Owning your own business is hard and there are many reasons that only 14% of working age Americans start their own new business. Probably the number one reason is that it takes considerable effort. Running your own business means taking on many different roles. You have to create marketing, generate sales, understand taxes and corporate compliance. Running your own business involves having to interact with the good and bad of customers and employees on a daily basis. Yes, owning and running a business is hard, but growing and scaling your business is even harder.
If you’re struggling to grow your business, you are not alone but if you take the right steps now, you can easily identify ways you can grow your business and make more money. While there are hundreds of growth strategies out there for small businesses, these 8 will take your business to the next level quickly and efficiently.
1. Research the competition.
When going to market you need to research the competition. Using a digital platform to provide competitive intelligence is essential. A digital platform allows you to closely examine landing pages, ad copy, and other stages of the funnel. These types of applications allow you to look at various competitors online strategies. You should find the ads that have been running for the longest and emulate those; this is the quickest way to scale any business. If it’s a proven strategy and works for your competitors, it’ll likely work for you too.
2. Automate your sales funnel.
One of the best ways to quickly grow your business is by automating your sales funnel. The sales funnel refers to the buying process that companies lead customers through when purchasing products. A sales funnel is divided into several steps, which differ depending on the particular sales model.
Inside sales managers commonly adopt strategies, tools and tactics aimed at optimizing each stage of their sales process. By automating the processes of the sales funnel you will be able to scale and grow more quickly and easily.
3. Utilize a customer management system.
No one wants to manually track transactions; it is difficult and becomes too cumbersome as the business grows. If you want to scale quickly, use a customer management system. There are plenty of these to choose from. A cloud-based software like SalesForce is a great and affordable option. Quickbooks can help you with the accounting. InfusionSoft can also assist with sales and marketing. There are plenty of CMS systems out there and most of them are capable of integrating with other cloud-based services. Look around for what works the best for you, demo different products and choose the best option for your business.
4. 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. Building a customer loyalty program will help you retain customers and might help you attract new ones as well. Give your existing customers a clear incentive to spend more money with you by building an attractive loyalty program and it will pay off quickly.
5. Identify new opportunities.
Analyze new opportunities in your business by better understanding both your business demographics as well as the demographics of your prospective clients. Understand everything from distribution channels to your direct competitors, and if applicable, even an analysis of foreign markets and other potential industries. There are likely dozens of new opportunities you could pursue immediately with the proper amount of analysis.
6. Build an email list.
Now let’s tie all of this information back together, one of the best and most effective ways to grow a business quickly is to build an email list. In order to build an email list you need to have a lead magnet. A lead magnet is an incentive that marketers offer to potential buyers in exchange for their email address, why else would people subscribe to your list? Of course, with a lead magnet, and incoming leads comes the necessity for a Sales Funnel and a Customer Management System, numbers 2 and 3 on our list.
7. Form strategic partnerships.
Strategic partnerships with the right companies can make a world of difference. These partnerships will allow you to reach a much larger group of customers far more quickly than doing it on your own. Of course, identifying the most productive and best fit partnerships is not particularly easy. One important factor to look for is other companies that are complementary to your own. Contact them and propose opportunities and benefits of working together.
8. Use an Answering Service.
An answering service is different from a call center because the focus is on answering after-hours and emergency phone calls for small businesses. While a call center may take orders from shoppers and supply basic information about a large corporation, professional answering services often answer calls for service-oriented businesses. Think about the homeowner trying to reach a plumber when the toilet backs up in the middle of the night or the client trying to reach their in-home nursing agency before the office is open. If you’re interested in providing exceptional service to each of your customers without personally fielding calls around the clock, you can minimize overhead cost, spark business growth and enjoy increased profitability by working with an answering service with experience in your professional field.
Like anything in life you have to put in the time and effort in order to enjoy the benefits and rewards of a successful business. One should not focus on the short-term outcome of your efforts but instead look ahead to the long term. Try to build sincere value in your business and make it a point to genuinely help your customers; this should be the foundation of your business anyway. After that, it’s simply a matter of taking action and hard work.