Our top tips for business growth in difficult times

Of course, not all industries are  the  same  but there  may  be several  concepts  you can apply to any industry  that  would  set  you  on  the  path  to success;  even when  times  are hard. These are the main steps Flexpress has taken to outperform the market.

1. If possible, invest. The first thing that happens in an economic downturn is everyone tightens their purse strings. Ironically, that makes it the perfect time to invest. Some of the best deals on property, equipment and materials are to be  had  when  no-one else  is  spending money.

2. Aggressively  market   your  business.  In the same vein as above, for some obscure reason, many companies cut- back on marketing at just the time they should be increasing their spending. With half as many companies investing in advertising and marketing, every £1 you spend on your own exposure is likely to pay bigger dividends.

3. Look for niche opportunities. It’s very difficult to be all things to all people; believe us, we’ve tried! The tighter  your target market is, the easier it becomes to become a leader in the field. At Flexpress, we filled much spare capacity by targeting periodicals which are much harder for the ‘low cost’ online competitors to produce any more cost- effectively than we can.

4. Keep your promises. Failure to keep promises  is  one of  the  fastest  ways  to lose customers yet many businesses fail to meet promises all the time. The plumber who turns up late, the telecoms company that doesn’t turn up at all, the builder who leaves the job half finished. The  list  is  endless.  Simply  by  keeping your promises you can differentiate yourself from the vast majority in your sector. Admittedly, it’s  not always easy; we have staff holidays, sickness, breakdowns, wrong deliveries and bad days  like  everyone  else  but  98 out  of every 100 jobs we do are completed  by the date we’ve said. If we have to move deadlines, we move the one’s that aren’t so  critical   and  we  identify   those  by talking to our customers and keeping them informed.

5. Understand  the  numbers.  You can  only improve what you can measure so it’s imperative to identify the key performance indicators that will help you make   the   right   decisions   to   move
forward. For example: if you do 40 quotes per week and 25% of those turn into jobs, you’re doing 10 jobs per week. Let’s say the  average value  of  a job  is  £200  so you’re turning  over roughly  £2,000  per week. The law of averages would suggest that if you can increase the number of quotes you do to 50 per week all other things being equal, your turnover will rise to £2,500!

6. Use  free   resources.   Unless  you’re  a ‘know it all’ you’ll always benefit from a bit of extra education or help and there are lots of resources out there that cost nothing  to exploit. Every year, Flexpress takes advantage of the De Montfort University’s In Company Project  scheme (other Universities run similar schemes). Clever students studying MBAs will come into your company and work on specific projects  completely  free of charge. The projects we’ve undertaken include: competitor analysis, process engineering, expansion possibilities and health and safety.

7. Keep in contact with the professionals. If you  see  Bank  Managers,  Accountants and  Solicitors  as  a  necessary  evil,  you are   missing    a   trick. All   of   these professionals want you to, and are there to help you, succeed. Get to know them well  and work  with  them to meet your mutual goals and you’ll usually find where there is a will, there is a way.

8. For more information on marketing online, signup via our facebook page  for our Offline Magazine

5 tips to Help your Start-up Business Grow

Enhanced by Zemanta
  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Tags