How to Take Your Service-based Business to the Next Level
A few years ago, you decided to start your own service-based business, providing your company’s specialty to individuals and businesses. You followed the advice of respected entrepreneurship experts by starting slowly and capitalizing on a recognized niche. For example, your custodial service focused solely on servicing offices located within a concentrated area, or your accounting practice specializes in serving those medical and dental practices under new ownership.
In past few years, you have seen significant growth, but have recently noticed that revenue has begun to plateau, causing some concern. As a smart businessperson, you know that in order to survive, a company must grow.
Today, as the owner and manager of a successful service-based business, you find yourself facing the exciting challenge of increasing your small business, from one that merely pays the bills, to one that offers the financial rewards for which you have been working.
In its 2015 report discussing the state of small business growth, Wasp Barcode Technologies relates that the biggest challenge for companies with fewer than 100 employees is increasing revenue. However, over half of companies surveyed expect at least modest revenue growth.
According to experts in the service industry, there are a number of options that will help you do this:
- Expand your lines of services to your clientele – Writing for Entrepreneur Magazine, respected consultant, Rosalind Resnick, advises increasing brand recognition by augmenting your current service with easily integrated service and product line expansion. If your custodial service specializes in quick, meticulously scheduled service of small offices, offer to service the homes of employees and their clients. Consider offering specials to employees of client companies.
- Network – Your competitors are also pursuing service-based business growth. Business networking events are a great place to meet and to discuss how your respective strengths will increase profit for both parties. Sharing the burden of fixed costs such as warehousing and office space increases net profit and allows for further investment in business growth.
- Increase brand awareness – PowerHomeBiz.com, an online medium for small business owners, discusses several ways to do this – volunteering your service under your business name, maximizing use of all free advertising, from social media to old fashioned distribution of flyers. Another method is to partner with businesses that compliment yours, such as having your janitorial service partner with a local landscape company.
- Measure and improve client experience – The aforementioned Wasp Barcode report states that over half surveyed companies plan to increase revenue via improved client experience. As a small business owner specializing in intangible offerings, client experience should be at the forefront of your strategy. As your small business grows, invest in a full time customer service manager and software (namely, quality CRMs).
- Develop a Directors board – A board of directors, as discussed in the small business resource, smallbusinessnotes.com, assists with development of business plans and strategy. As your business grows, a board can be a valuable tool to provide useful insights from a different perspective and experience.
- Train your business – Small business expert Rick Meekins discusses the need to prepare your business to operate efficiently without your constant presence. Aepiphanni, which has advised small business growth for over 10 years, offers free business assessment, as seen on its website.
You have succeeded in the first challenge of establishing your business as a solid resource in the local service industry. Now is the time to make your business work for you; the key is successful growth. Call the consultants at Aepiphanni today for a free business assessment and to begin taking your business to the next level.
Ian Erickson is the writer for Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Managed, and Implementation Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations. Ian Erickson has been advising managers and clients in a wide spectrum of industries on the most effective strategy for years. Ian discusses situations facing small businesses and how to turn challenges into opportunities.
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