Interested in actionable insights that can help your business grow in 2022? Read five tips that small business owners can use to find success and get a leg up on the competition this year.

As we look ahead, now is an opportune time to create your business goals. But perhaps more important than the goals themselves are the tactics to accomplish your goals. One goal that is always on my list is growth, which is why I’m sharing five tips for growing a business.

1. Hire the right people.

People are the heart of any successful company. Growing a business requires hard work, determination, and passion. The teams you lead should believe in the company and want it to succeed just as much as you do.

The UPS Store continually ranks as a top leader in franchising because of its robust network of hardworking and talented retail owners. It has an incredibly thorough application and training process to ensure UPS owners have the necessary skills to run a successful business.

When interviewing candidates, ask questions that determine if they are a fit in regards to both culture and skill. It’s simple. You cannot achieve business growth without people who are committed to the company’s success.

2. Identify needs before solutions.

To grow your business, you need to know what’s working and what isn’t. Attempts to grow your business will be unsuccessful until you identify what is holding it back.

It’s common to make assumptions about what would improve business. However, improvements are inherently better when you can answer the questions: Why are we doing this? How does this help our customers?

By identifying the need first, your ideas and solutions can directly correlate to areas where growth is needed.

3. Listen to the customer.

Your customers should always be your No. 1 priority. Making sure they have a positive experience can both retain their business and lead them to recommend your products and services to others.

Customers do not always communicate direct feedback in the moment, so find other ways to make sure you’re listening. Consider taking a deep dive into social media discussion, or share surveys/questionnaires to get specific feedback.

When trying to grow your business, customer feedback should inform your decision making. Positive feedback provides insight into what you should continue doing while criticism reveals areas you could improve.

The UPS Store Inside Small Business Survey conducted this year found that 22% of small business owners say customers can help by sharing honest feedback about how to improve their business. Identifying key learnings from customer feedback and implementing necessary changes will create a better customer experience, which will in turn lead to business growth.

4. Identify new opportunities.

Maintaining a strong business is a challenge in itself—you must sustain your revenue and ensure consistency in your products and services, among many other things.

But, business growth requires more than being consistent. Businesses must take their current efforts to the next level to see actual growth. Leaders should always be looking to pivot or expand in response to industry trends and opportunities.

As an essential business, The UPS Store quickly identified new opportunities over the past two years that came with virtual learning and a remote workforce. These new solutions created incredible growth for UPS stores, and will have longevity beyond the pandemic.

5. Research the competition.

You can learn a lot by keeping an eye on your competitors. Observing what is working well for those in your industry ensures that you are staying competitive and not falling behind.

Monitoring the competition will keep you on top of industry trends and best practices. The nature of business is competitive. Staying up to date on competitor initiatives helps to identify potential growth areas and can inspire new thinking.

You can work smarter and save time by identifying what works well and what doesn’t work for competitors. Remember, your goal is not only to keep up with the competition but to surpass it. Going above and beyond industry peers is what truly sets your business apart and in turn creates growth.

Growing a business doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work and dedication. By implementing these practices in the new year, you’ll be taking a step in the right direction.

This article was written by Steve Chambers from Inc. and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@industrydive.com.

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