It has never been easier to start an online business than it is today.
However, growing your business is a whole different ball game.
That’s not to say it’s impossible though. With the advent of the digital age, there are so many platforms and tools you can use to quickly grow your business if you’re willing to put in the work.
Business Growth – What Does it Even Mean?
So what does business growth mean?
After all, if you are to work toward it, you must know what it is, right?
In a nutshell, business growth refers to a stage in the business’ life cycle when it experiences expansion. As a result, the business increases in (among other metrics):
- Customer base
Business growth is a key factor that is used determine an enterprise’s success. And as you well know, success is never automatic – it always calls for a lot of input. That’s exactly why you need to strategize on how you will bring about the growth you want to see in your business.
Now that we’re on the same page as regarding business growth, let’s quickly look at a few ways in which you can achieve it.
5 Simple Strategies to Help You Grow Your Business – Fast
One of the biggest challenges faced by small businesses and startups is gaining visibility. With the current fierce business climate, the only way to drive business growth is by being disruptive and causing a buzz in your industry.
Here are a few tips to help you do just that.
1. Understand Your Target Market
One of the most important steps in growing your business is to understand your target market. As revolutionary as your product/service may be, it definitely isn’t for everyone. You must determine your ideal customer right from the onset. Here are a few things you need to know about your target market to better reach and convert them into customers:
- Where do they hang out? Finding out where your ideal customers spend most of their time online is crucial to creating a robust marketing strategy. While it was easy to reach customers in the past through invasive marketing techniques, today’s savvy customer needs to be reeled in gently like a fish. And like a fish, you need to find out where they hang out to catch them.
- What do they value? Start a conversation around the subjects your audience finds valuable. In this fast-paced world, people won’t stop for anything that’s shallow. By proving that your aim is to improve their lives, you’ll not only grab their attention but inspire they become loyal to your brand.
- What are your target customers’ pain points? Understanding the problems and challenges your customers have is crucial to communicating the value of your product or service. Use their pain points to craft compelling messaging that your target audience relates to.
Understanding your target market is important as it helps you focus your marketing efforts on platforms, messaging, and strategies that move your marketing needle in the right direction. Not only that, but it also helps you ensure you have a high ROI on your marketing strategies.
2. Know Your Competition
Next to knowing your target audience, knowing your competition ranks high on important data you need to grow your business. Competitor analysis involves studying your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. It’s very useful in helping you:
- Position your brand strategically. Find a vacuum in your niche that you can fill. This will help you define your unique selling proposition (USP) and strategically position yourself to attract customers.
- Understand what works in your industry. Study your competition to learn what works and what doesn’t. By avoiding what doesn’t you save time, energy, and resources.
- Know which marketing strategies don’t work. Marketing has become tricky in this age where it is consumer-driven. Your competitors are a wealth of knowledge for revealing marketing strategies that work – and those that don’t.
Contrary to popular belief, competitor analysis is not just about spying on your competitors. It’s more about learning from those who have gone ahead of you. Using their experience, you can better position your brand and market your products and services more effectively. In fact, the most important lessons you can learn about business growth are usually from your competitors. And that’s why, if possible, they should become your best allies.
3. Create Highly-valuable (and Click Worthy) Content
Marketing has evolved a lot in the last few years, thanks to the fast-changing digital landscape. One of the biggest changes is that consumers now control the content they consume.
Therefore, you need to nail your content marketing.
Traditional invasive marketing methods like billboards, TV ads, and even pop-ups are fast losing their effectiveness. You need to create content that draws in your ideal customer, hooks them, and turns them into a paying customer. Whether it’s written or visual content, here are a few characteristics of high performing content:
- Engaging. Your content should capture and keep your audiences’ attention. To pull this off, create content around your audience’s pain points, not your product.
- Entertaining. Boring content is a total turn off. Create content that your customers will enjoy. One good way to do this is to employ humor in your content. Not only is laughter the best medicine, but it’s also the best marketing and sales hook – so put it to good use.
- Educational. Above all else, high converting content should educate your prospects and customers about your product. This is the factor that leads to conversions. Your audience is looking for ways to make life easier. Create content that helps them in that aspect – but around your product (or services) of course.
So, be strategic in your content creation. A well-designed and executed content marketing strategy is highly instrumental in lead generation, acquisition, and nurturing. The result is a growing customer base and, ultimately, business.
4. Grow and Leverage Your Email List
While email may be one of the oldest communication technologies of the digital era, it’s still one of the most effective. Sure, many newer and more novel communication channels are popping up every day, but if you want to grow your business, you just have to use email marketing.
Why is email still a crucial business growth tool today?
- Gives you direct access to your customers
- Has the best personalization capabilities
- It’s the most preferred communication channel
- Has one of the highest ROIs (4400%) of any marketing channel
Ignoring the power of email marketing in your business growth endeavor is tantamount to sabotaging yourself. This is especially true as there several email marketing service providers that do a great job for free or for a very small investment compared to the results the platform grants.
Remember, the success of your business lies in your having a direct way of communicating with your audience. And email is the perfect communication channel for this purpose. Because of the way it gives you a direct line to your customers, it ends up trumping social media, chatbots, and other communication channels in bringing in the money.
5. Leverage Social Media
Another easy and cost-effective way of growing your business is through social media. Although initially meant to help connect people, social media has become a powerful tool that connects businesses to their ideal customers.
With social media marketing, however, be selective in your channels. Focusing on all of them is time-consuming and expensive.
So how do you determine which social media channels to focus on?
Here are a few pointers to help you out:
- Follow your audience. Your choice of social media channels is ultimately not up to you – your audience determines which platforms you are to use.
- Check your competitors. Another great (and easy) way of deciding which social media platforms to focus on is by checking out your competitors on social media. Pay attention to the social media channels they are having success with and those that are not doing so well.
- What kind of content will you be sharing? For example, if your content is more visual-based than text-based, then visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram will serve you well.
- Analyze your current traffic sources. An easy way to ensure you’re focusing on viable social media channels is to look at your website’s traffic report. This will show you which channels bring in the most traffic to your business.
- Consider the platforms that align with your brand (or industry). Not all social media platforms align with your brand or industry. For example, while Instagram is great for B2C businesses like beauty brands, B2B businesses, particularly those in the SaaS space won’t fare as well there. LinkedIn would be the platform of choice for most B2B businesses.
Apart from picking the best platforms, it’s also important that you have a documented (and detailed) social media marketing plan if you’re to grow your business effectively.
Grow Your Business Effectively
Growing a business is no child’s play.
It takes a smart strategy, hard work, and persistence. While this is not a comprehensive list of business growth strategies, it’s a very good place to start.
Put these tips to work. You’ll smile all the way to the bank as your business expands rapidly.
About the Author
David Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur who’s helped build several multi-million dollar companies. He is the founder and CEO of GlobalTQM – a company that helps SMEs, startups and solopreneurs source and develop products in China. His mentorship program and done-for-you services have helped countless clients find the financial freedom to live the life of their dreams.