Turning your business from an idea to reality is a big accomplishment worth celebrating, and you’ve undoubtedly tackled countless challenges already to reach this point. As empowering as this can be, starting your business is simply the first step on a long road, and you’ll need to grow your business if you want to continue reaping the benefits of your independence. Here are some of the most important things to focus on as you plan your expansion.

Competitive Analysis

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Each of your direct competitors offers a learning opportunity for you in the form of competitive analysis. A direct competitor is a business that is offering similar products and services to your own and attempting to solve the same problem(s) for customers.

Things you might look for in a competitive analysis include the products they sell, their revenue, their pricing, how many clients and employees they have, and locations. This information may be available in search engines, trade publications, or on social media to name a few sources. Any information you can gather can help you stand out from the crowd.

Automation

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One of the best things you can do as early as possible is to embrace automation. There are many essential business functions that you can practically walk away from once you have a system in place for them. When you hear about business automation, you may think of warehouses with machines stocking shelves. While this is certainly a form of warehouse automation, you don’t need to be able to afford expensive machines to get onboard. With inventory management software, you can easily track what products you have on location and automatically order more when needed. You can also automate marketing functions by creating an automated email list or setting up a daily newsletter to send to subscribers. The more you use software solutions, the more time you can save.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is crucial for every business these days. If you lack an online presence, you’re missing out on a huge pool of potential customers. Having a website optimized for mobile devices ensures your website can get high amounts of traffic, and advertising and engaging with customers on social media can build trust in your brand. While you can definitely hire an SEO firm to help with things like link building and keyword research, there are free options you can pursue as well. For example, creating a Google My Business profile makes it easy to connect with customers and helps your business rank in local searches.

Customer Support

There are few things as important to your business as customer satisfaction. Customers often share their experiences with others, and you want word of mouth regarding your business to be positive. Customer service is the biggest factor in offering an exceptional customer experience, and a call center is a great way to offer this. A contact center is great for businesses of any size since contact center software can easily be scaled to meet your needs.

With true omnichannel routing, customers can reach your contact center agents through any one of their preferred means whether that’s a voice call, text, SMS, live chat, and more. Artificial intelligence can use customer data to route customers to the right agent for their concerns. This allows for personalized and memorable customer experience and makes things much easier for your support team.

Backup Power

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Virtually any business can be crippled by a lack of power. As you acquire more customers and become more reliant on automated systems, it becomes more important than ever to have a backup solution like a Stamford generator. These work similarly to a car’s alternator in that they convert mechanical energy into electrical current, and they ensure your operations can continue during bad weather and other emergencies. This is particularly crucial if your business needs power for safety reasons, like with food storage, or if you offer 24-hour services.