Starting your own business can be a risky endeavor and a lot of people are nervous about taking such a big step. It’s hard to find success, as more than 50% of small enterprises fail in the very first year.
However, that statistic shouldn’t discourage you. Most small business owners fail because they make mistakes that could have easily been avoided. If you don’t want the same to happen to you, it’s important to know essential growth hacks for startups and small businesses and follow all of the tips listed in this article.
Take care of your contracts
As a business owner, you need to be aware of the importance of contracts and the legal liability they possess. Every organization needs to be able to take care of all contracts, and while this used to be a stressful task in the past, modernization and technological advancements have made it easier than ever.
Now it’s possible to automate and streamline all of your contract processes thanks to a contract lifecycle management software, or CLM for short. This software makes sure the entire contract process is streamlined during all of its key stages.
Those stages include:
- Process and workflow
- Negotiation and approval
- Outgoing management and compliance
- Contract renewal
When you use a CLM, there is no room for human error and you save both buyers and suppliers a lot of time. Not only that, but you will also be able to provide greater visibility into how your organization spends its finances, make the contract process more efficient, and lower administrative costs.
With a CLM, you can:
- Use pre-approved templates and legal clauses to draw up contracts easily and effortlessly.
- Manage multiple types of documents such as sales and procurement contracts, internal agreements, and IP licenses.
- Automate and accelerate the entire contract lifecycle management from the day it starts until the day it finishes or needs to be renewed.
- Control and standardize all contract development.
- Strengthen regulatory, contractual, and operational compliance.
Build a stellar website
The number of consumers who prefer visiting online stores instead of brick-and-mortar shops is growing every day, but it appears that some small businesses aren’t keeping up with this trend. Too many business owners feel that their business is too small for having a website.
However, you’re never too small for a website. You need one as soon as you start your company and you’ll certainly need it as it grows.
If you’re worried about the cost of hiring someone to build your website, don’t be. You can use one of the best website builders for small businesses and create it yourself. There is no need to have any coding knowledge, enabling you to create an amazing website at an affordable price.
There are many reasons why you need to build a stellar website, the most important ones being:
- It will be easier for customers to find you. Nowadays, people are looking for businesses on the internet, and that’s why online marketing has become so popular. If you have a website filled with great content and know the basics of SEO, it will be much easier for people to find your business.
- Your business will grow more easily. A lot of small companies rely on things such as flyers and word-of-mouth to grow their business, but those methods are very outdated. With a website, you will have access to people from all over the world and reach a greater number of potential future customers.
- You will gain a competitive advantage. As we already stated, a lot of small business owners don’t think they need a website. And since customers love to be informed about a business before they purchase from it, a website for your small business will give you a huge competitive advantage.
Provide great customer service
No matter if you have great products and focus hard on marketing, all of your efforts will be in vain unless you provide great customer service. Bad customer service can ruin you, but 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases from businesses that provide excellent one.
Good customer service helps your customers to view your business in a positive light. That’s why it’s important to train all of your customer service reps on the proper ways to communicate with the people who contact your business, no matter if it’s for a question, a complaint, or a completely different reason.
Here are some tips for amazing customer service:
- Respond fast. People are very impatient nowadays and don’t want to wait for more than 10 minutes for a customer service rep to answer their calls. To avoid long wait times, employ multiple reps, and use a variety of channels such as a phone, email, social media, and website chat.
- Be pleasant. Even though some customers will be frustrated or annoyed when they contact you, it’s important to always be pleasant and polite.
- Know everything about the company and its products. It will seem very unprofessional if a customer service rep can’t answer the customer’s questions right away. Make sure all reps are well-versed in important information about the business and products you’re selling, as well as customer FAQs.
- End the conversation properly. Even if you have another customer waiting on the line, don’t rush through the end of a conversation just to answer the next call. Take the time to ask the customer if they want to discuss anything else with you and thank them for their call.
Start a customer loyalty program
While acquiring new customers is important for growing a business, it’s even more important to keep the customers who have already done business with you. After all, it’s much easier to sell a new product to someone who already knows what to expect and has had a positive experience.
However, one positive experience is not enough for a customer to come back to your business. You need to give them a bigger incentive and that’s where customer loyalty programs come in.
These programs are essentially very simple but always show great results. They’re reward-based and whenever a customer who joined your loyalty program purchases an item from you or fulfills certain criteria, they get a reward, usually free samples and discounts.
There are different ways you can style your reward program, but the most common programs are based on a point system. For every dollar a customer spends, they get one point, and as soon as they collect enough points, they can redeem them for a prize.
You can encourage your customers to spend more money by creating a system that enables them to earn better prizes with a higher number of points. This will cause customers to come back to your store, buy more products, and the cycle will continue after they redeem their points.
Being a new business owner can seem daunting, especially if you’re new to the corporate world. Just remember that every giant corporation started off in the same place you are right now. If you know how to grow your business, it won’t be a small business for much longer.