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For most small businesses, growth is a recurring goal. From increasing profit and revenue to growing in size, small-business owners are always striving for more. According to a 2016 Leadpages and Infusionsoft report, the top marketing priority for small businesses is driving sales, followed by building brand awareness and collecting leads.
However, driving sales and increasing leads is easier said than done, and fast growth has its shortcomings for businesses on a budget and with a limited head count. If you’re wondering what steps to take to grow your company, try out these four proven business strategies.
Many business experts agree that it’s important to find a niche. Your business will have much more impact if you turn your services or products into must-haves for a limited number of people rather than provide a generic product or service to everyone.
For one, it decreases your number of competitors. It also makes it easier to describe to your ideal customers what you do and sell, and it can improve your online visibility, as fewer businesses will compete for keywords like “professional women’s apparel” than they would “women’s clothing.”
To define your niche, focus on a few specifics, such as location; the age range, gender, or income level of your target customers; the price point of your services or goods; or specific benefits of your offering.
Taking the earlier example further, if you sell women’s clothing, you may focus on targeting professional women, women seeking affordable business clothing, or professional-yet-fashionable women in the Seattle metropolitan area. Once you develop your niche, use it across all of your marketing efforts.
The more places people can find you, the greater the opportunity you have to build your customer base and increase sales. One way to grow your business is to increase the availability and visibility of your offering.
The most obvious route might be opening up a new store in a different location. However, if you’re on a tight budget or only offer your services or products online, there are other ways to extend your reach. One approach may be opening up an online store or website if you don’t already have one. Alternatively, you can boost your marketing budget and advertise in publications or on websites that target your niche audience.
Another great way to grow without opening a new location is to participate in local events, trade shows, farmers markets, or conferences. Search for events within your industry or target market. Along with selling or advertising your goods or services, you can also host a giveaway in exchange for email signups so you can increase your leads and email list.
Once a lead becomes a customer, it’s easy to push them to the side and work on converting the next lead. But customer satisfaction and loyalty are essential if you want to grow your business. To increase your revenue, keep your current customers satisfied while simultaneously seeking out new sales opportunities.
Start by providing excellent customer service. Go above and beyond to keep your customers happy when they contact you with a question or complaint. If you lose a customer, reach out to find the root of the problem and attempt to win them back.
It’s also helpful to remind customers that you appreciate their business. If you use customer relationship management (CRM), try to capture the customer’s birthday so you can send them an annual birthday message or a special offer. Or if they’ve been a customer for a certain amount of time, send them a thank-you and an anniversary reminder. Small gestures can make a significant impact on customer satisfaction.
Not only is it often cheaper to retain current clients than attract new ones, but your existing customers can actually help build your client base. 82% of Americans seek the opinions of friends and family before making a purchase, so building a good relationship with one customer could bring in many more. One way to simultaneously reward your current customers and encourage referrals is by creating a referral program.
As Dropbox proved years ago, referral programs help you reward customers and gain new ones at the same time. By inviting friends to join Dropbox, customers received bonus storage space for free. This program helped the company grow from 100,000 to four million users in fifteen months. Today, many companies have created referral programs with customer perks, whether it’s providing a month of service for free, a monetary credit, or a discount for each referral.
If you choose to create a rewards program, make sure it’s visibly advertised on your website and promote it to your current customers on social media and through email. You can gain new customers and encourage more purchases from your past ones.
Growing your small business isn’t easy, but through niche marketing, strategic campaigns, customer service, and referral programs, you can gain traction, retain customers, and reach new ones. As your company expands, let Frontier Business Edge help grow your business with our business phone and internet bundles. Whatever your needs, we have the perfect package to help you stay connected.
Have friends who are starting or wanting to grow a small business? Share this article on social media so they can try out a few of these strategies.