How To Grow Your Small Business
Finding your business from the ground up is challenging. Once established, it is just as difficult to keep your business growing. Here are solutions for you on how to grow your small business with marketing.
And while building new business and growing your customer base is essential to success, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes effective planning, strategy, and a desire to be creative.
If your sales hit a plateau recently, check out these proven ways how to grow your business.
1) Know your customers
It is important to know who your customers are and what they need, You go through the process of identifying a target market while creating your business plan. But now you have an active customer base that you need to engage with and improve your business.
Whether it’s through a quarterly survey, user reviews, or direct customer service contact, you need to ask for honest feedback. Notice consistent complaints within your customer base and use them to introduce new features, make internal adjustments, or make any number of corrections.
And while direct feedback from your customer base is invaluable, you also need to pay attention to the market and your competitors. Regular market analysis ensures that you are aware of any competitive move and how different economic events can affect your customers. Combined with insightful feedback from your customers, it provides a complete picture of the potential ways to grow.
2) Expand the value from existing customers
This is common when looking for growth opportunities to immediately try and attract new customers, but what about your existing customers? You build trust with them which means they are more likely to buy from you again or even pay more for additional services and new products.
Explore opportunities to expand the value of your customers. Add a new product line that compliments previous purchases. Check the price increase for the service in exchange for additional features, hands-on directions, or other additions that your customers find valuable.
You’ve probably exceeded your established target market growth, which doesn’t mean you can’t get more value out of it. And who knows, any change you make to increase value for existing customers can be a springboard for newcomers.
3) Focus on customer service
When you want to grow your business, quality customer service can fall by the wayside for your existing customers. Sure, customer churning is part of doing business, but you don’t want it to be a direct result of your growth efforts. And you don’t want to compound people leaving by providing a bad experience.
At the same time, focusing on quality customer service can be a direct path to growth. If your current customers are treated exceptionally well, they will give positive reviews, recommend you to their friends, and of course, buy again from your business.
4) Grow your team
Increasing your customer base and increasing your sales usually means increasing your team. And just as you need to focus on providing exceptional customer service, you also need to focus on the quality of the people joining your team.
Concentrate on finding a varied voice that can not only fulfill the role but also provide a unique perspective that challenges your own. Having “yes male” full staff is detrimental and can lead to potentially weak internal culture and self-service decisions. Having a wide range of employees with a wide range of experiences, backgrounds, beliefs, and specialties brings new perspectives to the table that would be non-existent without them.
In addition, as you bring in new employees, you will also want to focus on the professional development of your existing employees. Show that you value them and contribute to your business. Give them more opportunities to lead and collaborate, involve them in the goal-setting process, and even bill them for attending seminars and training.
The way you treat your employees will reflect the way you treat your customers. Start by optimizing internally and from there your business will grow.
5) Social media leverage
Diving into social media can be scary. But the thing is, you don’t have to have experience with it to use social platforms. It can be as simple as opening a business profile and starting to grow a community of customers.
You don’t have to post every day or even create incredible-looking photos and videos but set a consistent schedule that your followers and customers can expect. From there, it’s up to you to actively engage with your followers, read comments, reply to messages, and generally build your social brand.
Overall, this is a great way to identify trends and insights about your customers. If you wish, you can even use the insights you have gained and try to run social ads. It’s easier than you think and a cheap way to test promotions, measure a new customer’s interest or even run a full digital promotion.
6) Target to Support your community
Giving back to your community and being socially responsible is a great way to grow your brand and showcase your business values. Sponsor or donate to nonprofits, provide free products or services for your charitable endeavors, or host community events. You can partner with other businesses with similar nonprofit interests to promote greater change.
In addition to donations and sponsorships, you can look internally and promote socially responsible business practices. This could mean moving production to run on renewable energy, giving workers time for volunteers, or just buying supplies from local vendors. Do the right thing and build your brand reputation around sustainability and responsibility in support of your community.
7) Exhibit your skills
You need more than luck to succeed in the affiliate business. This means providing resources, hosting seminars, conducting research studies, and even running quizzes through your social channels. Find opportunities to share what you know and present it as a free opportunity to
learn and grow.
When you host an event or have access to downloads, be sure to collect only contact information or provide a link to a specific promotional page. You are not only demonstrating the skill but also using it to grow an audience that will hopefully one day become a customer. Follow-up and continue to provide valuable insights and you will be able to turn it into continuous growth.
8) Create Network
Part of growing your business is building the right partnership and getting to know your business community. Take the time to network and build relationships that can potentially build your business.
Having a strong network can lead to new customers, partnerships, employees, and even investors. It’s a great way to share industry insights, emerging trends, and best practices that you wouldn’t find otherwise.
9) Improve additional income stream
Additional revenue streams may need to be developed if you are struggling to maximize revenue from your core business model. This could be a new product or service offered, individual pricing models for different customers or subscriptions, and even passive income from advertising and sponsorship.
Consider any new revenue stream as an extension of your business. You will probably want to create at least one fat-free business plan to make sure the new venture is effective and that your current business can support it. Consider start-up and management costs, your goal with expansion, and how long it will take to break it.
Lastly, make sure your new venture makes sense for your business. It may start out as an extra income just to support the activity but may transform into a completely separate business.
10) Dimension and repeat
However, you choose to try and grow your business, making sure you are actively measuring and tracking success. It can be really easy to make a change and let it go without any goals or key outcomes that determine success. Without them, a growth venture could easily become a costly idea that would sink your business.
Set your organizational goals in advance and don’t be afraid to kill or pivot projects if you don’t see positive results. You can always set up new iterations and run again by refining your approach to identify the most successful path to success.
And even when you hit a home run, continue measuring and repeating. A series of seminars or a new product line can lead to growth for a while, but it can easily change if you don’t pay attention.
Continue to look for growth opportunities
Your business will constantly change between growth points and stagnation points. The key is to look for new growth opportunities and not be afraid to be creative and experiment with them. But remember the goal and measurable results so you can avoid turning potential growth into a serious misstep.
If you’re unsure if your growth opportunities should follow, revisit and update your business plans and forecasts. This can help you determine if your initiative is effective and how your business can handle any potential costs or negative cash flow in the short term. You can always do this manually or try using a planning tool like LivePlan to get an accurate and simple update and track regular results.