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5 business growth tips for SMEs

Discover the true value of your SME

It’s tough out there for an SME – running a business takes time, energy, grit, and passion. Growth takes all that and more.

There will always be someone bigger, with more resources, trying to reach the same audience. That doesn’t mean you can’t succeed and expand; it just means you’ll need to be savvy about where you focus your energy and capital. With that in mind, here’s our top tips to help SME’s navigate business growth;

1. Stick to what you’re good at

Too many small business owners confuse adding more products/services to their range with achieving business growth. This may come organically as a result of growth, but you shouldn’t put pressure on yourself to do as much as a larger rival before you have the resources.

There’s nothing wrong with expanding your product range when you have the budget and time to do it well, but forcing this development too soon can end up damaging your overall service quality. Hold back for now; this is the time to make a name for yourself as the very best at what you already do. Diversifying comes later, if at all.

2. Be consistent

It’s easy to let things slip, especially when your attention is pulled in new directions, but it is crucial that you stay focused on maintaining the good reputation of your business and continuing to serve your customers in the way they have come to expect.

By recognising the qualities of your business that made growth possible in the first place – great customer service, fantastic products and services, expert advice, first class aftercare etc. – you can ensure these remain consistent as your business grows. Failing to do so will risk the good reputation (and customer base) you’ve worked so hard to build.

3. Outsource where you can

As you grow, you may need to expand your team but, before you start hiring, consider the increased financial and HR responsibility as well as the possibility that your workflow will fluctuate for a while – will a full time employee have enough to do?

A flexible alternative is outsourcing. Practically every business function from IT support and accounting to marketing, admin and even customer service can be undertaken by agencies and freelancers to great effect. One cost-effective option is outsourcing your reception duties. A telephone answering service will improve customer experience, increase lead generation and free up your time for business-critical tasks without the cost of a full-time receptionist.

4. Look after existing customers

A lot of growing businesses pay so much attention to client and customer acquisition, they forget about retaining the business they’ve already won. If you don’t take care of your existing customers, they will soon look elsewhere for a better service experience.

Reward loyalty wherever you can; if it works for your business model, a simple loyalty scheme will do wonders for repeat custom. Perhaps you work in a more service oriented market where loyalty schemes aren’t as effective? Try sending a monthly email with industry news and advice or tips on getting the best from your service. Add value wherever you can and remind your customers that you are thinking about them, even as you grow.

5. Always be available

Nowadays, consumers expect a 24/7 service no matter the size of organisation they’re dealing with. This can be difficult for small or growing businesses as they likely don’t have the time or money to have someone available to speak to customers at all hours, but there are ways to be there for your customers, even when you’re not.

Start by having a clear and easy-to-navigate website with a robust FAQ section. We’ve already discussed outsourcing your call answering, but did you know you can also use a live chat service to speak to your customers in real time via your website? Live chat is awesome – you can use it yourself to speak to customers, and work with an outsourced chat agent who will answer questions (and gather leads) at peak times, out of normal business hours, or just when you’re not available.

How we can help you

Moneypenny helps businesses earn new, and retain existing, customers by offering a customised suite of telephone answering, live chat, switchboard and multichannel customer services. Find out how we will help your business grow with a FREE one-week trial of our services.

To experience our full service with no set-up costs, no admin charges and no ongoing commitment, call us now on 0333 202 1005.

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