We’ve made it to our final post in our Starting a Business series. If you’ve followed along during this journey, you’ve taken your business from a mere idea all the way through the process to having a tangible business. Now it’s time to start reaping the benefits of all the hard work you’ve put in with a little cha-ching hitting the bottom of your beloved piggy….
Time to Grow Your Business
It’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. If you’ve gone step-by-step and your businesses is up and running, the next thing you should focus on is actually growing your business. Growing your business takes time and effort, but in the end isn’t it worth it? We think so – and that’s why we’re helping you out with these 10 ideas to grow your business:
- Make an awesome product or service. Without a great product your business will ultimately fail. People need to trust that your product or service will provide them value or they will go to another business. The best way to grow your business is to have a product that people WANT and USE. First focus on providing your customers with a product or service they will love, and the rest will follow.
- Content Marketing. One popular way to grow your business is by adding content marketing into your regimen. Content marketing has become the new “go-to” for marketing your business in 2015. What exactly IS content marketing? It’s creating and distributing valuable content to advance your business. It can vary from blog posts, infographics, videos, podcasts, e-books etc.
And if you create VALUABLE content, your business has a lot to gain. Hubspot, one of the most successful content marketing businesses out there, showed just how valuable content can be to a business. As you can see from their research, businesses who utilized content marketing with a blog, not only gained customers, but gained a higher percent of customers with a higher frequency of posts.
- Networking. Time to start making business connections with other people who can help grow your business. Who you know is sometimes more important than what you know, so get out there and start networking. A great place to start is BNI. BNI is the largest networking organization, worldwide. The mission of the organization is to help businesses network with other business-like minded people through word of mouth. (And it comes highly recommended by my husband, who is also small-business owner.)
- Out-of-the-box Thinking. To really put your business on the map, you need some out-of-the box thinking. What will really make your business stand out is innovative ideas. Take Pizza Hut’s new Blockbuster Box, for example. While they are a huge franchise and not a small business, their ideas still come from regular Joe Shmoe’s, who work for their company. They took the idea of turning their take away box into a home movie projector powered by your smartphone. Besides the addition of one pop-in lens (which is included in your pizza purchase), everything else is made from the box itself. Movie Night and a Pizza just got more interesting – and all from one out-of-the-box idea!
- Get Personal. We already discussed ways to build your online presence, but adding a personal touch to your online presence is a great way of grabbing attention. Instagram is a great place to start. People love to see ways that your brand is human and relatable. By displaying behind the scenes photos of your business, or fun and interesting product pictures, your customers will feel more connected to your business. Your Instagram business account is a great way to grow your business.
- Create a Newsletter. Once you have an email-based following, newsletters are great for keeping your customers informed about your business. Have a new product coming out? Maybe you want to distribute your blogs? Both are examples of what can be included in a newsletter. If you create interesting and eye-catching content, you have the potential to greatly grow your business.
- E-commerce. Breaking into the e-commerce world can be HUGE for your business. Small businesses have already seen the impact that e-commerce can have on their businesses through sites like Etsy and Houzz. And now that Pinterest has announced its new Buy button, the e-commerce game just advanced another level. This will allow your business to create a direct link to your product on one of the largest social media platforms there is. Already, Pinterest drives a 29% purchasing power, with an even higher 43% purchase after pinning the item. Introducing the Buy button eliminates the middle man, which offers the potential of much higher buying power.
- Target New Markets. Knowing your customer demographics is an important when starting your business, but when trying to grow your business it’s equally important to expand into new markets. If your regular demographic is 18-25 year olds, find a way to break the mold and reach the 20-30 year olds. You might have to expand your marketing strategies, but gaining a new crowd could be just what your business needs.
- Gather Statistics. Numbers. Numbers. You’re inundated with numbers every day, but analyzing them will help you understand what you’re doing right and wrong. Not sure where to begin? Start with Google Analytics. They will help you know, understand and build your business, sell and convert, and ultimately begin to grow your business.
- Keep learning. It might sound strange to list this as a way to grow your business, but becoming a life-time learner is a trait of success. Trends and technology is always changing, and to keep up you must be willing to change. This goes for your business too. Staying ahead of the competition is key for your business’ growth, and to do that, you continue to learn.
And there you have it! Get out there and start to grow your business and make us proud! And if you have any suggestions on topics we’ve missed in this series, leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!
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