You Have Customers, Now What?: 3 Key Strategies to Sustain Your Small Business
Once your small business starts picking up speed, you will want to be sure that you have the capacity to handle your growth. So, how do you continue to grow once you have gotten over the initial hurdle of attracting your first customers?
This depends on your specific business model, but it may mean hiring extra team members, outsourcing, or implementing systems that increase your efficiency. At the end of the day, it is difficult to grow and run your business at the same time.
As the head of the company, you will want to keep one hand in the day-to-day operations of your business, but spend most of your time focusing on big picture strategy in order to keep it growing.
Here are three ways that you can ensure smart, sustainable growth for your small business.
Optimize Your Website for Better Customer Service
Customer service is key to success as your small business begins to grow. Having a website that makes it easy to find out information about your products or services and contact you with inquiries will lead to better engagement with customers and more sales.
There is nothing worse than a website which has little useful product information and no way to contact the business owner.
First, the obvious: include a “Contact” section on your website, which includes a phone number, e-mail address, contact form, or any combination of the three. You may also consider including a “Get a Quote” form. This allows you to go ahead and gather useful information from a customer in order to quickly and efficiently get them a price quote.
Another great option is to add a live chat function to your website that allows customers to talk to your company directly from the web.
Outsource Your Customer Service
Once you have optimized your website to provide outstanding customer service, you will want to make sure that you have the manpower to handle the questions and quote requests that come in. Being able to answer every e-mail or phone call in a timely and friendly way is how small businesses set themselves apart from the competition.
Rather than staying up all night answering e-mails and returning phone calls, it may be more efficient to outsource your customer service. Many companies, such as Register.com, now offer what they refer to as call center plus services.
This service, unlike traditional call centers, helps small companies grow their businesses by providing customer service infrastructure for:
- Answering e-mail
- Conducting live chats
- Handling quote requests
- Handling phone calls
By letting somebody else handle customer inquiries, you will free up time to focus on further company growth.
Hire a Virtual Assistant
Finally, once your business has taken off, you will need to have someone who can take care of basic administrative tasks for you. This includes data entry, basic accounting, scheduling meetings and calls, and so on.
While you may hire someone to come work in your physical office, another great option is to hire a virtual assistant.
This type of employee comes with little to no overhead as he or she will work from a home office on a personal computer or phone. You may provide a small stipend for office supplies, but this is negligible compared to an employee who you need to set up in an office.
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Image Sources: blog.compete.com