Running any kind of business is an everlong lesson in the importance of staying on top of growth trends and thinking outside of the box. But if you have a small or medium-sized business (SMB) that you want to grow into an enterprise, you especially have to pay attention in order to cover the ground properly.
In this article, we’ve rounded up the best practices that help your SMB to grow. Of course, we’re aware that many start-ups and existing businesses have felt the pinch of the pandemic, so we’ve taken that into account while listing some key strategies.
Enjoy this dive into tips for reinvigorating sales and driving growth. Good luck!
What Are the Most Common Challenges SMBs Face?
You probably searched for this article because your SMB is already facing a particular challenge (or more of them). But it’s good practice to stay aware of the wider picture and of fellow SMB owners who are struggling with the same or similar issues.
So here is a rundown of the obstacles that pop up on the way to becoming an enterprise:
- Changing customer expectations: It’s not easy hitting your goals when your customers want nearly-instant responses. People and businesses are looking for service on-demand, anywhere, and anytime. They often expect that their customer inquiries get answered in a 24-hour window. So staying cost-effective while enhancing the end-customer experience can be a challenge.
- Supply chain issues: Almost 45% of small businesses had some sort of domestic supplier delay, according to April data collected by the United States Census Bureau. Lots of SMBs are finding it harder to compete with larger companies who can buy vast stocks of available quantities of sought-after supplies.
- Controlling costs: More so than other businesses, SMBs struggle with controlling costs due to unsteady cash flows and credit obligations they are likely to have. Lowering operational spending on staff and IT management (both important) while not losing on quality – it’s a challenge SMBs are struggling to deal with.
Top 3 Frameworks to Help Your SMB Grow Into an Enterprise
Getting your SMB to grow into an enterprise is a rewarding road. It leads to connecting to customers better, nurturing effective employers, and securing data.
Here are 3 great tactics to implement into your SMB business strategy.
Increase Your Market Share
Increasing market share is also known as market penetration. It’s a well-known SMB strategy for a reason – it worked for lots of small businesses. The aim is simple – sell more of your existing products, or promote your new products successfully.
“Thank you, Captain Obvious,” you say to yourself “but how do I achieve that?”
We know, we know. We didn’t want to spew out a generic statement. So here is a tried-and-true way to achieve better market share:
Offer trial periods and demo sessions
If you are selling a new product, market it to your targeted audience for a discounted price or as a free trial, or provide reduced prices for larger orders. If you are providing a service, think about giving customers a glimpse into the service through demo sessions. That can be a great short-term strategy to expand a business.
Get a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
In today’s day and age, having a well-built CRM is essential for businesses. In short, its benefits consist of getting to know your client better, improving your services, and improving the brand experience.
What does an effective CRM offer when it comes to features? Search for one that gives you:
- The ability to create detailed customer profiles that you can view and organize in one place
- Integrated marketing and communication channels that update your data automatically in real-time and help you communicate better with employees and other collaborators
- Lead scoring and lead generation features make it easy to handle clients with the right message.
Work on Your Online Presence
Even though most SMBs work enough on their online presence to have a Facebook page, that’s far from enough to ensure that they are reaching their target audience and helping their SMB grow.
The top three marketing channels you need to cover are:
- Email marketing
- Social media (hello, afore mentioned Facebook!)
- A website with a blog
Bear in mind that picking the foundation for your website is something you should carefully think about. Your website can be built using a template-based web design tool like WordPress, or you can build an entirely customized website that’s coded from scratch. What you pick can depend on the service or products you offer. But the goal remains the same – getting a UX-friendly website that leads your customers further down the funnel.
Prepare Your Business for Success
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Through integrating all of these three steps, you have a higher chance of growing your SMB. But don’t expect it to happen overnight. Be patient and grind hard to see results.
Even with the challenges of the current economic landscape and the pandemic (aftermath), your SMB can grow into a business that captures a large share of the marketplace and increases revenue while beating the competition through innovation and perseverance.