Growing your business from pop-up to profit

We uncover next-level hacks to help your business reach its potential.

You’re aiming big with your small business. We’ve unearthed the tips and tricks you need to help you get to where you want to be. Use this guide to get inspired.

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This guide is a paid content promotion brought to you by American Express®.

It’s time to put your business on the Amex map, so new customers can easily find you. Become an Amex Merchant and enjoy our backing with complimentary marketing, expert advice and tutorials, plus discounts on business services and supplies. Learn more.

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1. Review your customer base

Getting to know more about your customers can be as complex as running a whole engagement campaign with focus groups and A/B testing, or it can be as simple as observing how customers interact with your business. What do they buy? What time do they like to shop? Which social media channels do they use to contact you? How do they prefer to pay? Are you accepting card payments?

Reacting to your customers’ behaviour might mean investing in new ways to process payments so your customers can pay in the way they prefer. Take the time to do your research and find the right card reader for your business.

When you’re choosing a payment service, consider the customers that use it, but also what comes with it. American Express offers its business customers marketing tools, expert advice and tutorials and discounts on business services and supplies with its payment processing services. You can find out more about Amex Merchant Services on its site.

With contactless card use now making up a third of all payments, according to UK Finance, and cash use dropping every year, you’re likely to be missing out on business if you can’t offer your customers a card machine. It’s worth considering, too, whether you accept a wide enough variety of cards; and not just for your existing customers, but for your target market as well. For example, American Express says that its UK Cardmembers spend, on average, over 3 times more each year than customers of other card providers.

Growing your business from pop-up to profit

2. Use all the support you can get

There are plenty of organisations and resources that can help your business take off.

Get involved with Amex’s Shop Small campaign

This campaign supports “bricks and mortar” businesses that accept Amex by providing them with marketing, business insights and more. There is a per-transaction fee for accepting Amex payments, but small business owners get support in return. For example, during one of the Shop Small campaigns, either in the summer or on Small Business Saturday at the beginning of December, your business could be recommended to Amex Cardmembers through a personalised email, or featured in a map, making it easier for customers to find you.

Cardmembers can also be eligible to receive statement credits for spending at your business, at no extra cost to you.

Use your local Chamber of Commerce

Chambers of Commerce offer a range of services and support, including networking opportunities, marketing advice and access to funding. Find out more about what Chambers of Commerce do and how to contact your local one.

Other organisations that provide support, a community, resources or even funding include:

  • Federation of Self Employed and Small Businesses (FSB)
  • Enterprise Nation
  • Prince’s Trust
  • Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

Choose an expense management platform that comes with extra support

As your company grows, you may need support in managing business expenses efficiently; some banking and card providers offer additional help to keep your finances running smoothly. Amex, for example, provides its Business Cardmembers with specialist tips, tools and offers.

Take charge of your finances with a business credit card

Choose the right card for your business and it can help you manage your cash flow (by taking advantage of interest-free periods), save time on expense reports, and enjoy perks such as rewards points when you spend.

For example, with the American Express Business Platinum Card, you can earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every £1 you spend.

Take advantage of business offers

You may be eligible for offers designed to help small businesses save money and grow. For example, Amex Business Cardmembers can currently save £30 per month on a cashless RWRD tip box: this is a way to make sure your team doesn’t miss out on tips just because your customers aren’t carrying cash. Offer available until 31 December 2022. Terms apply.

Use our free business plan toolkit

3. Reward your customers – and they’ll reward you

Show your customers how much you appreciate their custom. You can do this with loyalty cards, discounts for regular customers, or special events like preview sales. Amex has more ideas and offers to help its Members support their customers.

You can also help your customers by accepting cards that earn them rewards points. A Finder survey of 2,000 UK cardholders in 2020 found that just over half (51%) of cardholders said they’d spent on a credit card just for the rewards. On average cardholders had spent £1,554 each chasing points in the previous year, an estimated £23.9 billion in total.

Bottom line

When you understand who your best customers are and reward them for their loyalty in ways they value, you’ll be creating solid foundations for your business’s future. And you don’t need to go it alone – there are plenty of tools and resources to support you on your journey.

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