Growing a small business can be particularly challenging. Luckily, there are several tools and techniques you can use to help expand your business in order to meet your goals. Try one or more of these five strategies if your business isn’t seeing the growth you were hoping for.
#1: A Website
Every type of business can benefit from a website— no matter what type of business you run. Even if you offer services to clients, rather than products to customers, you will still benefit from having a business website.
One benefit is that you can have your clients schedule their appointments online, as opposed to calling or physically coming into your business to schedule appointments. Your business website is also the source of all information regarding your services. Potential clients may have come across your website through a Google search, and having informative material on your website can convert them into paying and returning clients.
Of course, if your business sells products, then your products can be listed on your website for sale. You should also include information on your website such as your physical building location (if applicable) along with hours of operation, a phone number where your business can be reached, and also an email address. It’s also a good idea to have quality content on your website that customers/clients will find informative.
#2: A Blog
In addition to a business website, a business blog on your website is a good tool to attract more customers/clients and to help your business grow. A blog is a great addition to your website whether you’re selling products or providing services, as there are many ways you can use this as a marketing tool. For example, if you’re selling products with the claim of benefiting a person’s health, then your business website blog should consist of valid research that supports your claims.
This way, your customers will be more accurately informed about your products and more likely to purchase from you because you’ve done adequate research and you’re not making baseless claims in order to sell your products. The same goes for businesses offering services— research-based blog posts can show your clients that you know what you’re doing when it comes to the services you’re providing.
Of course, it’s okay to have variations in the content of your blog posts. Too many research-based posts may deter some from reading your blog, so it’s a good idea to post content that you feel would be of some interest to your audience. An example would be tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle, such as healthy recipes or exercise routines to try if this sort of content is relevant to your type of business.
#3: An Understanding of Digital Marketing
A business is nothing without proper marketing strategies, whether it’s a new small business just starting out, or a larger corporation that has been in business for decades. Because we live in a digital world, digital marketing is currently the most effective form of marketing. Digital marketing takes the same techniques as traditional marketing, except it is all done online to reach the biggest audience possible.
SEO (short for search engine optimization), is one of the most common and most successful types of digital marketing. However, SEO strategies only work for a business if they have a business website because it’s a technique used to get your business website to rank higher on a search engine when a user conducts a search. For example, if you sell a particular product, one way people can find your website (and ultimately make a purchase from you) is to search Google by typing in what you’re selling.
However, you’re likely not the only company selling this particular product, so you’ll need to use specific keywords in order to stand out among your competitors who will also come up in the search results. This is where SEO experts can help you identify which keywords potential customers are likely to use when searching, so you can use those keywords on your website and in your website’s blog posts.
#4: A Strong Social Media Presence
Social media marketing is another form of digital marketing where businesses can reach a wider audience by creating brand awareness and directing all of this traffic to your business website in order to increase sales. This is why it’s important for businesses to have a strong social media presence.
There are billions of social media users daily spread out across all platforms, allowing your business to appeal to a number of different demographics. Different social platforms will also give you a chance to showcase your products/services to potential customers/clients in the form of pictures with high aesthetic (Instagram), or longer and more informative posts (Facebook).
#5: The Proper Licensure
This may be a no-brainer to most people, but some business owners operate without any licensure— because their field of work may not require it. Examples are freelance writers, crafters/artists, consultants, and web designers. Another example would be contractor positions. Some states require a contractor to be licensed, while other states don’t require licensure— but they do leave it up to the local jurisdictions. If you’re a general contractor with your own construction business, it’s a good idea to become licensed if you haven’t already.
Benefits of holding a license include:
- You’ve likely had extensive training in your field of work.
- You’ll have more access to resources that unlicensed individuals may not have.
- You may be eligible for certain membership programs and benefits.
- You’ll be able to charge more for your services.
- You’re likely to gain more business because you will be viewed as a professional.
Even if your field of work doesn’t require a license, look into getting one if possible. Of course, if the cost of actually getting licensed outweighs the benefits of being licensed and it won’t benefit you in any way, then it’s not necessary to do so.
When it comes to growing your business, first and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that you’re very knowledgeable in your field. Next, you’ll need to use the proper marketing techniques to show people that your product/service is best suited to meet their needs. Finally, you’ll want to follow up with excellent customer service to ensure that you will have to return customers/clients.
Mashum Mollah is a tech entrepreneur by profession and passionate blogger by heart. He is on a mission to help small businesses grow online. He shares his journey, insights and experiences in this blog. If you are an entrepreneur, digital marketing professional, or simply an info-holic, then this blog is for you. Follow him on Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn