How Do You Take Your Business to the Next Level?

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After you've successfully gotten your business up and running, how do you find ways to improve it? In what ways do you answer the question, "What's next?"

I personally love frequenting kitchen expos to see what the latest and greatest product I can sell to my customers.

How do you take your business to the next level?
 
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Hello, @Jessica Danes, do you own a kitchen store? If so I'd surely visit you if you were closer (I love to cook, so I love such stores).

About the question you proposed, it's really a cool one!!

When I started managing my business (a software company), I have always simply asked my clients about what they miss in my software - in a totally informal way. Sometimes it worked fine, and sometimes it was just a waste of money developing things that added low or no value for the product! For my mindset at this time it was "enough", but I don't think it'd be a good suggestion for people looking for ideas on what to do, thus I'll share things I learned after, that could help one looking for improvement insights (and that make me feel like I was a fool in those days LOL).

But first, there are several types of new things one can introduce in a business. Sometimes it's new products or services, sometimes it's the way you deliver, sometimes is a more convenient way for customers to buy. And once the kind of new thing to be introduced is known, the business type is another variable to deal with.

I.e. for a large store wanting to increase per-customer sales, reselling lots of products in a large area, where the staff don't actually interact a lot with the customers, observation can be a very insightful way. Install a camera system, and take a look at people behavior when they're buying, trying to figure out why they looked some product and didn't buy, why they buy certain products and not others, etc.

But in a smaller store trying to introduce innovation in their services, a focus groups with some customers can be a cheap and effective way to find where to innovate to offer a better service. People like to share ideas, the challenge is to make they go to a meeting (easily solved with some gifts or something like this). Then, when people are in a group, they comment each other's ideas, generating even better insights that just flow for you. I should've made things like this in my company when I was there, I did it for some companies as a project in a college subject and they just loved the results.
 

William Clements

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@Bruno Moreira-Guedes, he answered your question of have to improve and touched some on Whats next? However, if your business has a physical location it sells products on only then promotion would go along way to gain popularity and known throughout your state/territory. You can hand fliers hung, and word of mouth goes along way so ask them to tell here friends and family or have an referral program offline where they get X amount per referral on their first purchase so the referrer can use it toward their next purchase.

If the store has both an online and offline to sell then above applies but also below about online applies too.

For online stores only, you can promote via social media, search engine, SEO, TV Promotion, online referral system where customers who join your online store gets an referral URL and earners X amount or what not off their referrals first purchase or something like that. However, you may also gain traction online by having an separate referral program where Affiliate Networks and Affiliate Markers join exclusively to promote and get paid of joining site and/or require a purchase with flat rate for earned and/or Rev Share (where there earn % of each order placed by that customer).

If your business is online, and interested in having an separate referral program for affiliate marketing then I can give you suggestions on using platforms to have the affiliate program on and/or you can have networks add to their site and you place the tracking pixels on your site/per network and have to keep track of their payment info, etc.

Hope this helps!
 
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Yeah, it is really difficult to level up any business in the right direction and get beneficial reverts. Nowadays various online referral programs available where you can share your business services and explore new business referrals.
 
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The key to taking a business to next level is education. No matter where we are in life, we can always learn more to be more.
 
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Some of the activities by which you can take your business to the next level.
  1. Envision Where You Want to Be
  2. Increase Your Productivity
  3. Keep the Journey Exciting
  4. Put the Focus on Customer Service
 
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The ability to see the entire picture is vital for the small business owners.
-Use goal-setting to get yourself out of your zone of comfort and take well calculated risks.
-Keep your clients happy, provide a high product service.
-Keep improve yourself, technologies are moving on so, never stop advancing your knowledge, never stop to thrive.
-Do not transform your business into a routine. Make the business effective and productive for a greater success.
-Stay on with all the innovations. Some time, new technologies can help small business in saving money.
 

Edvin

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I'm the little fish; so, I'll share with you my position...

I haven't contributed to my post series because I'm short on time; I'm re-inventing the wheel (process/product/service/policy) almost every step of the way. If I wanted a turn-key solution then I would have gone with a franchise. The revenue is bearly breaking even and would not sustain my family; but, that is why keeping my job and working on the business concurrently is so important. Perhaps because I don't have a lease commitment I lack a high-degree of "hustle" drive. For now, I'm digging trenches for the new business.

I was able to launch a concept as a summer coding camp. Now, I need to shift gears into a sustainable subscription model. This also means that I need to provide different products/services. My original business plan has fallen short for several reason (you have to read the serries to know about it); so, now I'm in a reactive biz-dev stage.

As for my strategies...
  • I look at competing franchises and businesses for ideas.
  • I also subscribe to several magazines (e.g. Make, Servo), which stimulate ideas for product/services.
  • I also attend local MakerFair and RoboGames because it is fun and provide ideas; the very least it is a blogging opportunity.
  • I'm a member of boy-scout; so, I am able to learn about their penetration strategies, which I can mimic when ready.
  • Marketing is an important part of taking business to next level. This is another point that I have yet to spend enough time in. Like everyone, I question the cost-benefit of each campaign...
I personally need to expand my product/service and provide a subscription model, and this needs to be executed in the next 30 days! I recently thought about introducing "Extreme STEM" educational service. It will be interesting to find if there is a demand for it.

I spend lots of time building kits for kids; so, I need to build buy equipment to help me with automation (as if I already am not short on time).

I also keep branding promotional give-away (and here) in the back of my head; but, the cost of give-away or the time needed for DIY solution have not allowed me to explore into this area yet.
 
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  • Evaluate Where You Are.
  • Find new ways to sell your product.
  • Reorganize your company to better serve customers.
  • Keep up with technology.
  • Prioritize your success.
 
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have you tried using a crm for your business?
im using emailhandy for my email lead managaement and it works well.
this helps you automate your lead followups.
sohail roshni
 
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There are many ways IMO. Try affiliate marketing, influencers, social media. Also here are even more tips like lead generation or creating your ICP. If you are a local business then sure, attend small events, gain contacts/partners and new customers.
 
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You must think out of the box, you must be creative, you must be innovative. That is how you stay ahead of the curve and make your business grow even bigger. That is the way to go.

For example, in my personal case, I've been thinking about ways to grow my own online shop for quite a while, and I've written a good list of things I could do to make it happen. For instance, I've been thinking about offering cashback to my customers, so they are incentivized to buy from me, come back for more and feel that my company cares about them.
I'm thinking about replicating a system similar to this one: https://www.rebatemango.my/

I hope you get my point, because it is all about daring to try new things and see what effect they have in your business, but of course, you need to make your own research beforehand.
 
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