Five Essential Services To Help Small Businesses Grow

When you first start your own business it is normally necessary to take on most jobs yourself. With limited funds and a desire to get the business established exactly how you want it, most small business owners can feel like control freaks, working all the hours under the sun and wanting to get everything just right. This is understandable. But as the business grows it is also necessary to recognize there will be times when you could get others to perform some of these tasks for you, both because they may well be better at it (they will be specialists) or because your time could be better spent concentrating on another area of the business. There is very little point in you trying to take control of parts of the business for which you have no experience or skill. At best you would do an average job in these departments but more likely you would make mistakes that could be costly for your business. Consequently it is necessary to look to other service providers for certain parts of your business. This article will examine five of the most important ways you can go about bringing in outside help to your company:

(1) Market Research

Before you truly embrace new product launches, new website launches, or announcements of new services it is worth investing in some decent market research to find out who your client base will be / is, and whether they fit with whatever you are launching. Though you may have dabbled into researching your audience yourself, in all likelihood you will not be able to produce anything like the results that a professional market research company could produce. The importance of good market research applies equally to web based research such as analytics and companies who can analyse your web audience and web data in detail. Before you engage marketing companies, decide how much you want to base your market research on traditional marketing methods and how much on web and social media market research.

(2) Planning Marketing Strategy

Once you have taken the time to draw up in depth analysis of who your target audience is, the next step is to get some information on how best to reach them. For this you will again need to decide on how much you want to concentrate on traditional media and how much you want to aim for social media and what kind of mix of the two styles of marketing will best suit your business. To get the best value out of your marketing strategy it is probably worth investing in a marketing company who can implement a marketing plan for you.

(3) Business Administration

If you are involved in the creative side of the business and do your best work coming up with ideas, concepts and products then you might not want to waste time with the administrative (and less interesting) side of things. If so, it is worth hiring someone, whether as an employee or through a company that takes care of admin, to manage the office tasks, emails, phones etc

(4) Design

Whether it is your company brochures, your business cards or your company website, these days image is everything. People will most likely judge you by your website as for most businesses this will be the first port of call and their first interaction with your company. Unless you are creative and have an eye for design it is worth paying the money to get someone to design a first impression that will wow new and potential customers and make them think you are a company they want to do business with.

(5) Protecting Your Reputation

Lastly, a service that you might never need but if you do, you will need real bad. Reputation management is particularly useful in the era of social media where it is easy for someone to bad mouth your company online and cause you problems. All it takes is one unhappy customer to tell tales about you and you could find business plummeting. In such instances it is worth calling in professional social media and online reputation experts to put out the fires!

Esther is a financial journalist and business blogger based in Chicago. She writes about all areas of business and personal finance affecting the consumer from tax relief to credit and store cards and from small business advice on where to find good small business capital.