Setting up your own business can be hugely rewarding, but it’s no secret that success is hard to come by. Studies show that approximately 20% of new businesses fail within a year and up to 60% don’t survive for longer than three years. Despite the troubling statistics, there are some incredible success stories. Thousands of people manage to beat the odds and achieve their goals. In this guide, we’ll outline a series of steps and effective strategies to help you hit targets and grow your business in 2023.
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Raise brand awareness
One of the most important steps to take to achieve business success in 2023 is to raise brand awareness. Marketing is often associated with driving sales by advertising products and services, but it can also play an influential role in promoting brands. Brand identity is all about the story behind the business and sharing company culture and values. Research shows that consumers are more interested in brand values and ethos than ever. Around 80% of consumers prefer to buy from companies that share their values. More than 50% will spend more on products if they come from brands that champion causes like sustainability.
If you are looking to put your brand on the map, there are myriad ways to get people talking and introduce them to your business. Social media is a fantastic platform. It offers opportunities to advertise and sell products and services and engage with customers. Using social apps, you can communicate with followers and encourage them to join conversations and leave comments and reviews. You can also share ideas and suggestions with them and urge them to do the same. Use a variety of content types to get your message across. Interviews, video clips and images work brilliantly. Introduce your brand, share your backstory and start conversations.
It’s also a great idea to use your website, email marketing and adverts to promote your brand. Share blog articles and posts about the team, the way you work and the causes you support. Update people and share news. Use press, TV, radio or online adverts to spread the word. People want to learn more about brands. Most consumers are now looking for more than a great offer or deal.
Make your business stand out
Beating competitors is one of the key challenges facing both new and established business owners. Whether you run an online store, a beauty salon or a recruitment firm, you’ll face competition. To persuade customers and clients to choose you, you have to ensure that your business stands out.
Defining your USP (unique selling proposition) is essential. What can you offer or provide that other brands cannot? What makes you special and unique? Why should buyers or clients choose your business over others? It’s crucial to be able to answer these questions. Perhaps you use ingredients or materials that other firms don’t. Maybe your prices are the lowest on the market or you offer extras for loyal customers. Perhaps your products have extra features. Maybe you donate a portion of your profits to a charity or plant a tree for every purchase. Upsell your USP at every opportunity.
Another effective way to distinguish your business is to create a strong, unique brand identity. From the logo design and the fonts you use to the tone of your social media posts and the types of promotions, there are lots of ways to celebrate your brand. Ensure consistency. Always bear your target audience in mind. Share your brand mission. Strong branding will help you to set your business apart and it will also encourage customers to form positive associations. When a customer sees your logo or an image on social media, they should recognise that it’s your brand.
If you run a physical store or venue, it’s beneficial to lure customers and passers-by in. In a row of shops or a cluster of cafes and bars, for example, you want to stand out. Consider the design of your premises carefully. Dress your windows and use professional, eye-catching signage. Ensure that the aesthetic will appeal to your target customer. The design should also be relevant to the brand. Showcase products in all their glory and try to leave people who are walking past wanting to know more.
Your marketing strategy can also play a critical role in separating your brand from others. Highlight your USP and outline the benefits of choosing your business. Tell customers about the brand and be creative and original. Use targeted campaigns to drum up interest. Persuade prospective customers to buy from you using tailored promotions and offers. Get to know your customers and learn about what makes them choose specific brands and deals over others. Use data to shape your campaigns.
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Use creative strategies to advertise your business
Most of us receive a steady stream of emails every day. We get flyers through the post and we hear the same types of adverts on the TV and radio. When you’re advertising your business, you want people to take note and remember the brand name. Use creative strategies to promote your brand. Get creative in terms of the types of content you use on your website. Engage with followers on social media using interactive, visual posts. Add a captivating, slick voice over to a product guide or a TV advert. Get people talking and generate hype by organising events or hosting a giveaway. Sponsor a community event or run a stall at a local festival or fair. Include a catchy, punchy email subject title.
Provide outstanding customer service
Have you ever been to a restaurant and left feeling disappointed even though the food was great because the service was poor? Have you been to a shop and wanted to buy something but changed your mind because the assistants were rude or there was a long queue? Customer service goes a long way towards shaping experiences. Even if you have a fantastic product, customers may decide not to choose your business again due to poor service. Aim to provide outstanding customer service. This will help to elevate the client experience and it can also give you a competitive advantage.
If you welcome customers to a physical location or you engage in face-to-face meetings or phone calls, it’s wise to provide staff training. If you run an online business, offer access to responsive support. Check emails and social media messages frequently and consider adding live chat. Live chat is a quick and simple way for web users to ask questions and get more information.
Adding a personal touch and making customers feel special is another important element of next-level customer service. The simplest touches like personalising order confirmations and offering exclusive deals and discounts can encourage client loyalty and help you win over customers.
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Understand the importance of 5-star reviews
Positive feedback makes business owners and employees feel great, but that’s not the only benefit. Five-star ratings are an increasingly powerful marketing and sales tool. More than 90% of us now read reviews before buying products or services. Low ratings can put people off before they even visit a website or store. High ratings can persuade customers to choose a business they may never have even heard of before.
If you’re a new business, or you don’t have many reviews, start encouraging customers to leave feedback. Add a link to confirmation emails. Remind clients to add a review after their visit or purchase. Incentivise reviews. You could offer a saving on the next purchase or a freebie, for example. Make it quick and simple for customers to leave reviews. It’s best to avoid long questionnaires or surveys that take longer than a few minutes.
If you already have lots of reviews online, share the feedback. Post positive comments on your social media feeds and website. Take time to respond to comments and thank customers for their feedback.
It’s always beneficial to use reviews and feedback to make improvements. You can learn from every comment. Positive feedback gives you a foundation to build on. Ideas and suggestions will help you to adapt, evolve and stay relevant. Negative reviews highlight issues and pain points. If you get a bad review, act promptly. Take feedback on board and learn from mistakes. Consider contacting the customer to find a solution.
Reward and look after loyal customers
Did you know that repeat customers spend an average of 60% more than new clients? Rewarding and looking after loyal customers is not just beneficial for sales. It also helps to enhance brand image and reputation and lower costs. It is much cheaper to target repeat clients than new customers. Use rewards schemes or incentives, such as exclusive offers and discounts, to make your customers feel special. Always try to ensure that people who stick with you feel valued and appreciated.
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Running a successful business is challenging. In 2023, competition is fierce, consumers have high expectations and costs are rising. To grow your business and unleash your potential, there are several steps to take. Raise brand awareness, use creative ideas and strategies to promote your business and make sure your company stands out. Strive for 5-star reviews and provide outstanding customer service. Reward client loyalty, engage with customers and followers and invest time in building relationships.