If you start a new business today, we can be fairly certain about what your goals are.
Profit, growth, scale, entry into new markets and the list goes on. But there’s one thing we can all agree on…overnight success is a myth.
There is no “special sauce” or recipe to give you instant results, and to a certain degree, nothing is guaranteed.
Identifying the right strategies to market your business can feel like rocket science, but it shouldn’t be. How do you get your message to the right audience and do it effectively?
How do you boost visibility and increase sales while sustaining a profit with a converting offer?
See some tips below to help you reach growth milestones that can catapult a business to success.
1. Hire for growth
You may start out as a solopreneur, but bringing on the right employees is key.
It’s like saying you want to build the fastest race car in the world. Well, that would mean you need the best motor parts, right? Same applies to your company.
Before you can even think about your company’s growth trajectory, you need to ensure that you have a solid staff that can help you achieve it. With a small business looking to grow, it’s important to have the right players at the table. They need to be people who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves. The words ‘That’s not my job,’ do not exist in their vocabulary.
They have to be dedicated to the mission. Hiring the absolute best people you can is a surefire way to ensure fast growth.
It’s all about having the right team.
2. Focus on established revenue sources
Rather than trying to acquire new customers, direct your attention to the core customers you already have. You can do this by implementing a referral or customer loyalty program, or try out marketing strategies based on previous purchase behaviors to encourage repeat business.
This focus on your established market is especially important if you’re trying to get funding. When you emphasize that there is a large market for what you’re doing/selling, it would pique an investor’s interest because they actually care about ROI more than your business aspirations regardless of how noble they may be.
3. Focus on no more than 3 key areas of your business
Too many CEO’s spread themselves too thin. They aim to do everything and end up achieving almost nothing.
While in some ways it’s admirable that a business owner wants every part of their business to get better, the reality is they usually need to focus on just getting a tiny number of critical things right. If they choose those wisely their business growth will be spectacular.
Where do you focus? Well start with these three areas:
- How to get more qualified leads.
- How to convert those leads into customers more often.
- How to get those customers to purchase again.
Think about it. If you just got these three aspects of your business running magnificently, imagine how much wealth you could create.
Now let’s do a little test: How much of your time each week is presently dedicated to these three crucial areas? Probably less than 20%.
So often, business owners get caught up in all the other stuff that seems important at the time, but do not really contribute to your bottom line. That’s plain crazy. Get focused on what matters and don’t let yourself get distracted by the endless business trivia.
4. Build a great lead magnet
So much effectiveness in marketing really does boil down to creating a great lead magnet. The right lead magnet presented to the right audience can have explosive results. If you can identify the right pain points and present a solution in your lead magnet, then you’re well on your way.
What problem are consumers facing in your niche? What made you get into business in the first place? Ask yourself these questions before building out your lead magnet. The better you identify the problem or pain points at the outset, the better you’ll be at actually addressing that with a solution in your lead magnet.
What type of lead magnet should you build? That could either be an ebook, a cheat sheet, a checklist, a video and others. Of course, it’s not just about the lead magnet. You have to have a page with sizzling sales copy to get people to drop into your funnel. But it all starts with a great lead magnet. The better it is, the more effective you’ll be at reaching your audience.
5. Use Email Marketing Sequences
Part of any good sales funnel is going to be an email marketing sequence. These are the automated messages that go out to users once they subscribe to your list. Use your email sequence to build a relationship with the subscriber. Be authentic and transparent. And convey your journey.
Use the email responses and clicks to segment your list. For example, if someone clicks on a specific link, they’ve clearly shown an interest in something. Tag that subscriber to market to them later. If someone buys, tag them as a buyer. Identifying your buyers and the interests of your subscribers is huge for segmenting.
When you do send broadcasts, split test. Split test everything, in fact, You never really do know what’s going to be the most effective until you pull the trigger and really test it out. This will help you understand what your audience responds to better, making you a better communicator, and better able to sell to your customers.
6. Diversify your offerings
In other words, develop something else to sell.
If your company has achieved some level of growth, often the fastest way to grow faster is to sell an additional product to your customer base. Is it not true that you probably have numerous customers who would buy a second product from you, if only you offered it to them? After all, they already know your company. They like what it does. And they believe in your staff and what you’re aiming to do. That should make it pretty easy to convince a fair amount of them to take a look at something else you’ve been developing for them.
Disney did this by creating a Disney cruise line. Apple did it by adding the iPod, iPad and Apple Watch. Porsche did it by creating an SUV for the family.
The key to successful growth through diversification is the similarity. You want to focus on the related needs of your already established market or on market segments with similar needs and characteristics. An artist might also sell frames and be framing services, for instance.
As soon as you begin thinking along this vein, you’ll quickly come up with some promising ideas. Simply ask yourself: what else would my customers buy from me? Then choose something that is easy for you to produce or offer within your current way of operating. (You don’t want to radically change how your company works just to try a new product).
What’s an easy way of finding out what else your customers want? Why not survey them and actually ask them. They’ll appreciate that you bothered to seek their opinion and you’ll get some valuable intel. The faster you increase your product offering, the quicker new and greater revenue will come in.
7. Adaptability is key in expansion
One trait that successful startups often have in common is the ability to switch directions quickly in response to changes in the market. An agile approach to development, both in terms of your product and your company, will help you grow more quickly. By allowing yourself to adapt and change quickly, you’re able to test different approaches to business and find out what works best. It allows you to fail, pick yourself back up and keep going.
Adaptability is key in expanding your client base beyond your immediate industry especially if you’re a B2B. Monitoring pop culture trends for an opportunity to become part of the movement, when it makes sense is the best way to keep yourself on the cutting edge of adaptation. Opportunities abound in other industries even as technology takes the forefront in many industries today.
8. Focus on your customer experience
Customers’ perceptions of your business can really make or break a business. Deliver quality experiences and products and they’ll quickly sing your praises on social media. Mess it up and they’ll tell the world even faster.
Fast growth depends on making your current and potential customers happy with their experience. This report from Digital Doughnut is spot on
The advantage of being small is, compared with large companies, small businesses are nimble and often better able to see, anticipate and respond to their customers’ needs. The most successful small businesses exploit this advantage by bringing new and innovative products and services to market more quickly and developing and nurturing long-term customer relationships.
Listening to your customers and giving them what they want is of utmost importance. Diversify your offerings so you can best cater to the customers’ changing tastes. Remember, you are here to serve the customer — it’s why you are open for business.
9. Invest in yourself
In the early stages of your business, you’ll likely see a very lean profit margin (or no profit at all), so any money you do make should go directly toward helping you grow. A startup’s ability to invest in itself helps accelerate growth. In those early years, it’s critical to make sure that you’re redirecting any revenues back into the company. It’s vital to invest early and heavily in order to grow quickly.
10. Pick the right partners
As you scale your business, major stakeholders need to share the same vision for success. You should be very careful about picking investors that really are committed to your cause as well as the bottom line focus of your company to be profitable. Both of those things — cause and profit — if they are important to you, should be equally important to them.
Give these 10 tips a try. It’s almost certain that within a very short period of time you’ll have both a bigger business and a better run one.
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