No matter what brought you into the entrepreneurial space, you likely started your business because you wanted to create something that would positively impact others and allow you to support yourself financially. Even if growing to be a multimillion-dollar operation isn’t your goal, expanding your reach and increasing your revenue probably sounds good to you.

Maybe you’re not sure how to run a more successful small business than you already do, or you’ve hit a plateau in your professional growth. If you’re in need of advice on how to get your business back on track to grow more successfully, you’re in luck. In this article, we’ll break down 7 easy steps to help your business grow stronger and more impactful before the year is out.

What makes a successful business?

While no two business owners measure success in the same way and no two businesses will gain momentum by following the exact same road map, there is a certain set of tips and strategies for managing your business that have proven successful. What are they and how can you apply them to your own operation? Read on for some of our best advice for small business owners on how to run a successful small business.

1. Home in on your ideal client and their needs

In order to identify why you may not be growing in the way you want to be, refocusing your attention on your ideal customer is a great step to take. Who did you get into business to help? What needs do they have, and how are you meeting them? Where are your products or services working to meet those needs and where are they falling short? Working to identify ways you could expand, redirect or repackage your current offerings in order to better meet your ideal client’s needs is a strong step toward expanding your customer engagement.

2. Conduct an industry analysis

Now turn your attention to your competition. What other businesses in your industry are targeting your ideal clients, and how are they doing it? Looking at the products, services and packages others in your industry are offering will help you gain a better understanding of your industry and give you helpful insight into ways you may be falling behind your competitors.

By strengthening your understanding of industry expectations, you’ll be able to increase your ranking—and even identify ways you can leverage your unique skills in a way that will set your business apart from others, allowing you to appeal to customers or clients over the competition.

3. Improve your organization and identify your goals

If you’re feeling stuck, the first thing you can do to force a change is get clear on your business goals, conduct an overhaul of your current systems and find ways to make them more efficient so you can better delegate time to build growth in the direction you intend to.

While this will look different for every business owner and vary from industry to industry, making sure your existing systems and workflows are functioning efficiently and productively, establishing clear short- and long-term goals for your business and incorporating self-check-ins into your schedule are a few ways to get started on your journey toward business success. Whether you track your progress in an Excel spreadsheet, or devise a more dynamic system for yourself using a tool like Slack, Asana or Notion, streamlining operations and dedicating yourself to reaching your business goals is sure to improve your business.

4. Review your online and in-person presence

Take a close look at your business operation’s presence, either in person, online or a combination of the two, and evaluate how that is factoring into your growth—or perhaps lack thereof. Sometimes a business hits a rut because they’re not adequately taking advantage of the presence they have. Perhaps your website needs to be redesigned in order to be more user-friendly, is struggling because it’s not sufficiently optimized for mobile use or could benefit from strategic search engine optimization.

Or, maybe your branding doesn’t adequately communicate who you are or what you do. By taking a careful look at your brand and operation, you may be able to identify ways you would like to strengthen your image and presence that you hadn’t considered before.

5. Establish new partnerships and collaborations

If you’re looking to grow the success of your small business, consider identifying another brand or an influencer you could establish a partnership or collaboration with in order to drive attention and engagement to your own business. 

Working with other businesses to develop a new product or repackage an offering in a new way can dramatically increase your traction with customers. You’re helping them by creating a service or product they need, increasing consumer awareness about your operation and opening yourself up to future collaborations down the road. Perhaps the same individual or company would want to work with you again, or maybe you’d receive new interest from another entity following a successful first collaboration.

6. Improve your marketing efforts

One of the best ways to increase awareness and engagement is by improving your marketing efforts. Having already run an industry analysis, you already know who in your industry is operating at your level, and who may serve as a model for where you’d like to be at some point down the road. Take a closer look at their marketing practices to see where they’re active, how they’re interacting with their customers and what information you might be able to glean from them.

Perhaps your model business has a strong social media presence on Instagram, TikTok or Pinterest, and you learn that this is where you need to be expanding your professional presence. Maybe they use video marketing or giveaways in a particularly effective way, and you find inspiration to try this out yourself. No matter what you learn, it will surely give you a sense of what’s working and how you may want to focus your efforts going forward.

7. Trim the fat

Once you’ve taken the time to thoroughly examine your business, found your top competitors in your industry and identified models of where you’d like to be in the future, it’s likely that you have a newfound insight into where you might want to expand your products, resources, or services.

But perhaps you’ve also discovered some areas you need to walk away from. For many business owners, this is a hard realization to swallow. You’ve likely spent a great deal of time, energy and effort creating every aspect of your business, working at it until it’s exactly what you wanted it to be. Realizing that you’re not getting engagement or sufficient return on one or more areas of your small business may be incredibly disappointing or demoralizing.

While no one wants to abandon something they’ve poured so much work into, sometimes it’s worthwhile to take a step back and redirect your attention elsewhere for a while. Maybe you need to further develop the idea, or repackage it in some way. By using the insight you’ve gleaned to direct your business decisions, pulling one product or service in order to create time for another may be just what you need. And in doing so, you’ll have a chance to refresh or revive the less successful one at some point down the line.

Find a bank that’s equipped to serve you

Learning how to run a successful small business is no small feat. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it all on your own. By opening an account with North One, you’ll get access to all the tools and resources you need to make at least one area of your operation as easy as possible. Visit us online to talk with our expert team, and open a small business banking account today.