Running a small business comes with a whole host of challenges. One of the most significant hurdles is figuring out how to grow your business – especially if you don’t have a huge budget. Many people find they don’t have time to think about growth strategies when it already takes so much effort to run day-to-day operations. However, expanding your customer base and sales is essential to the health of your company. Here are a few tips for growing your small business.
Use Social Media Effectively
Unless you’ve been living under a pile of rubble, you know social media is a huge part of how people interact in today’s world. But even if you’re a frequent user of social media, that doesn’t inherently mean you know how to use it to maximize business conversions. You need to understand where your ideal customers are spending the most time on social media. Try looking at the accounts of your competitors. Social media plays a huge role in brand building. Make sure you consider this when you’re posting content.
Utilize SEO and Content
Search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing are highly effective ways to grow your business without spending a ton of money. However, it’s not a free for all.
Your content must be of very high quality and relevant to your business and target audience. When content became evermore appropriate for SEO, the focus was on keywords and using them as often as possible in blog posts for a search engine to index. Now, this strategy of ‘keyword stuffing’ is detrimental to your site ranking, so the recommendation is to continue to write regular blog articles but make sure all content is providing value to your website visitors.
Quality content is read and shared, so this approach to your content marketing will increase your organic traffic and lead to sales. Less is more and quality is better than quantity.
Plus with your SEO strategy if your business is local and your sales mostly come from foot traffic, i.e. consumers walking into your store, then your focus should be on ‘local SEO’.
Build a Better Website
You have to make your brand look the way you want it to be perceived by customers. A strong website is essential to fulfilling this. Use a web hosting platform that offers you a strong array of website themes; like those offered by Yahoo Small Business. You want your site and brand to stand apart from your competition.
Make sure your site is compatible with mobile devices. About 60% of searches happen on a smartphone, tablet, or other transportable units. You’ll lose a lot of conversions if you don’t have a website that looks good in mobile searches.
Go to Networking Events
Some people are born for networking. Others feel awkward when they have to promote themselves. Either way, it’ll benefit you to attend industry events. These can be great for meeting new people who are trying to do the same things as you – or even potential clients. Don’t ever pass up on a learning opportunity when you’re trying to grow your small business.
Keep in Touch with Email
Email is one of the most effective ways to stay in contact with previous customers. Sending timely, targeted emails about your brand or products can get you immediate sales – but also keep your company on people’s minds.
Hire the Right People
You’re probably going to need to hire extra employees if your small business starts experiencing some serious growth. The worst thing for you to do is to hire the wrong people. When the time comes to bring more people onto the team, make sure they’re committed to your brand. Having people who only see your company as a stepping stone is detrimental when you’re a small business trying to grow.
Run Strong Promotions
Promotions are one of the best ways to quickly grow an audience for your brand. People will be much more likely to purchase your goods or services if they think they’re getting a good deal. By running a promotion, you can gain loyal customers while still generating cash flow. This is a fantastic way to put a damper on the dreaded customer acquisition cost metric that can make marketing so expensive.
Start Hyperlocal Partnerships
Chances are you’re not the only small business in town. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could combine forces with other companies in a way where you all benefit? It’s totally possible. Hyperlocal partnerships allow small businesses to do things like cut costs by ordering essentials in bulk, or by cross-selling each other’s products. You can even offer discounts to other small businesses when people buy your goods.
Do Things That Generate Media Exposure
People often say there’s no such thing as bad press. While this might not necessarily be the case, it’s not going to hurt you to make the news for good reasons. Think of ways to give back to the community that will get your business some much-needed exposure. This can be a win-win for everyone.
Treat Customers Like Their Part of Your Organization
The best way to get customers coming back is to treat them like they belong to your company. You can’t run a business without clients; so, make them feel at home. Think of creative ways to get your most loyal customers more involved in your organization. Have them test out new products to get their feedback. You can even ask them what they want from your end. Doing this will benefit both parties.
It’s a lot of work to grow a small business. But it’s not impossible. There are plenty of tested strategies that can stimulate growth in your company. Try out some of these ideas, and you’ll start seeing more robust sales and brand loyalty.