Congratulations! If you’re reading this, your small business is most likely off the ground and running. But what’s the next step? Where do you go from here? If you’re feeling content about keeping things the way they are and simply soldiering on, you could be in trouble. Small business growth is all about moving forward, and this article will take a look at some tips for how to make that happen.
Expand your product line
A great way to keep people interested in your company is to expand your product line. If you make shoes, consider making belts to match. If you sell cupcakes, you could branch out to selling your own bakeware or aprons.
And if it’s a service you provide like cleaning windows, think about additional services you could offer such as gutter cleaning, or tree trimming.
Whatever business you’re in, new products and services foster small business growth, and pique the interest of your loyal customers. Just make sure new offerings are in line with your brand and don’t detract from your unique selling point.
Invest in social media
Investing in social media is one of the best ways to grow your small business. But it’s not enough to simply have an online presence. In order to keep moving forward you need to invest in a brand image, paid advertising campaigns, skilled photographers, and employees dedicated to answering questions and interacting with customers.
Good customer service today hinges on social media interactions and positive reviews, so the more involved you are online, the better. Social media can even boost your SEO.
It’s also a good idea to invest in a social media management tool to make life easier. These tools allow you to schedule future posts, keep track of comments and mentions, and monitor your performance with analytics.
Partner with compatible companies
A great way to get your company’s name out there is to partner with compatible companies. Local businesses often work together to build brand awareness, especially when the products go hand-in-hand.
Reach out to other small businesses to host a joint social media giveaway, a combined flash sale, or an exclusive paired product offering.
Of course, it’s easier to form partnership if you’ve rubbed elbows with other small business owners in person. Make a point to attend small business networking events and make meaningful contacts.
Improve web design
Improving web design is so important for small business growth. It only takes a few seconds for someone to get a good impression of your website. Make sure your site is designed well, mobile friendly, and updated often.
There are some amazing website building tools to create your own beautifully designed website in minutes, so there’s really no excuse for bad design in 2019.
Monitor your finances
In order to keep moving forward, you should have a solid grasp on your finances. What does your cash flow look like? Are there any grants you could be eligible for? Which point of sale software works best with your company? These are all questions you should be prepared to answer.
If you haven’t already acquired funding, there are several different kinds of small business loans to consider. Check your credit score and improve it if it needs work before applying.
If you’re looking to expand your business you might be in the market for a second or even third small business loan. Just be wary of loan stacking and debt cycling. Nothing damages credit faster than late payments and high interest rates.
Hire diverse models
If you plan to photograph people alongside your products or services, it’s always a good idea to hire diverse models. When customers feel represented by your brand, they are much more likely to pay attention to what you have to say.
Hiring diverse models can increase revenue, build a positive reputation, and lead to networking opportunities. If you’re having trouble finding talent from different backgrounds—think age, race, body size, sexual orientation, etc.—try posting a model call to social media, or reaching out to a company that has had success in the past.
Get involved in social causes
Much like hiring diverse models, getting involved in social causes can be a great way to keep your brand moving forward.
Chime in on current events and use your brand as a voice for good. Just be sure it’s coming from a place of authenticity. Companies often walk a fine line between empathy and tone-deaf corporate noise.
It’s also a good idea to find a reputable charity to work with to show customers that your brand gives back to the community. Find a charity that compliments your brand, and most importantly is a cause you personally believe in.
Whether you’ve been in the game for a long time, or you’re just starting out, small business growth depends on continually moving forward. Invest your time and money into your brand image and you’ll see progress.