Growing your business
5. Improve your products and services
If you’re looking to grow your business by improving your products and services, start by focusing on your existing customers and their needs.
Talk to them, and find out their views on:
- what they’re buying from you, and what they value most about it
- what you could do to make it more useful and valuable to them
- what would encourage them to buy more
Make changes based on feedback
Getting customer feedback should help you to identify ways to improve what you’re offering to your current customers. It may also allow you to:
- increase the price you charge to your existing customers
- attract new customers whose needs you weren’t meeting before
Try to ensure that any changes you make will increase your sales and profitability enough to make the time and money you’ll need to invest worthwhile.
If possible, you should test out prototypes of improved products or services with a few existing customers. By doing this, you can get their feedback and avoid making unpopular changes that could harm your business.
Doing this is equally important for all businesses, whether you’re starting up or established, improving an existing product or service, or bringing something new to market.
Think about selling online
Selling your products or services on the internet can:
- help improve efficiency and productivity
- reduce costs
- help you communicate better with customers and suppliers
You can use analytics software to help you understand how customers use your site and show you ways to improve it.
Consider the costs of going online
You’ll need to make sure you understand all the costs involved (eg hardware, software, hosting, training, services, maintenance and support, upgrades etc). You must also provide your customers with certain information.
If you’re going to sell online, protect your customers and business with measures to keep systems and data safe from theft or hackers.