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How to grow your small business – tips from Harpreet Kaur


The founder of dessert parlour Oh So Yum and winner of BBC’s The Apprentice joined Simply Business for an inspiring lunch and learn for small business owners.

More than 2,000 entrepreneurs registered for our latest webinar to hear Harpreet Kaur’s tips for success on how to grow a business in challenging times.

Watch Harpreet share her top tips in our webinar

From nailing your branding to building relationships with other small business owners, this is a rare chance to hear from one of the most exciting entrepreneurs of 2022.

You can watch the recording from the webinar below.

A taste of success for a dessert parlour brand

Harpreet won The Apprentice in 2022 for her dessert parlour business, Oh So Yum.

And with Lord Sugar as her business partner, Harpreet has grown her business from a store in West Yorkshire to offering a UK-wide delivery service.

The one hour online event saw Harpreet share her experience of leaving her job as a bank manager and setting up her own business seven years ago. Whether you’ve got a side hustle or are planning the next step for your business, here are Harpreet’s tips to help you grow.

6 quick tips for growing your business

Here are Harpreet’s top tips for finding customers, having a growth mindset, and taking your business to the next level.

1. Branding is key

It’s important to think about your company values, why your business exists, and what you’re trying to achieve.

Harpreet worked with a branding agency who helped her with the creation of her Oh So Yum brand, from typography to the colours and a logo.

If you choose to work with a professional on the creative side of your business, make sure you do your research and establish a budget.

This guide has more tips on branding your business.

2. Go digital

Next up, make sure you have a digital strategy for your business.

Research the wide range of apps and shopping platforms available to you and use them to reach a wider network than through your website alone.

Harpreet adapted her ice cream and dessert business for an online market to reach more customers with brownie kits. But she says service-based businesses could think about how they could offer video tutorials or courses in addition to their core business.

She said: “Sit down once a week and think about your digital business because it’s a completely separate income stream potentially from what you may be doing at the moment.”

Download this free marketing plan template for more tips.

3. Keep your online presence tidy

Keeping your online business up to date is as important as having a tidy shop front. This includes your opening hours, contact information, and SEO (search engine optimisation).

Make sure you assess your business and educate yourself about digital strategies available to you, from SEO to PPC advertising.

Harpeet said: “If you don’t embrace this element of your business, your competitors who are more tech savvy will.”

4. Keep your customers happy

It’s important to keep your customers happy and show them the real you behind the business.

This could be through loyalty schemes, referral schemes, or a personal extra that makes them feel valued. Things like email newsletters can help nurture your customers and keep them coming back to you.

Harpreet said: “Ensure that you’re still making sure it’s financially viable when you’re calculating these discounts, but again don’t be afraid to invest in your customer.”

5. Automate your systems

Automation can help make your life easier so you have more time to focus on activities that will bring your business growth.

This could include sales reporting, team management, or even chatbots to answer common queries on social media.

But, Harpreet said: “Be careful about going too far, because all these processes cost money.”

“Assess the strategies you want to implement and which tool will help transform your business,” she added.

6. Build your network

Small businesses want to support each other, so find ways you can learn from other businesses and network.

Harpreet said networking is a way for small businesses to “tackle different issues together and supercharge the process.”

“Make sure you can add value back”, she added.

She closed off the event with a reminder to business owners: “If you’re finding one person inspiring, trust me when I say that people also find you an inspiration, because it takes courage to set up a business.”

For more tips, read our guide to finding a business mentor and how to become a growth business.

Win £25,000 for your small business

There’s still time to enter our 2022 Business Boost competition. Entries must be in by 17 August 2022. We’ll reveal our lucky winner on 14 October.

What’s going to help you grow your business? Let us know in the comments.

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Catriona Smith

Catriona Smith is a content and marketing professional with 12 years’ experience across the financial services, higher education, and insurance sectors. She’s also a trained NCTJ Gold Standard journalist. As a Senior Copywriter at Simply Business, Catriona has in-depth knowledge of small business concerns and specialises in tax, marketing, and business operations. Catriona lives in the seaside city of Brighton where she’s also a freelance yoga teacher.

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