How to Grow your Business
Growing a business, in general, is always the big question for entrepreneurs. And it has become even more of a problem ever since the pandemic happened in 2020. Even though the economy is trying its best to recover in 2021, it has become especially hard for small and medium businesses. The South African economy is dependent on these businesses. If these businesses cannot recover, the South African economy will have a hard time. If you want to start or grow your business, then this article is for you.
We will also mention some useful Covid-19 funding links in this article. Hopefully, they will be of some good use for all of us. So without further delay, let’s get straight to the point!
1. Making a Presence
You cannot grow your business if people cannot see it, right? You have to let people know that you have a particular business and you have a particular set of services or products to offer. How you do it changes everything for your business. It may depend on your strengths, quality of services, uniqueness of products, tapping into the potential demand in the market and more. You need a strategy to make your business successfully visible and lucrative.
Making your business lucrative for your customers is completely in your hands. But how you can make it visible? The answer is simple. Advertising! In 2021, the entire world is going Digital and South Africa isn’t an exception to that. That does not mean the traditional methods are completely outdated. Methods like banners, pamphlets, newspaper advertisements, posters are still very effective in 2021. However, if you are a small business, they might be costly for you – especially banners and newspaper advertisements.
Let’s look at the digital alternative. Digital Marketing. And when you say Digital Marketing, instantly a name pops up in your mind. That’s right: Google Advertising or Google Ads. It is one of the most efficient and highly effective digital advertising platforms. You can advertise your business across the internet – on websites, google search results, YouTube videos, and mobile apps (if opting-in for mobile advertisements). Flexible budget, specific regional and audience target settings – a variety of metrics and dimensions to experiment with are some of the most notable features in Google Ads. The same can be said for other advertising platforms such as Facebook Ads, Linkedin Ads, Twitter Ads – although they are not as broad as Google Ads. However, they give you the opportunities Google Ads cannot. For example, directly talking to your potential customers.
Social Media Presence
Social Media Presence might seem overwhelming to handle, but it is worth it. Platforms such as Facebook or Instagram are widely used across South Africa. So, if someone is following your business, they may see your business’ posts once in a while. While it may not look impactful, making people see and remember about your business can go a long way. An average social media expert will tell you to have at least one post per day on your page. You can use ‘post scheduler’ services you can find online to carry out automated posting operations for you. Our personal favourite is Zoho. Zoho allows you to manage multiple social media channels for your business at reasonable costs. We especially recommend this if you own a small business
Traditional practices mean physical advertising or television advertising. Banners/billboards and pamphlet/brochure advertisements are still going strong and well. Consider this option if your budget allows you. But always give priority to digital marketing first.
2. Digitisation of your business
Digitisation of your business in 2021 is really important. It costs you less to make a presence than the traditional way. Besides, you can completely eliminate the physical space (if applicable) and go digital. Even if your business requires a physical location, do opt-in for digitisation. Why? The answer is simple.
The first and major advantage is digital marketing, which we have talked about in the previous point. Secondly, traditional practices are getting replaced by high-speed, highly efficient, yet affordable digital practices. Besides, the internet has become a cheap and necessary commodity for us humans. You can even say it is one of the basic needs nowadays. The majority of the people have a smartphone and internet on it. So they will definitely come across your business at some point on the internet. But digitisation isn’t just about going on the internet, it is about making your practices digital-oriented. For example, people like to pay with their phones and cards these days. If your business does not accept these payment methods, you will be losing important revenue. In 2021, it is safe to say: “Go digital or go home”.
Go digital and keep your business up with the competition. Going digital means you have a better chance to grow your business. You will require an e-commerce website with a proper store set up, secured payment gateways, website hosting and security options and so on. Digital Lime Green can help you with that. We can help you set up a Shopify or WooCommerce website so that you can instantly start advertising and selling your products.
3. Maintaining Customer Service
A quality customer support service lies in the heart of every reputed and good business. This includes pre-sale and after-sale customer service, product and service-related grievances, and other queries. Good customer service represents that you take your business very seriously. Furthermore, it also states that you put your customer’s satisfaction before anything else. Besides, good customer service can also save you from a pinch and protect customer satisfaction level towards your business.
Customer service has to be prompt and efficient. It is impossible for small businesses to outsource customer services unlike big corporations, but you can hire a small team and/or resolve customer queries personally. If you want to grow, you will have to grow your revenue. Customer satisfaction is one of the most important aspects of generating high revenue. How to maintain customer satisfaction? Quality services, affordable prices, and… you guessed it, effective customer service. It is important!
4. Research and Analysis
Occasional research and analysis about your business and the industry you are in are helpful for your business. Collect data, analyse, and form your strategy. A good business practice is to always stay updated with the following.
Let’s talk about Market research first. It is all about understanding your target audience and whether your product is viable. When you are launching a new product, understanding your market becomes crucially important. Through market research, you will understand the demand in the market and whether your product would satisfy it.
Competitive analysis is about understanding your competition. It will help you understand their strengths and weaknesses and how you can use them to your advantage. Besides, you should be aware of their strengths as they can turn the tables on you. Be prepared for such and have a strategy to break your business through these concerns.
Lastly, financial analysis will give you insights into your overall financial situation. The upkeep for your business, manufacturing costs, other miscellaneous costs vs. the profit generated. This will help you define your profit margin. You can use this data to set monthly or annual goals to increase your profit margin. Also, if your business is still in debt, you can also analyse the relevant information and see when your business will start making an actual profit. It will also help you with attracting potential investors.
Empowering your employees is something your business should do if you want to grow. On-site training and job-related training courses will empower your employees and they will be able to perform better with their tasks, take upon additional tasks, and resolve queries quicker.
Remember, investing in your people means you are investing in your business. And you will, definitely, see profit!
SPECIAL: Covid-19 Support and Funding for Small and Medium Businesses
We must say, the Government’s rapid response to provide funding for businesses has given hope to many. However, the situation still remained somewhat dire as the supply was too limited compared to the demand. McKinsey and Co. have provided a detailed overview of the situation in their article. Regardless, we think that it is important for you to know the important and reliable funding sources in South Africa.
We have covered an article specifically dedicated to the same: Covid-19 Funding for South African Businesses in SA
Growing your business in the current situation can be really difficult. It takes real guts and determination to do so. But even so, there is a ray of hope at the long end of this tunnel. And more importantly, you are not alone in this. We hope that this article proves useful for you and that you can grow your business. If you need any help or our advice, feel free to contact us.
Digital Lime Green is a small website design agency in Cape Town, South Africa. We provide quality and affordable web design, digital marketing, and e-commerce website services for your business. Contact us and get a quality website for your business at affordable rates.
If you need to know the entire process of how to start a business in South Africa, please check out this article: Start a Business in South Africa | Digital Lime Green