You’re a small-business owner looking to expand. However, the current recession in the U.S. and the COVID-19 pandemic have made this particularly difficult. So you need some really effective strategies to succeed at your goal. Here are five expert tips to help grow your business.

Communicate with customers and clients

It’s important that you maintain good communication with your customers and clients. You should reach out to them on a regular basis and be sure to reach out to both new and existing customers and clients. These communications don’t need to be sales pitches; they can just be you checking in with them and asking how they’re doing and what they need at the moment. You might also ask your customers if they’ve been happy doing business with you to gauge if there’s anything they feel needs improvement. These communications are about listening and getting a better idea of your clients’ and customers’ needs. This goes a long way toward strengthening your relationship with them.

Hire the right people

Hiring the right people is crucial to successfully expand your business. You should invest a significant amount of time and thought into the hiring process to ensure that you bring the right people on board. Hiring the wrong people can negatively impact your business. A good method of determining if candidates are a good fit is by asking them questions such as how they interpret your company’s vision. This helps give you an idea of how well they’ll mesh with your team. And of course, you should be sure that the candidates have the proper skills and experience for the position in which they’re applying.

Connect with industry peers

During these critical times, it can be highly beneficial to be able to connect with fellow small business owners in your industry. Social networking platforms, such as LinkedIn, are good places to connect with your peers and start a community. Don’t be shy about reaching out and kicking off a discussion with someone, and invite others to join in. Before you know it, you’ll have a community of your peers with whom you can share knowledge and support.

Build brand recognition

Building brand recognition should be one of your top priorities. Strong branding can go a long way toward helping your company draw attention and stand out from competitors. Make your brand logo, slogan, advertising campaign, and product packaging as memorable as possible. Try to be creative and come up with something truly unique and eye-catching that effectively showcases your brand. Find a trusted packaging agency to explore and further develop attractive prototype packaging designs without compromising quality.

Sometimes it’s helpful to research successful people in your industry and learn how they built their brand. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be someone in your industry. Researching successful individuals and companies in any industry can be both informative and inspiring for budding entrepreneurs.

For instance, Clint Stinchcomb—president and CEO of CuriosityStream—could be an interesting person to research. CuriosityStream is an award-winning global entertainment and media company that offers topflight documentary features and series that explore technology, history, science, and health. Stinchcomb leads all of the strategy and operations for CuriosityStream.

This entrepreneurial executive has more than 25 years of traditional and digital media experience. His impressive resume includes leveraging a wide range of global roles in television and digital programming, production, content development, consumer marketing, operations, advertising sales, and network distribution. He has played an integral role in the launching and successful growth of several television networks.

You can use the strategies of success stories like Stinchcomb to think of innovative ways to build your own company’s brand recognition.

Be time- and cash-efficient

As a small-business owner, you have to juggle a lot of things at once, so it’s important that you learn how to manage your time more efficiently. Some of the things you can do to be more time-efficient include planning ahead, setting goals, making lists, and properly delegating tasks. You should also take full advantage of the technology available, as the right tech tools could help you better maximize your time.

If you’re on a tight budget, there are a number of companies out there that sell discounted electronic products. For instance, you might want to check out The Store, which sells certified refurbished electronics online. The Store offers great deals on a wide array of high-quality electronic products, including televisions, cell phones, cameras, tablets, and used laptops. And all of the products are personally inspected and visually tested to guarantee that they work and look like new.

Additionally, the products are fully sanitized and come with original accessories, new software, verified battery, and a charger. And the store provides a one-year warranty on every purchased device.