How to Improve Your Small Business: From Taking an Operations Management Course to Using High-Impact Marketing
Here in the UK, more than 600,000 new businesses are registered in the UK every year, however, the worrying issue is that around 60% of new businesses will fail within their first three years and 20% will close within just one year. Although it’s an inevitable part of business and the economy that some organisations will fail and some will succeed, you certainly won’t want to find yourself in the list of businesses which have to close.
There are a number of reasons that businesses don’t stand the test of time. You may not have budgeted your finances as accurately as is necessary or you may have not completed a sophisticated business plan to ensure that you understand the progression of your organisation. You may have also chosen an undesirable location for your business or not investigated your audience forensically enough.
There are many ways that you can improve your chances of success and grow your business from its inception into a stable organisation; here are just a few of the ways you can do so.
One of the most important ways to ensure that your business stays on track, and that you grow in the way that you predict, is to draw up an accurate and sophisticated business plan. A business plan will help you to understand the aims and goals of your business and when you would like to achieve them.
A business plan should include a detailed account of your basic business concept which features information on your products, services, where your business fits in the market and your strategy for success. It should also accurately detail the specific ways you plan on making your business successful including your achievable goals. When detailing your products, you should include an account of the competitive advantage of your products and which market you are looking to make an impact in.
In your business plan, you also need to include detailed information on your finances and budgeting.
Continuing on from the last point, having an accurate idea of your budgets and your finances is essential for success. Overspending can be the death knell for a small business if the expenditure has not been accurately planned. Understanding where your revenue is going to come from, what your overheads are and what you have leftover to reinvest is essential. If you make a mistake here, you could find yourself with rising debt and be finished before you’ve even started.
Consider investing in accounting software which can help you accurately forecast your revenue and profit and keep a lid on spending. Simple to understand systems can help you organise your funding and spending in a detailed and controlled way.
Improve Your Customer Service
The saying goes that ‘the customer is always right’ and there’s a reason for that. Finding customers and treating them well is vital for an organisation, regardless of the size or location. Without paying customers, you won’t last very long at all. If you treat those customers badly, they’ll soon find somewhere else to buy their products.
With that in mind, it’s essential that you ensure your customer service is up to scratch and that all of your employees are trained thoroughly. This could involve training days away from the office or shop, or getting a consultant in to help you improve.
Find a USP or Niche in The Market
Whatever market you are operating in – but particularly if it’s a congested and saturated market – it’s important that you have a USP to help you stand out from the crowd. If one of the products or services that you’re offering has a unique quality which can’t be found elsewhere in the market, then it’s certainly a good idea to continue developing it. Once you have a USP idea, test it in the market with focus groups or on the high street and get as much feedback as possible.
Once you feel confident in the USP or niche you have created and developed, it’s time to push it with advertising and an effective marketing campaign. By creating a space for your business, you’ll provide more longevity than simply providing the same products or services as everyone else.
Understand Your Target Audience
Understanding who you are selling to is absolutely vital for the success of a business. If you don’t understand who your target audience is, how they engage with your brand and brands which are similar to you, you have little hope of creating a relationship with them and selling to them.
Understanding the habits of customers – where they shop, how much they spend, how they engage with the internet and social media and whether they still shop on the high street – is a very powerful tool to have at your disposal. If you can create a detailed picture of who your customers are then you have a far greater chance of reaching them and creating lasting bonds with them as a business. If you are shooting from the hip, you’re more likely to fall short.
Utilise Social Media
Whether you’re using social media for advertising, marketing or just to have an online presence, these platforms are some of the most powerful ways to engage with an audience. By using social media, you can create a brand ‘voice’ and reach people from all around the country and world without ever leaving your office or living room. You can, of course, use social media badly, so it’s imperative that you understand social media best-practice and how to effectively engage with customers using the platforms.
Use Sophisticated Marketing Strategies
Sophisticated marketing strategies are vital for the success of a business as they’re how you can accurately connect with an audience and how you can get people to engage with you. From your branding and product design to print or Facebook advertising, you’ll need to understand the best ways to reach your audience and how they consume information.
If you have an older audience, it may be worth considering more traditional marketing strategies like print ads or ‘out of home’ advertising. However, if your audience is young, you can explore new and interesting ways of engaging with them, like through burgeoning social media platforms like Tik Tok.
It’s best practice to test out a few different marketing strategies based on your audience research until you find the most impactful way of reaching your target audience. Gathering opt-in data and creating audience profiles for your customers is an excellent place to start and can help you pluck the low-hanging fruit first.
Enrol Your Staff on Relevant Management Courses To Improve Your Employees’ Skills
Finally, if you have a team of staff on-board already, and you want to develop their skills, it’s a great idea to send them off on a professional course to hone their skills so they can be of more value to you.
There are plenty of these courses to choose from, from marketing and PR to product design and business planning. Whatever you require from a management course, improving the skills of your workforce will help you future-proof your business and ensure the very best people are in the best positions in the organisation.
London Corporate Training LTD: Training Courses in London Which Can Improve Your Business
If you have been looking for training providers in London who can help your business to grow and your employees to develop, look no further than London Corporate Training. We understand that continued professional development is essential for competitiveness from both a business and an individual point of view. As one of the leading professional training companies in the city, we have helped countless people to learn new skills and strengthen the ones they have already.
Our workshops, training courses and seminars are all run by professionals and cover a huge range of industries from marketing to the oil and gas sector. We combine excellent customer care, world-class training and affordability into a world-beating service for our clients.