Most small business owners are so focused on the day-to-day business of running their business that they don’t think about how to take their business to the next level.
Take a moment and think: How can you grow your business? How can you increase revenue, serve more customers, and create a more financially stable business?
What do you want for your business?
When you’re running a new business, all you can do is stay afloat. But with entrepreneurs like you reaching stability in cash flow, it’s time to look at business growth.
You may have outlined what you want your business to do in your initial business plan, but if it’s been some time since you updated it, this could be a great opportunity to think about what you want for your own business in the coming years and update that plan accordingly.
Imagine that 10 years from now. How does your work look? How did it expand? Do you have multiple sites? More employees? Perhaps you fancy having locations all over the world or being a household name? Certainly anything is possible.
Now imagine your business five years from now. Perhaps you want to achieve a certain revenue goal or get away from doing a lot of administrative work. Perhaps you would like to get a foothold in a new industry.
Keep these goals in mind as you explore some of the following ways to grow your small business.
1. Invest in Marketing
Having a marketing strategy is not a good thing; It is a must. Even if your business is thriving today, you have to plant seeds for the future, and that means ramping up your marketing efforts even when sales are flat.
Consider the best way to reach your target market through digital marketing. What do you know about your audience? Do they open your emails eagerly? If so, focus on building your email list.
Do you want more people to find your website? Increase your investment in SEO (this is search engine optimization, how people find you in search results).
Social media is a necessary channel to boost your online presence. Consider hiring a social media marketing agent or agency to manage your profiles on different social media platforms.
Content marketing is an excellent way to build and build your brand’s expertise 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 focusing on any of them will resonate with your audience.
Also, many small business owners try to do the marketing themselves, and sometimes this is not the best solution. You have a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders, and if your marketing is at the end of the list, it won’t get done. You may need to hire a professional to help.
Don’t underestimate 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 will quickly be able to recoup the expenses.
2. Hire assistance
If you do everything in your business, imagine what help can do to help you grow. Hiring an employee or contractor to work with clients, do the marketing, or design your own website can free you to focus on what you do best: running your business.
Even if you can’t afford to hire a full-time employee, having a part-time or freelance helper can make all the difference. Get help when you’re not good at it. You may have managed your accounting but if you are not proficient in it, you are probably spending more time on the task than necessary. Hiring a part-time accountant can help you get more time and get the job done faster.
Fundbox offers a line of credit that can be useful for covering payroll until it starts helping you generate more revenue.
3. Get the right equipment
Successful companies invest in modern equipment and get the job done right. If you’re using old equipment in an effort to save money, ask yourself if you’re really saving money if your machine or computer isn’t working properly.
An equipment loan like that offered by LendSpark allows you to use the equipment you buy as collateral, helping you get a lower interest rate.
4. Expand your offers
Consider updating your business model to include the new products your customers crave. How do you know what they want? Ask them! You can send a survey to existing customers to see if they are interested in additional products before making the investment.
If you sell women’s clothing, you can expand into accessories or outerwear. If you sell software, you can offer different levels of service or subscription to generate more recurring revenue.
If you want to expand physical products, an inventory loan can be easy to get, and since inventory acts as collateral, rates are generally low.
5. Meet the needs of a new customer base
You probably do a great job of getting existing customers to buy from you over and over again, but how much effort do you put in to attract new customers?
You may consider entering new markets to attract potential customers who were not familiar with your brand before. If you focus on providing the best possible service, customer loyalty is no problem.
6. Selling in new places
If you’re running an e-commerce business, where can customers find your products? Your business may only sell online on your 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 these fees. Get a card with rewards and you can earn great benefits as you spend.
Invest in the future of your business
These are just a few of the ways you can grow your small business, but you are definitely not limited by them. The key is first deciding 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 faster if you get help from small business loans like the ones we mentioned here. The idea is that any financing you get will help you multiply your revenue and profits so that the loan is a stepping stone for future growth.
Bottom line: Having a growth strategy is essential to the health and future of your company.
So where will you take your business? How will you open up to new and exciting possibilities?
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