Dear SME owners, we know that you are some of the busiest people on the planet. You’ve had a great business idea, evaluated it objectively, wrote a compelling business plan and launched your business.
Your levels of enthusiasm and insane work ethic are to be applauded because you now have website up and running and you have had your business cards printed and have been distributing them whenever a relevant opportunity presented itself.
You may have had a few customers already and there are positive signs that you could do well.
A few months later and the picture has not changed very much – perhaps you expected faster growth of your business.
There’s no need to panic – below are five tips that help you deliver business growth for your SME.
1. Your website
Your website is live but do you know how many unique visitors you are getting each day? Do you know your bounce rate and which page customers usually leave your website from?
How is your web visitor to sales conversion rate? Do you use a corporate blog to deliver frequent new content? If you have an e-commerce site this this information will be absolutely crucial and in fact it’s important for all websites.
Tip – Think of your website as a living entity that must evolve and improve – it needs to work for your business and be an effective shop window for your goods or services.
2. Do you have the right organisational structure?
To a certain extent this will be governed by the industry sector that you are engaged in but is your business effectively closed when your mobile phone is switched off?
Naturally you want to keep costs to the absolute minimum but you should plan for office support to give your business the impression that it more than just yourself. There are a number of options available including virtual offices and virtual receptionists.
Tip – if you can afford to have part time office support (mornings for example) that is even better. Consider students/apprentices too.
3. Networking and Social Media
If you already networking and embracing social media that is great but unless your core business is marketing you are unlikely to have enough time to devote to it in order to maximise your returns from both activities.
Not everyone business person is a natural born salesman or saleswoman – there are definitely ways of maximising your impact at a conference, for example.
Are you already writing killer tweets? Have you found the key influencers on your timeline?
Tip – Give someone the specific responsibility of delivering your social media content. Consider marketing students/interns to keep costs low.
4. Cold calling
Social media may be ubiquitous now but does not mean that all old marketing techniques should be abandoned.
Cold calling for both B2B and B2C businesses has long remained one of the most successful methods for marketing your business and for making sales. Last week’s blog post ‘How good is your cold calling game?’ will give a good platform to start regular cold calling activity.
Tip – allocate a regular time each week/fortnight when you will make cold calls and stick to it.
5. Cash is King
Perhaps your most pressing concern is how to maintain a healthy cash flow.
It’s perhaps the most unpredictable part of your business in the early years. Arrange regular meetings with your accountant.
Devise incentives for early payment with customers, consider changing terms and conditions to reflect payment on 14 days rather than 30, for example.
If you don’t have one already introduce a PayPal payment option which will improve your liquidity.
Tip – Proactively take charge of your cash flow position by putting in place measures that will strengthen your financial position and allow you to consider moving to an office outside of home/ bigger office/taking on more staff etc.
We hope you find this information useful.
Marketing Fundamentals TeamFollow us on Social Media