Trying to figure out how to grow a small business can be a headache. When you search for answers, you get met with tons of advice, and some can be conflicting. Which advice is safe to follow and which will send you down a path that will waste your time, energy, and money?
We’ve narrowed it down to the top 7 pieces of advice for entrepreneurs who are learning how to grow a business.
1. Do Market Research
If you’re at a place where you think your business is ready for growth, your first step should be to do some market research. Market research he’s you to understand the customers you currently have and the customers you hope to gain.
You need to gain some understanding of your target market and audience to understand what they need. Once you know what they need, you know what your business needs to do to meet that need.
While you’re doing your market research, do some research into your competitors. What are their strengths and weaknesses? This knowledge can help drive your decision-making process when it comes to growing your business.
2. Build Your Sales Funnel
A sales funnel is essentially your customer’s journey through the decision-making and sales process. It starts as soon as they hear about your business, decide to check it out, and head to your website. Once they’ve made a purchase or signed up for your service, they’ve made their way out of the funnel.
Make sure that every step in the sales funnel moves seamlessly into the next. Make it easy for your customers to decide to move forward with their purchases.
Offer discounts, gain their contact information, and send them updates on your business as you have them. Keep your business on the forefront of their mind so they can jump back into the sales funnel when they need another purchase.
3. Retain Your Customers
Every new customer you gain is a benefit to your business and its growth. But being able to gain return customers is even better. That’s less money spent on marketing and more brand trust being built.
It costs five times more to build a relationship with a new customer than it does to retain an old one.
Here are a few ideas to help you increase your customer retention:
- Build great customer service
- Use a CRM system
- Customer loyalty program
- Email campaign
- Engage on social media
- Always follow up
As long as you’re putting in the effort to follow through on your brand promises and consistently provide a product or service that your customers rely on, you’ll have customer retention in the bag.
4. Network, Network, Network
It doesn’t matter if you live in a small town or a booming metropolis, you need to build community wherever you are. When you create a community around your brand, you’re building your network and attracting new customers with visibility.
One great way to grow your network is to attend networking events. Your local chamber of commerce or professional groups are a good place to ask around about networking events. Don’t be afraid to show up even if you’re new to the area, you need to get the word about your business out!
Some other great ideas to grow your network are:
- Create a group on a social media platform for your business
- Attend local trade shows and set up a booth
- Show your industry expertise at speaking functions
Building a new social network is a long game, so don’t expect anything to happen overnight. But once you’re connected with a tight network, you’ll see your business start to grow.
5. Be Visibly Socially Responsible
There was a time where businesses could remain neutral or not take a stance when it comes to social issues. But with the rise of branding and brands interacting on social media, they’ve taken on personalities of their own. And people want to spend their money on a brand that is in line with their values.
Think about how your product impacts the community.
How much waste are you producing? Can you give back to the community who helped make you?
These are just a few ways that you can build brand trust by being socially responsible on a corporate level.
6. Craft Partnerships Strategically
When you enter a strategic partnership with another business you’re giving your business the chance to reach a bigger network of customers.
Think about Barnes & Noble, for example. Every Barnes & Noble has a Starbucks inside of it. This puts Starbucks in front of so many people who otherwise may not have given it a shot.
Learning how to manage and maintain partnerships can take time.
7. Consider Getting a Helping Hand
You don’t have to go into your business growth plan by yourself. There are businesses out there that are designed to help you achieve the goals you want.
Some entrepreneurs are great at wearing many hats, and that’s awesome. But some people prefer to stick to what they know: their businesses.
That’s where outside help comes in. You can get help with product development, managing supply chains, marketing, e-commerce solutions, and more.
Getting your product or services in front of the people who will buy it is the main goal in business growth. Click here to learn more about a group that can help you do that.
How to Grow a Small Business
There you have it, the best tips for how to grow a small business. It’s important to be willing to try new things when it comes to growing a business. Even if they fail, as long as you’re taking measurable data and changing the game plan when things don’t work, you’re still on the pathway to success.
For more business insider tips, keep reading!