Putting money back into your business helps you reach the next level. Each year, you should return a portion of your profits to your company in the form of new investments and upgrades. Where should you spend money to help your organization most?
Sometimes, something as simple as investing in better PR or company-wide communication strategies has the most impact. Remember when an airline removed a passenger from an overbooked flight, injuring him in the process? The backlash against United Airlines resulted in a rapid $1.4 billion dive in stock prices.
Hopefully you don’t face anything quite so drastic, but it’s a good study in how small changes make a big difference. Had United Airlines responded differently to the incident, they may have avoided the backlash from frustrated customers.
Here are four things you probably aren’t investing in that you should. Ignoring growth in these areas may actually harm your business.
When you first opened your doors, you may have used banners or inexpensive signage to show customers your location. Research shows an investment in a new sign increases revenue 10% or more. There are many reasons for the benefit, including a brighter beacon pulling people in and adding a touch of professionalism to your brand.
You can also place signs up to let people know about special sales, new arrivals and events happening. Inside your store, add directional cues to send people to the register or let them know the process. The more details you provide, the less confused newbies will feel. If someone feels comfortable in your establishment, you may win a lifelong fan.
When the pandemic swept across the world in 2020, many businesses were forced to adopt new technologies they’d not yet tested. They soon saw advantages in letting customers order online, using autonomous robots for grocery delivery and developing better customer relationship management (CRM).
Automation saves your employees time and lets them focus on the nitty gritty of growing your business rather than just keeping up with demands. Look at repetitive tasks. What do you and your staff do over and over? Can it be automated? Investing in the software, machines, and tools to increase productivity also improves your revenue-generating ability.
There are some jobs humans can’t do as well as machines. If you produce anything or you package and ship things off, a robot might be a worthwhile investment for you. Consider the pros and cons and invest in automation that makes the most sense for your brand.
If you want to grow, you must keep old customers while attracting new ones. Customer retention isn’t an easy task. Researchers found a mere 5% increase in customer retention bumped up profits between 25 and 95%.
Utilizing CRM software is one part of the puzzle, but there are many other elements you should invest in that can help you improve the customer experience and keep current clients happy.
Take time to reach out to customers when they don’t order in a while. Even if you’ve lost them as customers, you may learn some useful tidbits to improve your overall retention rates in future.
Are you prepared for a big emergency? What does your damage control plan look like? The ability to pivot and reduce the impact of any disaster can mean the difference between success and failure.
Your emergency plan should look at any possible scenario your business might face and put safeguards in place to reduce damage. For example, what happens if someone slips and falls on your property? Perhaps they sue you. Do you have enough insurance to cover such a situation?
If a natural disaster happens, how will you get back up and running quickly so you don’t lose momentum? Is there a second location where you can place a pop up store until repairs are complete?
Perhaps a pandemic strikes. How will you change what you’re doing to better serve the needs of your customers? What does the brainstorming process look like? The more scenarios you can imagine, the faster you can respond if the worst occurs.
What are the most painful parts of your business? Where do you waste the most time or generate the least profit? Once you identify those areas, you can seek solutions and invest in them. Improving your operations model allows you to grow your business steadily.
Eleanor is the editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She’s also a freelance web designer with a focus on user experience. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and dog, Bear