After you have started your small business, it is natural to think about the next steps to grow your business. You want to get in enough sales to sustain your operations. How do you go about this in a more sustainable way? In this blog, we will introduce some core ideas which you can use to create steady growth in your business. However, it is important that you understand the core ideas behind our sustainability concepts.
Embed sustainability as a core pillar to grow your small business
When we talk about sustainability at Joadre, it is not simply about charitable social activities. It is not about good-will sponsorships or giving out some profits for a good cause. All these are good indeed, but they come after the math which is your actual business.
We encourage you to introduce sustainability as the building blocks of your business. This will give you a great chance to disrupt the domination by larger counterparts in your business sector.
Product quality and communication
The first area which is very crucial is to re-evaluate your offerings. What you offer as a product and/or service to the customer is very important to your success as a small business. You are more likely to spend less money advertising to customers if you really offer a “necessity”. You will spend even lesser adverts cost when the product is of high quality. Quality is always relative to the price of the product from the customers perspective. If you are not sure about the quality of your product, carry out a simple analysis. Get major counterpart’s product versions or service into your space, get about 3 to 5 potential customers and discuss with them.
Tapping into acient wisdom for small businesses – evaluate your product
In today’s business mechanics, we would call this type of analysis consumer focus group or competitors analysis. But do not let this bogus expression shock you. Back in the olden days in Africa, before a market day, farmers would interact with their fellow farmers showing them their crops. So many factors affected how the crops turned out to be. It was always very good to heard the suggestions from fellow farmers.
Todays economics makes these fellow farmers now “competitors”. We would rather see them as a group of highly skilled farmers working in coherence with nature to feed a community ecosystem. So it was somehow in everyones interest to evaluate the seasons harvest. Some would go to the priest of the community and make offerings. The process of making offerings demanded that the farmer “sort” out the best-fit of their crops. The “sorting” demanded that the farmer actually spends time inspecting their crops before presenting it for offerings.
Today, with the complexity of production and globalisation, some business owners can not tell you anything about their product. The origin, usability, durability, material and so on about the product or service they offer. If most materials are not imported, then a “Digital Bot” is responding to customers enquiry. Yes, there is technology to track these interactions but still we are often very disconnected to this essential feedback loop. How ridiculous is that? Literally, the olden days entrepreneurs were very knowledgeable about everything happening around their businesses. From the technical aspects of the trade to the mere taste of the yam.
Small businesses have a better chance now still!
Nevertheless today, with lots of research and knowledge gathering over the years, business owners now have so many tools like focus groups, tasting events, digital feedback loops, surveys and so on to actually test their existing products. Make use of these if you know how to. The aim of this is to get the direct feedback of potential consumers. As your business grows, you can employ this method from time to time to revise and innovate your product.
After product revision, what next?
The next most crucial step here is to
- optimise if needed and,
- communicate the key attractive findings you have.
When you know that maybe a part of the service is lacking or your counterparts offer better value to the consumers may be due to added service or better material quality, you need to optimise your offer. Judging the quality of the product material should come from a very diverse and deep perspective.
From the actual quality of ethics under which the product is made to the quality feel for the consumer. If a product is made under very bad conditions, it absorbs the energy of that negative environment. This negativity can become reflected in the finished product itself. If the quality is very bad, you will not sell based on referrals, return and word of mouth from previous customers. You will end up having to invest a huge sum of money into marketing and promotion that leaves you with little or no profit. Is that what you want?
Use “Transparency” to grow your small business
As a small business owner, you will find yourself being up against a great deal of competition. But your best customers will be the biggest defenders of your business. When customers are emotionally connected to your business, they are more likely to stay with you. They will defend your product or service to others, whether online or in person.
To get your customers more connected, you can employ the profits of transparency to your advantage. Many large companies cannot afford to be transparent in their business chains as it might expose inhuman conditions and/or simply due to the complexity of their structure. But you can, if you have engaged deeply in positive ethics.
Communicate your positive ethics
Let the customer becomes part of the process. Tell them the origin of the profit. Tell them how it creates value in a larger ecosystem. Building up your backstory and showcase what you stand for. This is one very easy and no-cost method to show your customers your brand’s values and expertise. It also shows customers that you take pride in your work, which can help build authenticity around your brand.
As we evolve, we evolve towards recognising that humanity supersedes all forms of technology and digitisation. We humans want to connect. To stay ahead of your competitors and think about how to build up a human brand around your company as early as possible.
Consumers seek deep connection
The more you show the human aspects of your business, the deeper you connect. However, there has to be a human aspect to showcase. Bringing humanity to your business might even make you become a thought leader in your business space as it becomes revolutionary. When people admire your work, they want to listen to you. In return, you get to spend less money on promotion. So being sustainable at your core is very vital to establishing your own small business. It is good for you, for your small business and for the ecosystem.
It can take a long time to establish yourself as a new leader in a saturated space, but what’s important is you’re staying focused on your goals and making an effort to offer your own unique perspective. You’d be surprised at just how many other professionals in your industry can relate to your challenges and successes, and will find your advice, transparency, product quality or stories useful.
We hope that this article offers you deep insight to growing your small business. Stay with us by subscribing to our SME network eBiz Magazine for more sustainable insights to grow your small business. Remember that we are building a movement of deep mindful business owners who want to make our world a better environment. So help us share this article to grow our community.
Cheers & love as you grow your small business,
Joadre Editorial team.