Your business is blossoming. You’ve watched it grow from a blip on the economic radar to a serious local contender. You know it’s time to expand, but the phrase “growing pains” doesn’t exist without reason, and many small and midsize business (SMB) owners seem to flounder just when prospects look their best.
An expanded business needs more comprehensive solutions than you may be used to. The good news is, since yours isn’t the first company to transition from “small fry” to industry competitor, there’s no reason that you should have to make the same mistakes others have. In this article we’ll cover three of the most important goals to keep in mind (and the challenges they present) as you take your business to the next level.
1. Improve customer retention. Believe it or not, the best way to expand your business is to make sure your existing customers are loyal and happy. BIA Kelsey reports that returning customers tend to spend 67 percent more on average when compared to first-time shoppers, and for SMBs like your own, this repeat business can actually account for over half of your profits.
So how do you improve customer retention during a period of expansion? You adopt new tools that help you manage contacts, prioritize leads, and drive sales. You deploy them in a way that works seamlessly with tools you already use, saving your agents training time and showing your customers that the new face of your business is centered on them.
2. Attract new customers. Every expansion brims with the prospect of potential customers. But if you want their business, you need to personalize their experience with your company. Send tailored offers to the customers you know will appreciate them, when you know they’re most likely to buy. Then make sure your sales staff has enough data to speak to a customer’s individual needs.
The combination of entering new markets and speaking directly to customer requirements can have a profound effect on your business. When interest in your business surges, you’ll want to be sure you have the bandwidth to handle all the attention. The economical way to do this is to use a cloud-based solution that expands if needed, but otherwise keeps your data costs low.
3. Increase revenues. The above goals and solutions mean nothing if they don’t lead to more money coming in. That’s why it’s important to focus on the right customers and priorities. Organize your sales process to nurture opportunities and drive sales. Review your sales pipeline to spot trends, then improve your sales process to win more deals and increase revenue. As your business grows, you may also need to better manage your financials, inventory, and operations.
While your customer and analytical data can be your edge as your business develops, it can also expose both your company and customers to new risks. A robust and reliable security solution that grants you access to your data but keeps unwanted visitors out is now more important than ever. Again, your best bet here is the cloud, where enterprise-grade security is the standard.
The decision to expand your business is a big one, and equally important is how you go about making your vision come to fruition. For a more in-depth look at whether your business is ready for solutions like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, check out the SMB Group e-book, How to know if your business is ready for CRM. You can also take a personalized, guided tour of Dynamics CRM Online to get started.