Chances are you’re already using some sort of data every day in your small business to measure your success. Sales figures, customer numbers and growth stats are your daily data sources. These stats are a core element in understanding what is working within your business and what is not, and so it’s no surprise that this data is central to business decisions and a driver of success in your growth and scaling efforts too.
Nurture your existing customers and revenues
As business owners, it’s important to keep your existing business ticking along while you’re opening up your second, third, fourth and beyond. It’s critical not to forget what keeps your customers coming back to protect your existing revenue. Customer experience is paramount, and keeps the cashflow rolling while you start to expand.
When it comes to consistent and improved cashflow, customers can give you clear insight. Never underestimate the value of a happy customer. TruRating data proves that happier customers spend more, in fact retail customers who are impressed by customer service spend 10 per cent more per average transaction than those who are disappointed. Additionally, within hospitality, cafe customers who are happy with the range of menu choices spend 11 per cent more per average transaction than those who were disappointed.
Analyse what works initially and replicate
Success isn’t just about growth at all costs – it’s more likely to be achieved with a model that enables scaling your business to generate larger revenues without adding massive costs and resources along the way.
But how to understand what will work? Your customers are an excellent gauge of this so it makes sense to use customer ratings to identify what is working via likes and dislikes then focus on these elements as part of the strategy to scale. Getting it right in your first location then using this data to inspire your expansion means you’ll be able to replicate past success and have a better chance of getting it right first time.
Keep track of your expanding business
It is impossible to scale a business without taking risks – growth is ultimately about placing bets on a future that is uncertain. However, risks can be managed by using data insights not only to help guide experimentation before implementation, but to monitor the growth and keep it on track when you can’t be in two places at once.
For Ted Tolfree, owner of growing fresh salad business Crisp Salads, collecting data from customers has been key to his chain’s expansion to five stores. For nearly two years, he has been using TruRating to collect insights from his customers to better understand and improve the business. For Tolfree, growing Crisp Salads to five stores meant hiring and rostering more staff, and also tracking and managing these costs without impacting his customers.
“As business owners, we were grappling with whether we needed to have five or six staff on a shift at a time and not wanting customers to feel like they are having to wait longer for their meals. We decided to implement data insights from across our five stores, using TruRating to ask our customers how they felt about wait time at the point that they paid. By ensuring staff in each store kept service levels consistently high, and using the data, we were able to reduce the number of rostered staff from six to five without having an impact on the perceived wait time.”
To successfully scale your business, it’s important to protect existing revenue, analyse what’s working and be able to monitor growth, all without losing sight of customer experience. Consumer-driven data insights allow owners to improve their current business and then plan and predict growth outcomes with more confidence.
Sophie Jillings, Head of APAC, www.trurating.com