Today, success in business requires a combination of qualities: flexibility, organizational skills and good planning. These are just some of the ways to ensure your small business thrives.

Growing your business is crucial for your business’s survival and your economic well-being. But like other small-business owners, you may not have the perfect blueprint that can keep the bumps and bruises to a minimum.

If you have established a startup and survived, you may be curious about the next steps to grow your small business beyond its present status.

Picking the right strategy will depend on your available resources, the type of business you run, and how much time/money/sweat you are willing to invest. If you want your small business to thrive, here are some possibilities:

Provide Excellent Customer Service

You service models should pay attention to the client. These are the people behind the creation of your business, and you need to prioritize and serve them to the best of your ability.

You need to realize that your customers have the power to decide whether your business survives or not. So, ensure that you give them the attention they require and respond to their needs accordingly.

If you provide better service, your customers will be more inclined to come to you – instead of your competition – whenever they need something. Keep in mind that 9 out of 10 customers will resort to purchasing from your competitor if you do not treat them well.

Plan and Allocate Resources Effectively

To meet the set objectives, use a business plan to allocate resources throughout your business. Review your progress and identify your strategy for growth.

If a given section of your business needs to meet a target, use the business plan to allocate sufficient resources to achieve your goal. The resources may already be available or may be generated in the future.

Practically, resource allocation could mean spending more cash on marketing, buying more equipment or supplies or recruiting more staff. Before beginning this process, some accurate budgeting is recommended.

Doing so will enable you to run your business like a CEO.

Be Present on the Web

A useful Website has become an integral part of any business. Having a Web presence can increase your traffic and sales.

While designing and programming a Website is crucial, your content will play a bigger role in drawing visitors and retaining those visitors. Your content needs to meet your guests’ demands, and in doing so, you need to develop a content strategy based on user behavior.

Having an online presence will also present you with the option of selling your products or services on the Web. Doing so has its advantages:

a) It reduces costs
b) Helps in improving efficiency and productivity
c) Facilitates faster and better communication between your suppliers and customers
d) You can easily extend your market reach

A quality Website will give you a competitive edge over others that lack a solid Web presence. Use it to your benefit.

Be Consistent and Authentic

Customers love to engage with businesses that are reliable and trustworthy. Therefore, in fostering this sense of trust, you need to be transparent, authentic and consistent at all times.

Authenticity and consistency mean sticking to the values and message of your brand. Be sure to deliver on customer promises and remain true to your message. From every service or product, you provide, every piece of content you create, or every aspect of your business, ensure that you remain true.

Get Extra Funding

You will always need to invest more to grow your business. Some of the easiest ways to get additional funding are through:

a) Selling shares to investors
b) Taking a loan

a) Selling shares
If you are looking to add investors, determine how much their input will increase your sales. Concentrate on how your business will increase in value as a result of the selling.

b) Taking out a loan
Before taking a loan, you need to be sure that your business will pay back the debt. Once you are certain you will be able to make a repayment, proceed and weigh your loan options.

Train your staff

Training yourself and your staff can help in improving the skills required for your business. Offering training opportunities to your team will also increase their loyalty and productivity, which will be reflected in profits.
Training is good for your business and your workers.

Time to Thrive

There you go: 6 ways to ensure your small business thrives. Pick one or two ideas that fit your business and circumstances and work towards growing your business.

While growth may not be evident immediately, keep at it, and you will see progress eventually.

David Wither is a contributor to BusinessTown.com