customers informed of new products, sales and special offers.

Of course, seeking professional assistance if you aren’t an expert on every aspect of business (and who is) is always recommended. Look to government business sites such as NSW Business, and professionals in any areas you aren’t an expert in, such as accountants, consultants and the like, for help.

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