304 North Cardinal St.
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304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Starting and running a small business is an incredibly rewarding endeavor. However, scaling a small business sustainably requires focus and strategic thinking. There are many potential avenues for smart growth – the key is identifying and executing the strategies that will work best for your unique business.
In this article, we’ll explore 10 proven methods for taking your small business to the next level and achieving growth.
Table of Contents
Digital marketing is essential for amplifying awareness and driving sales in today’s online world. For small businesses, digital marketing activities should focus on 3 key pillars:
This refers to channels you own and control – your website, blog, and social media. Optimize these essential owned properties:
Create a marketing-focused website – Ensure your website is designed with lead generation in mind. Include clear calls-to-action, conversion-optimized pages, and tools like live chat.
Launch a blog – Publish educational blog content optimized with SEO to boost organic search traffic to your site. If you need help optimizing your content, consider hiring an SEO expert.
Build your social media presence – Promote your brand and content across the top social platforms where your audience is active.
Paid advertising gets your business in front of targeted new audiences. Tactics like pay-per-click, paid social ads, and display network ads are extremely effective when optimized. Track conversions and target your spending on highest performing campaigns and placements.
Earned media is exposure you gain organically when content receives likes, comments, shares, and links. Aim to create content that provides value and resonates with your audience to increase viral potential.
It costs 5-25x more to acquire a new customer vs. retaining an existing one. That makes customer retention a lucrative growth lever.
Wow customers with service that exceeds expectations through:
Fast response times – Answer emails and social messages promptly, pick up phones quickly.
Effective issue resolution – Train staff to troubleshoot efficiently. Empower them to go above-and-beyond to address problems.
Proactive communication – Update customers on order status, shipment times, new offerings. Make them feel cared for.
Ongoing surveys – Solicit customer feedback to guide improvements. Small gestures like sending a follow-up survey after an issue is resolved can help retention.
Deliver exceptional support across every touchpoint and your customers will reward you with loyalty.
While marketing and relationships drive growth, you need an excellent product or service that optimally fulfills customer needs. Evaluate if there are ways to improve your core offering:
Ask customers directly what enhancements or offerings would increase their satisfaction and win more business from them. Then double down on executing those improvements extremely well.
Streamlining operations through process improvements and technology enables small businesses to scale efficiently.
As you scale, keep instilling a culture focused on continuous improvement.
Growing businesses foster long-term relationships by providing ongoing value beyond the initial purchase. Retention boosting strategies include:
The more value you deliver over time, the stronger your customer relationships become.
Reaching new segments often requires branching into additional sales and distribution channels.
Online marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, and industry-specific platforms expand your ecommerce distribution.
Brick-and-mortar retail arrangements like consignment in gift shops, book stores etc. reaches local audiences.
Affiliate programs reward external sites and influencers for promoting your products and sending sales your way.
Reseller partnerships give access to another company’s customer base. For example, a thermal mug supplier partnering with corporate gifting companies.
Assess potential new channels, weigh the costs and benefits, and pursue mutually beneficial partnerships.
The customer onboarding process greatly impacts retention and how purchasers initially engage with your product/service. Elements of great onboarding include:
Onboarding is an opportunity to start relationships strong. Make every touchpoint helpful and positive.
While businesses naturally compete, networking to share knowledge can stimulate growth.
Finding ways for everyone to win bigger together takes your potential higher than going it alone.
Growth for its own sake won’t sustain a business long-term. You need profitable revenue fueling expansion.
Growth is only healthy when backed by solid profit drivers. Make decisions through the lens of profitability.
Business growth can breed complexity. Set your expanding team up for success by instilling a strong culture focused on:
With these habits embedded, your company culture will scale positively as you grow.
The strategies presented give you a blueprint to scale your small business ambitiously yet sustainably. Be selective in pursuing new growth initiatives – take on only what you can manage successfully.
Focus on incremental expansion supported by solid operational foundations. Most importantly, learn as you go and continuously improve how you support and delight your customers. By obsessively delivering more value, your small business can achieve big growth.