Topics: Small Business Advice
2017 was an interesting year for the small business owner. Between recent tax law changes and public policy overturns, the business landscape is completely changed in 2018. What hasn’t likely changed, however, is the desire of small business owners to continue to grow their enterprises.
Are you looking for ways to help jumpstart your small business this year? Here are five hot tips to consider from the team at AmTrust.
What is one thing your business is really good at? Are you a wiz at creating floral arrangements for high-end events? Perhaps you offer a unique security technology that could help other small businesses. Or maybe your specialty is high quality chocolate from a remote part of the world. Whatever is your thing, is the origin of your niche.
The biggest reason finding and exploiting your niche is so important is because it sets you apart from the competition. As a small business, finding a way to stand out from the crowd is paramount to growing your business. Having a unique and particular niche can help with this in a big way.
Once you know what your specialty is, the next step is to learn more about the customers you want to buy your product. If you’ve got that specialty chocolate, you might consider partnering with a company that offers expensive holiday gift boxes. Or you might consider marketing directly to your customers through luxury grocery stores.
Once you know to whom you’re selling your product, you need to learn more about them. Surveys, focus groups, polling, and even personally reaching out to top buyers are all great ways to learn more about your customers. Find out what their pain points are, and what their biggest concerns are. Is your ideal customer worried about quality or price? Are you talking to a product manager or a party planner? Understanding what your customer’s concerns are will help you tailor your business for those specific concerns.
If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you get there? Starting a growth plan is as simple as writing down a list of goals. Once you know what you want to accomplish, you can decide on deadlines by which you want to achieve each goal on your list. And that’s where the fun really begins.
Once you know when and what you want to accomplish, it’s time to figure out how to get it done. By breaking down your plan into steps, the growth plan feels less overwhelming. To accomplish this, create a “To-do” list for each of the big items on your list so you have an actionable way forward. Want to double your business in 2018? Consider how you’ll gain new clients, market new products, or increase your pricing structure, then go for it.
You know your audience. You know your product. You have a plan for growth. Now it’s time to use clever marketing to make your dreams a reality. Marketing is not advertising – it’s more of a way to get your product or service in front of your ideal customers (your audience). The key to good marketing is placing it where your customers already are.
If your customers aren’t using Facebook for business, don’t waste money using Facebook ads. Consider how best to communicate with your target market and then use their lifestyle to meet them in the middle. For example, if your business is retail, your product is hiking boots, and your target market is weekend hikers, you might consider offering hiking permit sales or parking permits for the local parks. This would get customers in the door and give your team an opportunity to talk about your quality products.
Ensuring your business is protected from risks as varied as a cyber attack to an injured customer claim starts with high quality small business insurance. AmTrust offers business owners policy insurance or BOP, which allows you to bundle together the most common insurance coverages for your industry into an affordable total package.
Keeping your business in the black is your job. Helping to keep your business protected is ours. Contact an AmTrust appointed insurance agent today to help protect your small business.