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22 Aug

The Big House Presents: EXPO

EXPO is a great opportunity to discover what with these businesses to localise your supply chain, reduce your carbon footprint, and create jobs and opportunities in the D2N2 area.

20 Aug

Chamber offers free year-long membership to businesses affected by Toddbrook Reservoir incident

East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) continues to work with partners to offer comprehensive support to local businesses which have been - and continue to be - affected by the potential collapse of Toddbrook Dam.

19 Aug

‘Energy for Business’ scheme helps local businesses make the low-carbon leap

A project which helps local businesses that want to develop low-carbon solutions, has been awarded funding to support SMEs in the region for another three years.

Five Tips to Successfully Grow Your Business

Congratulations, you’ve successfully set up your business. Now, you’re looking to grow.

Successfully expanding your company doesn’t need to involve elaborate marketing campaigns and massive influxes in sales. Instead, it can start with simply adjusting your approach towards your suppliers, customers and cash flow. Sage works with businesses across the world every day and have put together these valuable tips for growing a small business:

Manage Your Suppliers

When seeking to grow your business, it can be useful to renegotiate terms with your suppliers to save money. Asking for discounts on large orders, setting up a regular payment plan or choosing an off-peak delivery time can help boost your profits. For example, you might be able to keep better track of your cash flow by settling your bills in 60 or 90 days rather than 30.

It’s also helpful to reduce the number of late payments you make to your suppliers and chase your customers for payments to ensure you have a steady cash flow. Check out these top tips for staying on top of late payments below:

Top tips

It pays dividends to have a good relationship with your suppliers, so don’t alienate them by pushing too hard for discounts. Your suppliers can be a brilliant resource for letting you know when raw material prices are changing or for discovering which up-and-coming products are trending or selling well.

Gather customer feedback

Your customers’ comments can also be incredibly useful for figuring out why people want your product and when they want it. This feedback lets you adapt your sales strategy and enables you to predict when demand will be high.

Nowadays, you can gather your customers’ unique perspectives in multiple ways. You could try to follow up each sale with a questionnaire or a courtesy call. However, with the majority of clients on social media channels, this platform can be the most efficient for collecting opinions. Try running new products or services past your followers, check out what your competitors are up to and interact with both positive and negative comments on your page.

Turn existing customers into loyal customers

If your customers are happy with their initial purchase, they’re more likely to return to buy other products or services that you provide. Introduce a system that allows you to make recommendations based on what they’ve already purchased. Cater to your most valuable shoppers by offering them discounts or special promotions on the products they’re most interested in. By tracking loyal customers, you can also find out what is selling well and follow current trends in your market.

Another way to increase buyer loyalty is to make your products or services repeatable wherever possible. For example, offer a mix of your services over a period of six months rather than a one-off.

Emails or newsletters can also be an excellent way to make sure your latest products and company news get to previous clients, in turn increasing sales. Retaining former customers is both simpler and less expensive than trying to encourage new buyers.

Word of mouth

Word of mouth remains one of the most powerful ways to win new customers. People are more likely to take recommendations from their friends and family than any
advertisement. Therefore it’s always a good idea to try and encourage your existing customers to refer new customers to you by offering discounts or special promotions.

However, don’t push this too hard as people don't like to be hounded with sales and doing so could lead to them losing patience with your brand. Look to build long-term relationships with your customers rather than pursuing one-off profits.

Manage your cash flow cycle

Sometimes it’s necessary to take an aerial view of your business to spot why you’re not growing. Is it related to sales, pricing or late customer payments? These are all problems that can be sorted and don’t need to cripple you.

cash flow

Forecasting sales can give you extra freedom to overcome any troughs as well as allowing you to alter your pricing while maintaining a profit.

More small businesses fail because of cash flow problems than anything else. At the end of the day, if you’re not making a profit you’re going to struggle to grow.

For more tips on sorting cash flow problems, managing income and expenditure as well as keeping on top of business taxes check out Sage’s Ultimate Guide to Basic Business Accounting.

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About the author

Sage, the leading integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems provider
Tel 0800 923 0344

The above blog has been kindly supplied by the above mentioned author. The inclusion of this content and any links to another web site, or any reference to any product or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by D2N2 Growth Hub.