1 April 2023 – The following is a guest post by Julia Mitchell, lifestyle consultant with Outspiration Network.
As a small business owner, figuring out how to grow your company sustainably can be tricky. You already wear so many hats that experimenting with new initiatives might leave you feeling overwhelmed, but at the same time you’re eager to see what you can achieve. Start by brainstorming workable ideas for growth. To get started, here are some growth tactics that you may be able to implement at your company, from engaging in business process management to focusing on content marketing.
Utilize Business Process Management
If you’re running your business based on inefficient processes, your company will not be able to grow to its full potential. With business process management (BPM), you can leverage automation to free your time from burdensome processes, and you can also gain a clear perspective of the ways in which systems, people, and data interact within your company. BPM will help you work out the kinks in your processes to make your business operate more easily.
After you create a BPM framework, you’ll need to assess its effectiveness from time to time to ensure that you’re getting the results you want. If you notice any issues, you’ll be able to adjust your framework accordingly to get the best results.
Invest in Content Marketing
Today, lots of companies invest in content marketing to promote their products and services. The term “content marketing” can encompass any written marketing materials across digital platforms. This could mean blog posts on your company’s websites, promotional e-books, social media captions, and more! Through content marketing, you can deepen your relationship with your audience and establish your digital platforms as credible sources of information. By creating evergreen content, you’ll have digital marketing assets that you can utilize over and over again for years to come. This will save time as you create new campaigns in the future!
Perhaps you haven’t thought much about content marketing before, and you’re not sure how to build up a robust content marketing strategy. Utilize online marketing resources to get your strategy off the ground. In time, you’ll likely notice a boost in sales as a result of content marketing!
Network Online and in Person
Perhaps you became an entrepreneur because you preferred working solo to working with other people. But, even if you’re an introvert, there’s simply no escaping the importance of networking when you run a business! To get comfortable with networking as an introvert, Creo Incubator recommends opting for one-on-one meetings with your industry contacts, setting goals for the number of people you want to talk to at events, and letting go of the idea that you have to become an extrovert to succeed in business. If you get comfortable with being yourself, other people in your industry will naturally gravitate towards you.
Launch New Products and Services
As you connect with a broader customer base, you’ll need to tune into their consumer demands so that you can match your offerings with their needs. If you’re thinking about developing and launching new products and services, you’ll have to make a plan! Marcus Lemonis recommends conducting extensive market research before building your new product, surveying your competition for ideas, estimating how much revenue you could earn from specific offerings, pitching the idea to any necessary stakeholders, and building buzz before the official launch date.
Expand Your Team
If you’re planning to grow your business, you can’t do it all by yourself! This is the time to start expanding your team so that you’ll have enough staff to handle all of your new projects. Create job listings for several online platforms, let your friends, relatives, and professional network know that you’re hiring, and prepare your interview questions ahead of time so that you can determine if a candidate will be a good fit.
It’s easy to view other businesses solely as competition, but by partnering up with other companies that are not your direct competitors, you can reap lots of benefits! If you’re curious about partnering with another business for a marketing initiative, you’ll want to look to businesses that provide offerings your customers would also be interested in. However, you don’t want to pitch a partnership to a business that sells the same products! For example, if you run a company selling baking tools or kitchenware, you could launch a partnership with a business that sells artisan ingredients. Make sure that your offerings complement each other.
Seek Additional Funding
What if you have an idea in mind for a new product, service, or other initiative, but you simply don’t have the funds to make it a reality? You don’t necessarily have to wait until your revenue is higher. Instead, you can seek outside funding. If taking out a loan feels too risky, it’s time to start looking into small business grants.
Lots of organizations offer small business grants – you can find grants funded by both public and private institutions. It also helps to look up grants that are specifically targeted towards your industry. As you prepare your applications, go over the eligibility criteria closely! While pulling your pitch together, be very clear about what you plan to use the money for.
Host Events and Workshops
Facilitating events and workshops either online or at your company’s physical location is a fantastic way to “give back” to your audience. You can also film events and workshops and put the footage up on your website—this will allow people who missed the event to go back and watch it! You’ll be able to bring your audience together and foster valuable connections.
Growing your business takes time – and you’ll need to get comfortable with testing out strategies that don’t necessarily work. But, as you experiment, you’ll figure out how to draw in more customers, increase your sales, and deliver new offerings that your audience really wants. With these tips, you’ll be ready to explore the potential of business process management, content marketing, networking, and other growth tools.