One of the main goals of businesses is to grow and scale up. You can achieve this in many ways, including refining your market and customer research, networking and expanding product output. Here are six resources you can use to help grow your business.
1. The Cloud
The cloud is a highly effective business-growing resource available to you. Hosting your computing and data storage on the cloud will reduce your operations costs and provide you with vastly more storage space than physical servers and hardware can. Instead of paying separate fees for hardware, housing for that hardware and upkeep, you can pay a flat fee to your cloud host to take care of these things. The cloud is also very scalable, so you should be able to adapt it as you grow, rather than outgrowing it. There are also many cloud-related tools you can use to ensure the cloud performs as efficiently as possible, such as cloud monitoring systems.
2. Social Media
You can leverage social media to expand both your customer outreach and your research resources. Current customers can interact with you on your social media pages, asking questions, posting reviews and providing feedback. Potential customers will be able to learn more about you via these social media pages. Research can be done via social media by a process called social listening. Social listening refers to carefully reviewing customer feedback, such as reviews, and looking for common trends or keywords. You can then incorporate that feedback to improve your products, communications or customer service.
3. The Small Business Administration (SBA)
As the name states, this government body is focused on assisting and supporting small businesses. There are similar government bodies available for the self-employed, nonprofits and many other types of businesses. The SBA provides specialized information, training and other resources, both online and in-person, for small businesses to start, improve and grow at their own paces. Some commonly utilized resources are information about loans and how to apply for them and courses on business management and strategic planning.
4. Networking Events
Networking is vital for many people’s careers. If you build a solid network across and outside of your industry, you’ll have friends, mentors and allies throughout the world that you can turn to for advice, feedback or potential career changes. The same can be said for businesses. For a business, attending a networking event may be more effective than networking with individuals. These events can help you reach more potential customers, develop relationships with potential strategic partners or vendors and learn more about your competition and about trends within your industry.
5. Strategic Partnerships
A strategic partnership is a specific type of networking where you propose and develop a relationship with another business. Many strategic partnerships involve various business contracts. A strategic partnership can help you reach a large number of potential new customers almost immediately, which can then inform speedy growth. It can be difficult to identify good potential matches for strategic partnerships, but one of the best ways to do so is to look for companies with similar values to your own whose products or services seem to complement yours.
6. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
CRM software is one of the most useful technological tools for improving and growing your relationships with your customers. You can automate many repetitive tasks, such as logging and tracking transactions, integrate your CRM software of choice into the cloud and better store, view and analyze customer relationship information. Some more specialized CRM tools can also help you automate and improve your sales, marketing and accounting workflows too. Like the cloud, CRM software provides you with a tool that will effectively support scalability.
These are only some of the resources that may be at your disposal when you’re attempting to grow your business. Some growth resources may be more beneficial to you than others, depending on the industry your business is in and the areas where you desire growth.