• When you’re a small business owner, sales and marketing are worth the extra cost.
• All the branding in the world won’t help if the product or service isn’t exceptional. Also, gaining new business is not everything—work diligently to retain existing clients.
Scaling your company to the next stage of expansion can feel interminable. At first, you’re responsible for developing the business plan, maintaining social media pages, prospecting for potential clients, and controlling cash flow.
Additionally, there are numerous growth strategies to consider for small business owners—which can sound much more intimidating—but do not despair. Instead, consider these four actionable tips for growing your small business and can your bottom line.
1. Enhance the sales funnel
This is the place where the magic occurs. Sales funnel the direction customers take when they connect with your company, beginning as leads and ending with a purchase. The trick to growing your small business is to move them smoothly through the funnel.
Although it is vital to add new companies and clients to the sales funnel, monitoring those leads, buyers, and sales is even more critical. Without watching it, you would have no idea what is working. As such, no other role is more beneficial to your business’s development.
The five levels of a sales funnel are as follows:
A lead is someone in your target market with whom you have not yet spoken. Maintaining an accurate record of all leads is critical when considering expanding your small business. When nurtured, leads turn into sales—much as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. Assume that the sales funnel a cocoon.
A prospect is similar to a lead, except that they have learned of and shown interest in your product or service. Be cautious—it is still too early to say if they can purchase from you. However, a prospect is a step forward because they are receptive to contact further and could become the next potential customer.
Prospect who is eligible
Here, you will thoroughly investigate your prospect to ensure that they require what you are offering and that you and your chance agree on the nature and price of your product or service.
Additionally, this is your chance to ascertain their level of urgency, which will help you prioritize them in your sales funnel.
Here are several examples of how to determine the point at which a customer is in your sales funnel:
• If a prospect expresses interest but another decision-maker is involved, the sales process can be prolonged.
• If the prospect is ready to buy but requires clarification on a specific product or service element, you should follow up immediately after the confirmation is given. This is a critical matter.
• If a prospect expresses interest but has not settled on a price or a timeline, this may force them to a lower priority level in the sales funnel.
This stage occurs when you receive a verbal “yes” to proceed with the sales process but need to work out a few specifics. Speed is critical at this point of the sales funnel. If you obtain a “yes,” you must act quickly to complete the transaction.
When a customer completes a transaction in the sales funnel, you may thank them for choosing your company. After the sale is complete, you have the rare opportunity to develop rapport with these new customers to turn them into loyal customers.
2. Retain your clientele
As a small business owner, you are in an ideal position to keep your client base as long as your product or service is solid and trustworthy. The majority of people feel good about “local help” and want to develop relationships with standout small businesses that go above and beyond.
Several essential strategies for retaining your client base include the following:
Conduct a business analysis
You will be the neighborhoods friendliest and most social media-savvy business owner. However, if the product is subpar, you will lose customers.
To determine if your product suits the needs of your current customers, you must conduct market research to gain insight into their priorities. You can either rely on information provided by other business leaders or experts or perform your analysis using methods such as online surveys or focus groups. Attempting to incorporate all suggestions into your business plan is unrealistic; instead, concentrate on a field where you know your rivals are falling short.
Utilize social media with the intent
Please don’t take it for granted that your new or existing customers communicate with you through social media. Maintain as much control as possible over the conversation. Utilize social media management resources such as Hoot suite and maintain a consistent presence in your Business Page’s reviews section.
You’ll want to guide customers to connect in one or two locations where you can track and respond to all of their comments. When you have the financial resources to employ a social media manager, you will expand your reach.
Utilize your email database
Apart from social media, email lists are an excellent way to stay connected with current and prospective customers. In addition, a mailing list can assist people in becoming acquainted with your small business and brand.
You can grow your email list by offering small discounts to first-time buyers who provide their email addresses or by hosting webinars that require email verification for registration. Additionally, if your product or service is appropriate, you can create “lead magnets” content such as checklists or a free mini-course.
Whatever email marketing tactic you choose, be sure to keep an eye on local anti-spam laws to avoid incurring unfair penalties for not being aware of the latest regulations.
Consider new ways to reward loyal customers.
There are several ways to reward existing customers for keeping them satisfied and happy. Here are a few suggestions:
- A loyalty points card on which they earn points for each new purchase
- A tiered incentive scheme (such as bronze, silver, or gold)
- A premium feature for which they can pay an annual fee upfront
- A gift in-store on their first customer anniversary
- A gift with purchase
3. Invest ineffective marketing campaigns.
These first two strategies for business growth are dependent on the third. If your ideal consumers have no idea who you are as a brand, what product or service you provide, or how to contact you, all becomes significantly more difficult (read: impossible).
Small business owners are often encouraged to be prudent with their spending in the early stages, sound advice. Investing in a marketing campaign, on the other hand, is critical to achieving your company objectives.
If you’re on a budget, begin here:
- Branding: Engage a freelance graphic designer to assist you in developing a polished and professional logo.
- Market research: When you create a consumer avatar, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your target customers
- •Boost your SEO: If this is new territory for you, have no fears. Consider reading this guide to small business SEO or enrolling in a course to teach you the fundamentals of search engine optimization.
4. Take into account franchising
Franchising is an intriguing option if you have a successful business concept. That is when you expand your business concept into new markets and assist others in establishing small businesses similar to yours. Although the startup costs are high and marketing can be challenging, this strategy can result in phenomenal growth for you and your company.
Discover how to expand your small company strategically.
One day, when you’re a successful business owner, you’ll look back fondly on this startup level. It will appear not easy to calculate all of the tasks necessary to ensure your business’s success. However, you will accomplish your business objectives with some preparation and strategic investment and then some.