Most small business owners are so focused on the day-to-day of running their businesses that they don’t think about how to take their business to the next level.
Stop for a moment and consider: how could you grow your business? How could you increase revenues, serve more customers, and create a more financially stable business?
What Do You Want for Your Business?
When you run a new business, it’s all you can do to stay afloat. But as entrepreneurs like you reach stability in cash flow, it’s time to consider business growth.
You may have established what you wanted your business to do in your initial business plan, but if it’s been a while since you updated it, this could be a great opportunity to reflect on what you want for your own business in the years to come and update that plan accordingly.
Imagine it’s 10 years from now. What does your business look like? How has it expanded? Do you have multiple locations? More employees? Maybe you envision having locations all over the globe or being a household name? Absolutely anything is possible.
Now imagine your business five years from now. Maybe you want to hit a certain revenue goal or step away from doing so much administrative work. Maybe you’d like to get a foothold in a new industry.
Keep these goals in mind as you explore some of the following methods for growing your small business.
1. Invest in Marketing
Having a marketing strategy isn’t a nice-to-have; it’s a must. Even if your business is booming today, you have to plant seeds for the future, and that means stepping up marketing efforts even when sales are steady.
Consider how you can best reach your target market through digital marketing. What do you know about your audience? Do they eagerly open your emails? If so, focus on building your email list.
Do you want more people to find your website? Increase your investment in SEO (that’s search engine optimization, and it’s how people find you in search results).
Social media is a necessary channel for boosting your online presence. Consider hiring an employee or social media marketing agency to manage your profiles on different social media platforms.
And content marketing is an excellent way to establish your brand’s expertise and be found online.
If you run a retail business, consider offering a loyalty program that rewards customers for shopping with you.
Not all of these marketing strategies will apply to your business, so zero in on which will resonate with your audience.
Also, many small business owners try to do their own marketing, and sometimes that’s not the best solution. You have a lot of responsibilities on your plate, and if your marketing is at the end of the list, it’s not going to get done. You may need to hire a professional to help.
Don’t brush aside the importance of having a marketing budget. If you don’t have the capital to pay for it, consider a working capital loan like what OnDeck offers that will help fund the investment. With the right marketing, you’ll quickly be able to recover the expense.
2. Hire Help
If you’ve been doing everything in your business, imagine what having help could do to help you grow. Hiring an employee or a contractor to work with customers, do marketing, or design your website can free you up to focus on what you do best: running your business.
Even if you can’t afford to hire a full-time employee, having part-time help or a freelancer can make a big difference. Hire help for what you’re not good at. You may have managed your accounting but if you’re not adept at it, you’re probably spending more time on the task than necessary. Hiring a part-time bookkeeper could help you have more time and get the job done faster.
Fundbox offers a line of credit that can come in handy to cover payroll until it starts helping you generate more revenue.
3. Get the Right Equipment
Successful businesses invest in equipment that is up-to-date and gets the job done right. If you’ve been using older equipment in an effort to save money, ask yourself if you’re really saving money if the machinery or computer doesn’t function properly.
An equipment loan like the one LendSpark offers allows you to use the equipment you’re buying as collateral, which can help you get a lower interest rate.
4. Expand Your Offerings
Consider updating your business model to include new products that your customers crave. How do you know what they want? Ask them! You can send a survey to existing customers to take their pulse on whether they would be interested in additional products before making the investment.
If you sell women’s clothing, you could expand into accessories or outerwear. If you sell software, you could offer different tiers of service or a subscription to create more recurring revenue.
If you want to expand physical products, an inventory loan can be easy to get, and since the inventory acts as collateral, rates are generally low.
5. Cater to a New Customer Base
You may be doing a great job of getting current customers to buy from you again and again, but how much effort do you put into attracting new customers?
You might consider entering new markets to attract potential customers who haven’t previously been aware of your brand. If you focus on delivering the best service possible, customer loyalty should be no problem.
6. Sell in New Places
If you run an e-commerce company, where can customers find your products? Your online business may only sell on your own website, but did you realize that there are other online marketplaces where you can sell to reach a wider audience? Sites like Etsy and Amazon can help you reach thousands of customers who might not otherwise find your website. They do take a cut, but if your sales increase as a result, it’s worth it.
There are fees associated with setting up an online business, and business credit cards are ideal to cover those. Get a card with rewards and you can earn cool perks while you spend.
Invest in Your Business’ Future
These are just a few of the ways you can grow your small business, but you’re certainly not limited to these. The key is first defining what you want your business to look like and then creating a plan and timeline for how to get there.
The next step is financing. Your growth will happen a lot faster if you have the help of small business loans like the ones we’ve mentioned here. The idea is that any financing you take out will help you multiply your revenues and profits so that the loan is a stepping stone to future growth.
Bottom line: having a growth strategy is essential for the health and future of your company.
So where will you take your business? How will you open up to new and exciting possibilities?