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8 Tips For Growing Your Business

small business owners talking shop at a desk with paperwork

Small business in America is thriving.

According to the United States Census Bureau, almost half a million business applications were filed in January of 2024 alone. With the spirit of entrepreneurship flourishing, business owners want to stay as far ahead of the pack as possible, which means growth.

So, how do you grow your business sustainably? Is there truly a “secret sauce” that makes a business successful, or is it just a matter of rolling up your sleeves and piling on a time-tested application of elbow grease?

Success Without Secrets

As you might expect, business prosperity has been a well-studied topic in the pandemic era, and the lessons learned by the business community at large can be valuable to any entrepreneur looking for growth. We’ve reviewed the research and pulled eight things to help keep your business growing in this competitive environment.

  1. Set Clear Goals and Objectives

    The most important tip can sometimes be the hardest to grasp: know your objectives. People can find setting attainable goals challenging, but without them, your operations and ambitions—and even your most well-considered plans—can become aimless and inefficient. Familiarize yourself with the SMART methodology of goal setting. Then, record and calendarize your objectives to make sure you can measure your progress and retrace your course as you grow.

  2. Care About the Customer

    “The customer is always right” has rung true for countless years in the business domain. With the rise of online review tools, they have become more relevant than ever. One bad review can sink the ship, and a thriving one can bring in more business. The one thing entrepreneurs can agree on is asking for and listening to reviews – and no, that doesn’t mean you have to act on all the reviews. Focus on the customer experience, and new customers will focus on you.

  3. Establish a Dynamic Culture

    In the post-pandemic business world, expectations have changed. Your business needs have to change with them. With employees increasingly prioritizing quality of life over straightforward pay, be inventive and attentive to the feedback you get from your crew. If you create an environment they love, they’ll be eager to maintain it. See these tips for boosting your employee culture and morale.

     

  4. Embrace Technology, Safely

    It’s difficult to keep up with the ever-growing tech advancements. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), many business owners feel overwhelmed by the array of technology they’re “supposed” to use. Take the time to educate yourself — with self-study and classroom/online coursework — to understand the available technology. Don’t be left behind due to indecision or fear; understand and embrace the technology that will power your business into the future.

    While embracing the tech is important, cyber threats are also very common among all business owners, even small ones. Before you take the step to update your tech, be sure to familiarize yourself with common scams, like the different types of social engineering fraud, and learn more about Cyber Suite from Erie Insurance. Cyber Suite is a coverage that helps your business recover if a data threat happens. With Cyber Suite, you get access to Cyber Safety®, a risk management service full of tools to help you prevent attacks before they happen. You’ll also have access to eRiskHub®, a risk management portal with resources to help prepare for and respond to data breaches.

  5. Network and Collaborate

    New sales channels can open in unexpected places if you commit to a little mingle-and-chat. Consider amping up your networking skills by joining social groups — whether it’s a recreational group like the local golf league, a professional group like EO, or an industry-specific social media group on LinkedIn or Facebook — to mix with other business owners and their associates. Like you, they’re eager to explore new avenues of growth, and great minds often think alike!

  6. Shine Online

    If your website was last updated over a year ago, it may be time for a full online makeover. More importantly, ensure your social media presence is consistent with up-to-date specials, links, photos, and information. Strongly consider working with a professional agency to ensure you’re in full command of the tools modern business relies on for competitive success.

  7. Let Data Drive

    The information age has put a nearly incomprehensible amount of data at our fingertips. Beyond publicly available free and for-fee data you can access, the analytical data from your own online and point-of-sale platforms can provide you with some incredibly useful business intelligence. Use it. And protect it with these 6 tips.

     

  8. Balance Risk and Opportunity

    When growth opportunities present themselves, make sure to do your homework to understand the potential pitfalls of a change. For example, if you’re considering opening a new location, compile and study a list of considerations that will help you evaluate your proposed changes.

Managing Risk

As part of any sound growth strategy, always ensure your business is protected with business insurance from a financially strong company. Talk to your local insurance agent today. Our agents are local business owners just like you and know what it takes to keep a business running—and what you need to protect it.

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of January 2024 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.

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