How to grow a small business

Here is a taster of what’s covered in Allia's Grow Your Business programme, with some simple tips to help you to gain customers and focus on what matters.

Redhead woman talking at a whiteboard

When running a small business, the day-to-day activities can make it difficult to find time to focus on growing it, or where to start. Here, we give you a taster of what’s covered in our Grow Your Business programme, with some simple tips to help you to gain customers and focus on what matters.

Manage your time

It might sound simple, but managing your time is really important if you want to be more productive. A lot of people finish their day without achieving what they’d planned to. With careful time management you can free up a lot of space for things that matter. Consider finishing each day by planning tomorrow’s tasks and goals. Block out time and only focus on these tasks – no social media, no interruptions. You’ll be amazed how much more productive you become.  

Don’t let your strategy slide 

Your strategy is the backbone of your business. It’s crucial to keep this in mind as it feeds into your day-to-day activities while also directing your overall business objectives. Dedicate time each week to keep your business strategy on track. Read widely on topics surrounding your business and beyond, and keep up to date with any trends or developments in technology. This will give you opportunities to support your strategy or adjust your plans. 

Put your product through its paces 

With any potential new service or product, it’s essential to develop a prototype and test the market before committing resources. If you get a good response from new and existing customers you’ll then know it’s worth pursuing. Listen to what your customers are saying about the features and the benefits of your products. Ask if your customers are willing to pay for the product at the price you are setting. Learn to let go of your initial ideas if it doesn’t match up with what your customers want.  

Get to know your customers 

Rather than prioritising new customers, try focusing on the existing ones first. There’s a whole lot to gain from speaking the people that are already buying your product. Try and arrange a chat with a few of them and ask them questions about your business and product. Why did they buy it? What do they like/dislike? How did they find out about the business? You won’t get this information from anywhere else, and it’s absolutely key to growing your business.  

Communicate your ‘why’  

People don’t just buy the product, they buy the ‘why’ behind the product. So focus on that. If your product helps reduce environmental impact, tackles loneliness or improves health, talk about that! There’s an age old saying in marketing; ‘features tell, benefits sell’, and this couldn’t ring more true. So instead of focusing on what your product does, focus on the effect it has on the customers or the environment around them. 

And finally… apply to our Grow Your Business programme 

To take the time to really focus on your business, there’s nothing better than a dedicated business support programme. Our Grow Your Business programme has specialist workshops focusing on essential topics such as marketing, HR, sales and financing. Our team of business advisors and mentors offer 1-1 tailored support to help your business gain customers and revenue. So if you’re running a small business in Cambridge, Peterborough or Hackney, now’s the time to find out more and apply to the Grow Your Business programme. 

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