Let’s face it, growing your small business can be hard, but it’s certainly not impossible. Many believe they possess the qualities to boost their venture, but the truth is this: sheer drive and determination alone simply won’t cut it.
In order to grow your business fast, you need to put the right strategies in place every day. Rather than sorting through hundreds of strategies on a trial and error basis, we thought we’d help you cut to the chase.
Here’s 25 tried-and-tested strategies to help you grow your business, starting from today!
1. Write a Business Plan
If you haven’t already got a business plan in place, then this is the first thing you’ll want to do to grow your business. A recent study found that businesses who write plans and use them to manage their business grow 30 percent faster than businesses who don’t. Thankfully, writing a business plan isn’t as hard as it seems. In fact, we’ve even got a helpful guide here, so you can have an effective business plan written in no time.
2. Understand Your Target Market
Your target market is at the heart of everything you do, so it makes sense to understand absolutely everything about them in order to grow your business fast. This is something you will have covered in your business plan, but it can’t hurt to explore it on a deeper level. What does your target customer look like? What is their age, gender, interests, and location? The better you know your target market, the better. After all, if you’re not successfully meeting their needs with your products or services, then growth will be slow.
3. Perfect Your Customer Service
Customers remember great customer service, not mediocre customer service. If you truly want to impress those who buy from you and have them coming back for repeat sales, then you need to show them why you’re a cut above the rest. Let your customers know they’re valued and try to address their questions or issues ASAP.
4. Record Your Goals
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times before, but it’s worth saying again. If you don’t write down your business goals (and remind yourself of these regularly), how can you expect to achieve them? Don’t just take our word for it though. A Harvard Business Study found that the 3% of graduates from their MBA who had their goals written down, ended up earning ten times as much as the other 97% put together, just ten years after graduation. Ambition is a powerful thing and can certainly go a long way in helping you grow your business.
5. Encourage Customer Loyalty
It costs up to three times more money to acquire new customers than it does to sell something to an existing customer. This is why customer retention is so important, beginning with an effective customer loyalty plan. How can you keep your customers coming back for more? Consider discounts, member-only sales, and more.
6. Offer a Freebie in Exchange for Email Subscribers
Your email list is a powerful thing, but it’s also something that’s often overlooked by many small business owners. Think about it; you don’t ‘own’ your social media following as you can’t take them from platform to platform if you suddenly decide to shut down an account. Email subscribers, on the other hand, can easily be exported and taken with you if you decide to switch email management systems.
The easiest way to build your email subscribers is to offer an irresistible freebie in exchange for their email address. Think about a free eBook, printable checklist, workbook, planner, or more. What you offer will largely depend on your target audience, along with their wants and needs. When you grow your email list, this also helps you to grow your business.
7. Send Regular Email Newsletters
Speaking of email subscribers, it’s also important that you keep them engaged with your brand from the moment they sign up. We recommend sending frequent email newsletters (say, weekly or fortnightly) to share important updates, sales, or discount codes. Again, think about who your target audience is, along with what content they would really like to see.
8. Develop Social Media Strategies
In 2019, it is estimated that there will be around 2.77 billion social media users around the globe. So, if your small business doesn’t have social media accounts already, then you’ll certainly want to change this. While it’s one thing to have a social media presence, it’s another to effectively manage these platforms with tried-and-tested strategies. Thankfully, we’ve written an in-depth guide revealing the Top 30 Social Media Tips for Small Business Owners.
9. Focus on Your Team
If your small business is at the stage where you can hire employees, then that’s great. As we’re sure you already know, it pays to hire the ‘right’ employees, as opposed to the first person who applies for the job. Focus on managing your team effectively, as well as providing them with relevant training along the way.
10. Stay On Top of Cash Flow Management
Did you know that SMEs who monitor their cash flow on a monthly basis have an 80% survival rate, while this figure drops to just 36% for those monitoring it only once per year? This is why it’s vital that you stay on top of your cash flow management from day one. If you’re not familiar with effective cash flow management, or simply don’t have the time, then hiring a financial professional can help. Alternatively, you can even utilise cash flow management software such as Xero, MYOB, and Quickbooks.
11. Collaborate with Relevant Companies
Collaboration is also an effective strategy for growth. Do you know any small business owners who you can team up with to run a relevant promotion or project for your target audience? Not only does this introduce your products or services to a wider audience, but it can also potentially boost your bottom line.
12. Learn to Delegate and Outsource
As a small business owner, you’re often expected to wear a number of different ‘hats’, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Focus on the jobs you need to do (either because of your position or experience) and then delegate or outsource the rest. Not only does this save you time, letting you focus on more important tasks as hand, but it also encourages the task to be done properly by someone with greater experience in that subject matter.
13. Attend Events Within Your Industry
Whether it’s a seminar, panel discussion, or anything else, you have a lot to gain from attending industry-related events. Not only can it keep you educated and informed of changes within your market, but it’s also a great opportunity for you to network.
14. Simplify Your Business
People don’t mean to complicate their business, but they can often do it without realising. If you have a number of additional products or services that simply aren’t working, it’s time to cut them off. Simplify your business down to just what works, and you’ll find that you grow at a faster (and more successful) rate.
15. Run a Giveaway
People love getting things for free, but they also love the excitement that comes with competitions and giveaways. If you’re strategic about your giveaway, it can also be a great way to capture email subscribers, boost your social media following, or convert your audience into paying customers – all necessary ingredients of being able to grow your business!
16. Focus on Time Management Strategies
It’s hard to complete all of your business-related tasks when you feel like there isn’t enough time in the day. Here’s the thing though: if you’re often running out of hours in a day, then you may not be managing your time effectively. Instead, practice time management strategies such as structuring your day, writing down your tasks, and minimising distractions.
17. Don’t Be Afraid to Get a Small Business Loan
There’s only so much you can do for your business before you require a boost in finance. Thankfully, applying online for a small business loan is fairly easy to do, especially with alternative lenders such as Lumi. All you need is an Australian-registered business, at least 6 months in operation, and a minimum annual turnover of $50,000.
18. Record Your Wins (Big and Small)
Just as it’s important to write down your goals, it’s also vital that you record your wins along the way, no matter how big or small. This spurs you on for more wins, plus it’s great to look back on and see how far you’ve come.
19. Encourage Reviews and Feedback
Reviews aren’t just helpful for establishing a good reputation and word-of-mouth sales, but they’re also great for boosting your search engine optimisation in Google’s results. Unfortunately, it’s not often a customer will take the time to review your products or services, even if they’ve had a great experience. Instead, you need to encourage them to leave their feedback, even if it takes an incentive such as a discount.
20. Establish Yourself as an Authority on a Related Subject Matter
The fact that you run a small business already makes you an authority on topics relating to your market, services, or products. But people don’t know this unless you put yourself out there! Send regular press releases to media within your niche to obtain press opportunities, or why not keep up-do-date with sites such as Help a Reporter, which allows you to contribute to journalists’ articles with your own opinions (plus you’ll gain a handy link back to your own website).
21. Embrace Corporate Social Responsibility
People like to feel emotionally connected to the businesses they spend their money on, so why not give them an extra reason to feel good? Is there a cause you wish to support with your business? Running a company based on passion, as opposed to just money, will help you to grow your business successfully.
22. Invoice ASAP
It might sound simple, but if you want customers to pay their invoices before their due dates, you should send them out as soon as possible. Up to 28% of SMEs worldwide struggle with late payments, but your receivables count for a large portion of your assets. If you can offer incentives (such as small discounts) to customers who pay their invoice immediately, then this could also help.
23. List Your Website and Company in Relevant Business Directories
By listing your company and website in online business directories, you’re allowing your target customer to find you more easily, plus it’s great for SEO (search engine optimisation). Simply search for directories based on your location or industry to get started.
24. Focus on Your Suppliers
Most small businesses rely on suppliers, so it’s best to ensure you also have an ‘A team’ here – even if they’re technically not on your payroll. Suppliers make up the important jigsaw puzzle that is your business, so if they’re not assisting your business to thrive and grow, then it may be time to seek out supplies elsewhere.
25. Don’t Forget Marketing and Promotions
Often, marketing and promotions is something small business owners overlook, but it can be vital for your company’s success. If you’re just relying on customers to come and find you, then you’re missing out on a huge slice of the pie. If you don’t have the skills or time required for an effective marketing strategy, it’s best to outsource this to someone who does. Trust us, you won’t regret it!
There you have it – 25 ways you can grow your business. Many of these strategies can be implemented today, so why wait? Here’s to small business success!
Want to grow your business, but are lacking the necessary funds? For a fully transparent small business loan that takes just minutes to apply for, get started with Lumi today.