If you own a business, chances are you want it to grow. Who wouldn’t?
But knowing the best actions to take to increase the chances of growth is not always that straightforward. And, of course, each business is different - there are very few ‘one size fits all’ options.
If you know your target market, and if you have strategies in place both for marketing and for growth, your hard work and planning will reap rewards.
We’re sharing some of the actions both we and our clients have taken to see significant growth in their businesses, in the hope they will work for you too.
1. Don’t underbudget for marketing
A good marketing strategy and adequate budget are vital for small businesses. It’s not enough to ‘believe in your product’ and hope customers will find you. To build awareness and ensure sustainable growth, you need a roadmap, and you need to spend some money.
Of course there are plenty of smart and cost-effective ways to market your business - especially in these digitally-driven times. But not to have a reasonable budget set aside would be foolhardy.
What’s reasonable? Each business is different, because your customers are different. Start by considering where your customers hang out. If they prefer to use social media as a way to keep in touch with friends, news and the latest products, Facebook and Instagram advertising could be the way to go.
Invest in a reputable advertising agency to help you identify your market and how to reach them. In many cases, this investment at the start of your journey will more than pay for itself in the results you’ll gain.
2. Make your website work for you
Your small business website doesn't need to be flashy - but it should be professional, reflect your brand, and serve your purposes.
Make it easy for your customers to understand the journey you want them to take: from finding out about your product or service right through to making a purchase. Offer calls to action (CTAs) at every stage - because you can never truly predict at what stage the customer will be ready to commit.
Also take advantage of the many free or low-cost plugin functions available. WordPress in particular has thousands that will perform a multitude of tasks, from taking payments to sending out your newsletters.
3. Choose the right advertising channels
Advertising in the wrong places can mean sending your messages into a bit of a black hole. There are plenty of options to choose from, but we refer you back to our earlier comment - know your audience and know where they hang out.
Some of the most effective advertising channels, in our experience, are Google and Facebook - but it does depend on your audience.
Be prepared to split-test your adverts too, so you can better understand what your audience responds to.
4. Outsource to the experts
Everyone in business is there because they are experts in their field. But that doesn't necessarily translate to ‘expert in everything’. Trying to do it all can lead to failure.
We know that it’s your business, and not easy to let go. However, by working in your business rather than on it, you may fail to spot the bumps in the road ahead - and therefore be unprepared to navigate them.
Outsourcing tasks such as marketing will not only pay for itself in the long run, you will be tapping into expertise that can only come with experience. We can’t all be good at everything!
5. Get happy customers to spread the word
Word-of-mouth recommendations are one of the quickest, yet most underestimated, ways to grow your business without any additional spend.
It works because referred customers already know you're a professional. You’ve proven yourself already on a job for someone they trust, which cuts down the sales journey each customer has to go through before they will buy from you.
They’ll also be more likely to accept what you charge, as they know the person making the referral was satisfied with what they got for the price they paid.
6. Don’t get suckered into buying fancy systems
Our final words of wisdom - based on experience - are that you don’t need to invest in high-powered systems early on. Yes, automation is great if you want to work smarter - but you don't need fully integrated fancy platforms and tools, with bells and whistles you'll never use.
Get the basics in place, and work from there as your business and your budgets grow.
Copyright 2019. Featured post made possible by The Good Marketer