The business world is highly competitive, and if you want your small business to thrive, you need to be constantly focused on improving it. Complacency just gives your competition the opportunity to take customers away from you, and that means lower revenues. But what areas should you focus your energy to build the best possible business? These five tips can make a dramatic difference in your business’s success.

  1. Hire the Right People

You may be the one in charge, but your small business will succeed or fail based on the people you hire. Great employees will make your business better, whereas poor employees will hold it back and potentially cost you money.

Considering how much it costs to replace an employee who doesn’t work out, it’s important to develop a good hiring process. When you have a position to fill, start with a detailed description of the skills and qualifications applicants will need. During interviews, avoid the normal clich√© job interview questions that everyone prepares for and come up with your own unique questions that are more applicable to the job. You’ll get a better idea of what candidates are like this way.

  1. Make Quality a Priority

One of the biggest mistakes a small business owner can make is cutting corners to try saving some money. You may spend less upfront this way, but you’ll be costing your business in the long run. You’re much better off prioritizing quality in all areas, including your products, your website design and every other aspect of your business.

Consumers are more discerning than ever before, and they don’t mind spending a bit more money if it means a superior product. You’re never going to beat Walmart or Amazon on price, but you can on quality.

  1. Start Using NetFlow

Your first question for this tip is probably “what is NetFlow?” It’s essentially a network protocol that analyzes IP network traffic flowing in and out of an interface. What this means for you is that you can get a better idea of the traffic to your business’s site.

NetFlow is a great way to check if your traffic is growing, which can help you anticipate when you need to upgrade your web hosting plan. Through analyzing your traffic, you can also evaluate the effectiveness of your online marketing strategies.

  1. Provide the Best Customer Service

Reputation is huge for any business, but it’s an especially big deal for a small business. When you have a smaller customer base, it really only takes one instance of bad publicity to drastically reduce your sales. With the internet and social media, it doesn’t take much for criticisms of your business to spread.

When you and your employees always put yourself in the customer’s shoes, your business will be able to provide top notch customer service. This will help your business develop a good reputation, which will attract more customers.

  1. Get Active on Social Media

Whether you like or dislike social media, it’s a part of the business world at this point. You can’t opt out, because that just means you’re leaving potential sales on the table. Engaging with people on social networks will build brand awareness for your business and help it get more traffic.

With social media marketing, make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Start by building a presence on one or two of the major social networks. You can branch out to other networks as your business grows. It’s better to have a strong following on one network than weak followings across four networks.

There are all kinds of ways you can make your business better. The five above can all help you build your brand and increase profits.