During the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are looking for business growth tips and strategies more than ever. It’s a highly competitive market right now and everyone is trying to gain the attention of the consumer. If you own a small business, the common growth strategies like diversification may not be something you’re ready for (yet!). Here, I want to share some of my favorite business growth tips for small businesses:
1. Offer something for free
Many consumers need to establish trust before they will make a purchase. It is said that it takes 10 impressions with a brand before someone will trust it. A way to build trust is by offering something for free (or for very little – this is a different strategy for targeting those willing to open their wallets). I often offer tools for free, like my free 5-page business plan guide and e-mail course. The guide helps to demonstrate what I have to offer and my expertise, which builds trust. Free guides, templates, and tools are a great way to give something digital away for free while capturing e-mail addresses in return, giving you the opportunity to build those 10 impressions.
2. Make your value clear
Your USP (Unique Selling Position) should be based on the value you offer to the consumer. You may compete on price, or you may compete on quality, experience, uniqueness, or one of dozens of alternative measures. By establishing your value proposition and making it the cornerstone of your marketing, you’ll find an easier path to growth.
3. Hire what you can’t train
As small businesses grow, they need help. I always tell my clients to hire what they can’t train, namely attitude. I can teach someone how to build reports in QuickBooks, but I can’t train integrity, honesty, or drive, so hire based on these kinds of attributes.
4. Ask for advice
Speaking of training, you need training, too! Most small business owners don’t have a degree in managing a business. Hiring a business consultant, like me, can fill in the gaps you have in managing your business. And even for those business owners who have business experience, hiring someone to take a look at a business holistically with an outsider’s perspective can be very enlightening. When I work with business owners, I look at revenue strategies, experience, personnel, and the overall financial game plan including projections and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). The next time you are faced with a gap between what you know and what you need to know, just ask for help!
5. Examine your competition
Taking a look at other ways your customer might spend their dollar is important, so when I say look at your competition, I mean all other ways your consumer might spend their money and not just your direct niche competition or even your regional competition. Now more than ever, consumers are willing to go online to find the best value for their dollar which means they might not spend locally. Look at all forms of your competition and identify what they are doing right and what you are doing better to better serve the customer. Mimic what they are doing right, like maybe social media marketing, and advertise to your consumer what it is that you do better.
6. Build multiple revenue streams
You may be use to the employee revenue model, but as a business owner, there are multiple revenue streams available to you. Everyone wants passive income, and that is one model that can be built through something like online courses, but look at spiral revenue and funnel revenue, too. Click here to learn more about revenue strategies.
7. Change your pricing
Remember when I said earlier that you may compete on price, but that you don’t have to? Well, changing your pricing is a growth strategy. If you are selling services, you have limited resources to sell (i.e. your time). If you have limited resources, increasing your pricing can grow your business revenue without adding any more work to your plate. You may in fact find that some people are more likely to buy from you at a higher price point because higher prices give a sense of being better just from the dollars and cents. Conversely, you may lower your prices on a product to increase the quantity that people are purchasing. Either way, you’ll want to do some research before making a decision to increase or lower your prices because it’s important to know which way to go.
8. Develop your products or services
Approximately 80% of retail sales come from repeat customers. You can entice these customers to come back or to buy more at their next purchase by developing new products and/or services to offer them. Try to think of things that compliment what you’re already offering that might go hand-in-hand to improve on the value you are already offering based on the niche you serve.
9. Increase your fan base
You hopefully already know your target audience. When thinking of ways to grow your small business, consider reaching a different demographic in addition to the one you are already reaching. This may require expanding your products/services, but most of the time, it comes from changing your marketing message. Demographic A has Need A, which means that Demographic B has Need B. Different needs require different messaging to showcase how your product/service meets that need.
10. Increase your Fan base
I’m talking about Fans with a capital F this time. Social media Fans are how businesses build their tribe. The tribe consists of your brand advocates who share that valuable word-of-mouth marketing. If you are looking to grow, consider investing in building your tribe. Special giveaway or discounts can go a long way to making your Fans want to shake the pom-poms in your favor.
There you have it, 10 business growth tips for small businesses that you can act on now to take your business to the next level. If you have another tip or suggestion, please leave a comment below! And if you’re ready to accelerate your business’ growth, be sure to contact me and ask about my Accelerated MoneySmart financial game plan package.