Getting your business off the ground is challenging. Continuing to grow your business once it’s established is just as difficult.
And while generating new business and growing your customer base is necessary to succeed, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes effective planning, strategy, and the willingness to get creative.
When you first launch your business, your main goal is to establish your brand and start growing. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen overnight. Growth is an ongoing process that requires hard work, patience, and dedication. There’s no special step or secret way to surpass other businesses in the industry or achieve immediate success.
How to Make Your Small Business Grow Fast? There are several ways you can expand your business. You can check out our guide here to learn how to make your small business grow fast.
There’s nothing small about starting a small business. It will demand time, money, commitment, and hard work. However, effort and investment alone will not guarantee your success.
Nearly 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years, and 20% don’t even make it past year one. What’s the cause?
It could be a lack of sales, poor marketing, or too much overhead. Sometimes, business owners are so focused on “surviving” that they forget to pursue growth.
Instead of obsessing over mere survival, you need to think about how to make your small business grow fast and exceed the minimum standards.
How to Make Your Small Business Grow Fast?
While hundreds of business growth strategies likely exist, the following 17 will take your business to the next level quickly and efficiently. Keep reading the following points for everything you need to know about how to grow a business.
1. Know your customers
Knowing who your customers are and what they need is vital. You went through the process of identifying a target market when developing your business plan. But now you have an active customer base that you need to engage with and in the process improve your business.
Whether it’s through a quarterly survey, user reviews, or direct customer service communications, you need to be asking for honest feedback. Take note of consistent grievances amongst your customer base and use those to launch new features, make internal adjustments, or any number of fixes.
And while direct feedback from your customer base is invaluable, you need to also be paying attention to the market and your competitors. Conducting a market analysis on a regular basis ensures that you’re aware of any competitive moves and how different economic events may affect your customers. Combined with the insightful feedback from your customers, it provides a full picture of potential avenues for growth.
2. Focus on customer service
As you look to grow your business, quality customer service for your current customers can fall by the wayside. Sure customer churn is part of doing business, but you don’t want it to be a direct result of your attempts to grow. And you don’t want to compound people leaving by providing a poor experience.
Create a customer loyalty program. Loyalty programs are great ways to increase sales. It costs up to three times more money to acquire new customers than it does to sell something to an existing customer.
At the same time, focusing on quality customer service can be a direct avenue for growth. If your current customers are treated exceptionally, they’ll be more likely to leave positive reviews, recommend you to their friends, and of course purchase from your business again.
3. Extend value from current customers
It’s common when looking for growth opportunities to immediately try and attract new customers, but what about your current ones? You’ve built credibility with them meaning they’re more likely to purchase from you again or even pay more for additional services and new products.
Explore opportunities to extend the value of your customers. Add a new product line that compliments previous purchases. Test increasing service prices in exchange for additional features, hands-on direction, or other additions that your customers find valuable.
Just because you’ve possibly hit the limit of growing your established target market, doesn’t mean that you can’t pull more value from it. And who knows, any changes you make to increase the value for current customers may be a springboard for bringing on new ones.
4. Leverage social media
Diving into social media can be daunting. But here’s the thing, you don’t have to have experience with it to leverage social platforms. It can be as simple as opening a business profile and beginning to grow a community of customers.
You don’t need to post every day or even create incredible-looking images and videos, but do establish a consistent schedule your followers and customers can expect. From there it’s up to you to actively engage with your followers, read comments, answer messages, and generally build your social brand.
Overall it’s a great way to identify trends and insights into your customers. If you want, you can even use the insights you gain and try running social ads. It’s easier than you think and is an inexpensive way to test promotions, gauge the interest of a new customer base, or even run a full-fledged digital campaign.
5. Grow your team
Growing your customer base and growing your sales typically means growing your team. And just as you need to focus on providing exceptional customer service, you need to focus on the quality of the people that join our team.
Focus on finding diverse voices that can not only fulfill the duties of the role but can provide unique perspectives that challenge your own. It’s harmful to have a staff full of “yes men” and can potentially lead to poor internal culture and self-serving decisions. Having a vast range of employees that differ in experience, background, beliefs, and specialties brings new perspectives to the table that would be nonexistent without them.
Additionally, as you look to bring on new employees, you’ll also want to focus on your current staff’s professional development as a business owner. Show that you value them and their contribution to your business. Give them more opportunities to lead and collaborate, involve them in the goal-setting process, and even foot the bill for them to attend seminars and training.
The way you treat your employees will be reflected in the way you treat your customers. Start by optimizing internally and your business will grow from there.
6. Showcase your expertise
If you want to continue building clout amongst your customers and other businesses, you need to showcase your expertise. This means providing resources, hosting webinars, conducting research studies, and even running Q&As through your social channels. Find opportunities to share what you know, and present it as a free opportunity to learn and grow your own business.
Just be sure to gather contact information or provide a link to a specific promotional page when you host an event or give access to a download. You’re not just showcasing expertise but using it to grow an audience that will hopefully one day turn into customers. Follow up and keep providing valuable insight and you’ll be able to turn it into consistent growth.
7. Support your community
Giving back to your community and being socially responsible is a great way to grow your brand and showcase your business values. Sponsor or donate to nonprofits, provide free products or services for initiatives you care about, or host community events. You could even look to partner with other businesses with similar nonprofit interests to promote greater change.
Aside from donating and sponsoring small business owners, you can also look internally and promote socially responsible business practices. Maybe this means moving production to run on renewable energy, giving employees paid time to volunteer, or only purchasing supplies from local vendors. Do the right thing and grow your brand reputation around sustainability and responsibility in support of your community.
Part of growing your successful business is making the right partnerships and knowing your business community. Take the time to network and build relationships that can potentially build your business.
Having a strong network can lead to new customers, partnerships, employees, and even investors. Spend Time Attending Networking Events. It’s also a great way to share industry insights, emerging trends, and best practices that you wouldn’t have found otherwise.
Focus on Corporate Social Responsibility Your business must have something it is passionate about. This helps in improving the image of your business. People will patronize you because they know that the money they are spending goes to the right causes
9. Develop additional income streams
If you’ve been struggling to grow revenue from your core business model, developing additional income streams may be necessary. This could be a new product or service offering, separate pricing models for different customers or subscriptions, and even passive income from ads and sponsorships.
Treat any new income stream as an expansion of your business. You’ll likely want to build out at least a lean business plan to make sure the new initiative is viable and that your current business can support it. Consider startup and operational costs, your goals with the expansion, and how long it will take to break even.
Lastly, be sure that your new initiative makes sense for your business. It may simply start as additional income to support operations but may need to transition into a separate business altogether.
10. Make Sure Your Website Is User-Friendly
Recognize that in the digital age, the face of your business is your website, even if you have a physical location. Roughly 88% of consumers will research products and services online before buying. Their first impression of your company will likely be from your online presence.
This means your website has to be user-friendly. It must:
- Be easy to navigate
- Be optimized for mobile devices
- Use multiple forms of media
- Load quickly
- Contain your contact information
- Provide a page to answer FAQs
- Display customer reviews
- Be aesthetically pleasing, but simple
If your website is confusing, slow, or tricky to navigate, you’ll lose a significant number of sales.
11. Perfect Your SEO
Now, let’s talk about how to use SEO to grow your business. Search engine optimization is the coding search engines use to find appropriate information based on keyword searches. If you operate a business that specializes in financial management or consulting, your SEO will determine how easily users searching for financial services find your website.
You can improve your website’s SEO by:
- Using the right keywords (relevant, local, short-tail, long-tail)
- Incorporating a blog on your website
- Getting backlinks from other websites
- Including internal and external links
- Using multiple forms of media, such as images and videos embedded with SEO coding
SEO is a major source of organic online traffic. It is a fundamental tool for increasing leads, generating sales, and bolstering your online presence.
12. Use CLICKFUNNELS
Next, invest in online marketing tools that will streamline your digital marketing and simplify your customer’s experience. ClickFunnels is a great tool for implementing sales funnels onto your website.
Sales funnels provide a straightforward, simple path to send customers down to increase sales conversions.
They focus on a sequence of messages to promote a single product or service, giving the buyers a simple and powerful opportunity to buy. Tools like ClickFunnels also offer other services, such as landing page design, website hosting, A/B testing, templates, ongoing support, email autoresponders, and more.
13. Invest Time in Content Marketing
Learning how to make your small business grow fast means learning how to connect to your audience. Content marketing focuses on building credibility and trusts with consumers.
Use multiple platforms (blog, social media, email) to publish valuable content that your target audience is passionate about. This can be anything from DIY videos to informative articles about your industry.
The goal is to humanize your company in the eyes of consumers.
14. Get Active on Social Media
Social media is one of the best platforms for extending your reach to new audiences. Over 72% of Americans are on social media, most of them on a daily basis.
Convert as many followers from your personal account to your business account. Then, post engaging content and encourage them to comment, like, and share your posts. This will make your content visible to their audiences, which will lead to more followers.
However, you can also use paid social media marketing to expand your reach even further. You can choose who your paid ads are directed toward based on location, gender, age, and more. You can also run A and B ads simultaneously to identify the most effective style of advertising.
15. Get Involved With Your Community
Learning how to make your small business grow fast requires brand recognition in your community. You absolutely must have an online presence. However, if you’re a local business, you also have to have a physical presence.
Reach out to a local charity and host an event to raise awareness for their cause. You can get other local businesses on board to increase your budget through sponsorships. In return, they can set up booths or print their logo on the event merchandise (t-shirts, hats, etc.).
Start advertising the event well in advance to maximize community participation and attendance.
16. Develop an Email Campaign
One of the best tips on how to grow a small business is by using email lists. Collect email subscribers by offering free content, exclusive offers, and other perks to your customers, online readers, and social media followers.
You should have an automated email campaign set up to send a series of emails once or twice a week. These will serve to remind your readers of your business and gently encourage sales conversions. Keep in mind, that your emails must offer value or your subscribers will not continue to open them.
17. Consider Pay Per Click Advertising
Finally, learning how to grow your business means learning where to invest your money. We recommend looking into pay-per-click advertising.
PPC advertising allows you to post your ad on a host website, granting you access to its audience. However, instead of paying a set fee, you’ll only pay the host site a predetermined amount for each click your ad receives.
You can also use PPC advertising on search engines to come up at the top of the results pages. Similarly, you will pay the search engine site a set amount for each click your website gets.
When you’re looking into how to grow your small business, you need to do market research. This not only lets you better understand your existing customers, but also your potential customers. It’s important to gain insight into your target market and know what their needs are. That way, you can see how your business can grow and change to meet those needs.
Don’t forget to research your competitors, too. Knowing what their strengths and weaknesses are can help drive your decisions on how to appropriately scale your small business.
If you want to learn more about how to make your small business grow fast, we can help. Check out some of our other informative articles about owning and operating a business. There are many successful businesses that forget that providing great customer service is important. If you provide better service for your customers, they’ll be more inclined to come to you the next time they need something instead of going to your competition.