21 Creative Ways To Improve And Keep Your Business Thriving
As a business, you need to constantly think of creative ways to improve and keep your business thriving. There are ongoing changes in trends in what customers want, and there are always competitors looking to take your customer base from you.
Listed below are 21 creative ways to improve your business and keep it thriving to stay fresh, keep your customers happy, and have a long successful business legacy.
1. Focus on customer experience
Customers have a massive range of options when buying almost anything now, so optimizing the entire customer experience for ease, speed, and satisfaction is essential.
Make sure that your website is laid out well and has a clear path from finding products and services, to easily making a sale through various options that best suit your customers.
Physical or verbal interactions with customers should be informative and helpful. A poor experience from one of your employees can sour a customer on ever coming back or buying anything in the first place.
It’s also imperative to keep customers informed of absolutely everything related to the delivery of what they’ve purchased, any delays, or any issues. Problems can arise, and people are accepting of this in most cases as long as you’re clear and upfront about everything.
2. Reduce your risks
As a business, you have all kinds of risks that are fine in fantastic times, but we’re currently living in an unpredictable business landscape.
Ensure that you don’t have your entire business relying on a single manufacturer. You either need to investigate and find multiple suppliers for your product, and those suppliers should not be from the same location. Otherwise, you should be researching what other services or products you could be selling.
Also, ensure that you have insurance that covers loss within your business, such as physical location insurance and any liability insurance from you or your employers when interacting with the public. Uninsured companies can disappear quickly if there are issues.
3. Be adaptable
Adapt to the changing availability of products you sell or need to run your business. We’re under constant threat of supply chain issues at the moment. So understanding what other options are available or how you can handle the loss of important components is essential.
You also need to adapt to restrictions constantly being put on many locations that can hinder customers physically visiting you. So ensure you have multiple avenues to hire you, see products, and make sales.
We saw many businesses fold during the pandemic because they couldn’t adapt, while others thrived by adapting and offering online services or shipping products out to customers.
4. Take care of your employees
Employees are your ambassadors to your customers. If you’re not looking after your employees or being fair with them, their customer interactions can sour customers on your business.
If you look after employees, they will do their best for you, as long as you hire good employees in the first place. However, if it’s known that you are a good employer, then you’ll have more options for better employees.
5. Increase your social media presence
Social media is a changing landscape, and potential customers are moving to different platforms. If you set your social media up longer than two years ago, you need to review where you have accounts and how much energy you’re putting into them.
Start researching the demographics on each major social media platform, see where your products or services fit in and start building a presence with daily posting on those platforms.
Consider using a service like Hootsuite that can give you a centralized location to view messages and send posts to all of your social media accounts, which makes your life a lot easier, and your social media gets updated faster and more often.
6. Cultivate a flexible mindset
Flexibility is key to being able to pivot on any issue or changes that arise. Whether you lose a major customer, a distributor runs out of products, your star employees leave, or anything else. You can’t sit, complain and wish for the old days; you need to be flexible for anything that comes your way.
Start practicing by pretending something in your business disappears overnight; how do you adjust to that situation? Do it with as many things as possible and see where you can improve and find opportunities that make changes now.
7. Focus on established revenue sources
You should also be looking for new revenue sources, but don’t forget about your established sources of revenue or customers that have been with you since the start.
You should be continuing to invest your time and resources into areas that are established and bring you in big chunks of revenue and not assuming that nothing with change and those revenue sources won’t dry up if you ignore them.
8. Get creative with the Marketing Effort
Start looking at other similar businesses in different locations, not just in your city but worldwide, and see what marketing ideas they are using and what’s working for them.
Start incorporating new marketing options into your business to attract new customers by catching their attention with exciting or new marketing ideas.
9. Manage Your Cash Carefully
Make sure you have a good forecast on incoming revenue and outgoing costs for the next 3, 6, 12 months, and then make sure you’re not overspending on things you don’t need.
Something you may not need is employees at certain times of day or week. Can you take on duties or close when it’s not especially busy?
Should you be spending money on new laptops or furniture, or should you be putting your money into remote or online services and products so you can better handle shutdowns or limited foot traffic?
10. Take care of yourself
It’s often easy to get caught up in your business and work but forget about the basics of you and your family. If you don’t get enough sleep, eat right, and even do a little exercise, your body may force you into a long rest through illness or other issues.
It’s better to take care of yourself now while you’re still working than to deal with being out and unable to run your business.
11. Invest in yourself
Keep yourself upskilled in new technology in your industry, new training that’s available, read entrepreneurial books, and even learn skills that aren’t specific to your industry but could help with your business and save yourself some money.
One of the most significant areas you can invest in yourself is by upskilling in technology, things like websites, SEO, marketing, and anything else general to a business to help it grow and bring in new customers. It’s expensive to market a business, especially if you’re paying an agency to do it all for you.
12. Innovate with your business ventures
Be innovative with your business; while options are available for almost any product or service, you can set yourself apart by offering combined services, different marketing styles, and even how you present your product or service.
If you’re not sure what to do, start looking around at what the other top businesses in your general area do. This isn’t to say try to copy one of the giant corporations that have been around for 100 years because often they just got in at the right time.
Instead, start looking at smaller but most successful businesses that bring something new and interesting to an industry and see how you can incorporate similar ideas into your business.
13. Benchmark competitors
Benchmark competitors and industry leaders to see what strategies they use to run a successful business and bring in high-value customers.
Review what practices they use within their business to get it running smoothly, and other innovative ways they’re doing to boost it. For instance, management style and marketing strategies, and then take a look at what services they are offering and even combine them together.
Understanding what your competitors are doing and how well their strategies are working for their business lets you take on those strategies that are working well and ensure you don’t start using strategies that are failing your competitors.
It’s also extremely helpful to see how industry leaders are doing the same thing as you, but better. You can learn a lot and start incorporating anything that you believe would work at your business level.
14. Hire the right people
Don’t hire the cheapest or first people that are looking to work for you, and this goes hand in hand with looking after your employees. If you show that you are a high-value employer, then you will be able to pick high-value employees that will help you run your business successfully and keep your customers happy.
Don’t be afraid to let employees go that aren’t a good match for your business or that may be great independent workers but make a toxic environment for your other employees.
Make sure you research potential employees figure out why they’ve left previous roles and what they’ve been doing. If you have any way to test them against the job they’ll be doing, that is often a great approach to make sure their abilities are real and not just on paper.
15. Practice corporate social responsibility
Corporate social responsibility is great, it helps the communities and local environments, and it makes you look better to potential customers. It can often be a tipping point for some customers to choose you over other businesses.
Depending on the size of your business, you can look to support local charities or local sports teams, even better if it’s youth sports that you’re supporting, as parents will love that.
Make sure that your business is as green and environmentally friendly as possible. For example, if you use packaging or any materials that can be reused or recycled, you should offer that as it’s another area that people are passionate about these days, and it can give you an edge over competitors that don’t do it.
16. Focus on social media
Social media is excellent for several reasons, it opens your business up to different customer bases, and it can be a free way to advertise your business.
Many people have cut the cable, don’t buy local newspapers, and often don’t browse much on the web these days. Instead, they use social media for their news, advertising, and finding new products and services. So by focusing some of your advertising efforts on social media, you open yourself up to a large range of potential customers that you can’t find elsewhere.
You can pay for social media advertising through most of the platforms, but it’s also free to put up advertising posts and even get access to the demographics that are viewing your ads.
So by putting some time and effort into creating interesting posts on the different social media platforms, you can get free advertising and know who you should be targeting those posts towards.
17. Host local events
Hosting local events is a great way to connect with potential customers to showcase your skills and products. Local events shouldn’t be where you invite people to look at your products and tell them about them; that gives a big MLM vibe and will likely not do well.
Host existing events by giving groups a place and some funding to meet and discuss whatever it is the group is interested in. This is often a way to showcase your products and services without being pushy about it.
You can also put on some free classes if your business provides something that people would be interested in learning about. For example, if you sell laminate flooring, then you could put on some classes about how to install it yourself, which people are going to flock to, and you can offer a discount or something to entice people to then buy your laminate flooring to install themselves.
18. Improve customer service
Customer service is the front line of your business; it’s where potential customers interact with your business to get information or buy something. It’s also where current customers come to get help with problems or rebuy something they want again.
If your customer service is slow, rude, or just not as helpful or knowledgeable as your customers want, you could lose out on business. Improving your customer service by hiring the best people with great knowledge or training your staff up to a better level is a way to ensure customers are happy to interact with your business.
19. Always think ahead
Make sure you’re thinking ahead and taking opportunities to save yourself money. If you buy a lot of certain products and you see a dip in that market, buy a larger supply so that your costs are lower when the item goes back up.
You can also look for distributors that offer better deals than you currently get by ordering larger amounts of anything you use often. You may need to invest in a warehouse to store more products, but you may be able to save a lot more money in the long run.
You can also sell off some of your supply to other businesses if you get too much or have to buy more than you need to get the best prices.
20. Attend networking events
Attending networking events may seem boring or pointless to you but introducing yourself, and your business to other businesses is a way to collaborate with others, get new ideas, and even open up new sales opportunities.
Whether you’re going to industry events for training or opening a booth at a trade show, it’s well worth the time and investment for bigger and better opportunities in sales or growth as a business.
21. Apply the 80/20 rule
Take a look at all the tasks you need to perform each day and prioritize those tasks based on the expected outcome. The idea is that 20% of your tasks give you 80% of the results you want, and the rest of the tasks could be left to someone else or simply given less priority due to the limited benefit you’ll get from doing them. You should always be looking for ways to improve your business performance.
22. Read Entrepreneurship Books
Books about entrepreneurship are great because they teach you how to be successful. You’ll learn what you need to do to make money and how to get rich. There are plenty of books really cheap on Amazon about how to successfully run a business, how to run social media campaigns, business performance, business plan development, human resources management, mindset change, management principles and marketing strategies.
In Conclusion to How To Improve Your Business
As a business, you should always be thinking about how to improve your business. You should also be thinking about other techniques for running the business that you can do better.
By prioritizing the most important tasks, you can ensure you get the best results, and it also shows you which tasks should be handed off or are things that you shouldn’t be doing in the first place.
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