Owning a small business is tough, and a large percentage of these operations fail within the first few years – only the lucky, and smart, few survive. If you’ve successfully established a company, kept it afloat, and are ready to expand your business, then, it’s time to put that entrepreneurial savvy to work.
These five strategies can help position your organization for growth both directly and by building your public profile to attract more business.
There are a few simple ways to promote your business’s services, beyond standard advertising, and these approaches may actually be more effective than traditional strategies. For example, sharing video testimonials from clients is often more persuasive to people who are on the fence than ads that are perceived to be self-serving. Your customers, on the other hand, have nothing to gain from sharing positive feedback on your company, so make use of that goodwill.
Be A Community Steward
Another important step you can take, if your goal is to grow your business, is to show up for your wider community. This can take many forms, such as supporting service days, providing paid time off for staff to volunteer, or sponsoring organizations like local youth sports teams, or donating to public service groups. You can share about this outreach on your social media, but substantial business sponsorships are often named on event programs, t-shirts, and other materials.
If you’re looking for a more direct way to approach business growth, another pathway your business might consider is acquiring another company in your industry. Many entrepreneurs know that this is something major corporations do – serious acquisitions grab headlines – but small businesses can sometimes do this as well.
There are organizations that list available businesses and, by buying them, you have the ability to take on all of their customers and grow your client base, as well as your income.
Connect With The Press
Are you considered a thought leader in your industry, or would you like to establish yourself as one? Well, there are plenty of journalists who would love to talk to you. The website “Help A Reporter Out” or HARO is a repository of requests from reporters seeking sources and anyone can use it. Log on, look around, and answer some questions – you may just find your name being mentioned in the press.
Staff For Service
Finally, if your goal is to grow your business, one of the riskiest things you can do is put in the work to attract new customers while maintaining your old staffing levels. Many companies do this, assuming they can’t afford to hire more staff just yet, but if you delay even a little too long, you’ll find that you can’t offer great services and will quickly lose those same customers you just onboarded. You need to increase your staffing, at least modestly, in advance of growth, not after it.
Growing your small business takes time and concerted effort and, in many ways, it should be an ongoing process that is thoroughly integrated into your identity as a business. In fact, when you construct your organization with principles like customer and community service in mind, most everything else is extra because you’re proving your worth to those your serve every single day.