Small Business Owners: 8 Practical Business Growth Ideas

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Generating more customers is a crucial business growth strategy. However, it is easier said than done. But that should not always be the case. Here are practical business growth ideas for small business owners.

Know your customers 

The first step is to understand your customers. Know their needs so you can tailor your products and services to meet those specific needs. You have to gain insight into your clients. To make this more manageable, you should personalize your services and ask for feedback. A survey is another perfect way to understand your clients. 

Improve your customer service

The customer experience (CX) is fast becoming a crucial factor when it comes to business growth. You have to ensure your customer service is exceptional to retain your existing customers and attract more. When you offer great customer services, your clients are more likely to refer other people to the business. 

Leverage the power of social media 

Social media has become a very powerful business tool. Increasing your social media presence is a great marketing strategy. Additionally, you can use social media influencers for marketing your brand and promoting your growth. Use this company to build your profile and attract new customers through social media campaigns. 

Create a network 

Networking is one of the best business growth strategies. Invest your time and money into building networks that will help you achieve the desired growth. Nowadays, business is all about who you know instead of what you know. Networking will allow you to build positive relationships with like-minded people in the industry and beyond. You can also use your network to gain more customers and experience. 

Create and host an event 

Creating and hosting an event is a great way to promote your brand and expand your customer base. For instance, you can create an exhibition and invite an industry leader to offer a keynote to your customers. This strategy will encourage more people to interact with your products and services.

Nurture your existing customer base

Do you have strategies to nurture your clients? Start creating lasting relationships with your existing customers to improve the retaining rate. There are many ways of doing this. For instance, you can improve how you stay in touch with your customers. Additionally, you should find new opportunities to increase production to cater to the growing customer base. 

Create brand awareness through CSR

Creating brand awareness is essential if you want to grow your business. Initiate community development projects or sponsor a community tournament or event to raise your business profile. Corporate social responsibility is an excellent business strategy to give back to the community and raise brand awareness. 

Track your progress

With all things said and done, you should evaluate your performance to see what works and what does not work for your business. Monitor your systems and identify areas that need improvement to boost growth. Accordingly, do not be afraid to try out different strategies until you find what is best for business growth. 

Final thoughts 

If you are a small business owner, growth should be in your goals. What you do and how you do it determines the success of your company. Give your business a big presence by going online and using social media influencers, among other tips. 

5 Ways To Give Your Small Business A Big Presence

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For a lot of small businesses, one of the most difficult things is competing against the bigger companies in your industry. A lot of people tend to trust bigger businesses, as they view them as more reputable. In order to create a similar feeling towards your company, you need to look for ways to make your business appear bigger than it is. There are a number of ways you can do this, as you will discover below.

  • Choose a prestigious address – One of the best ways to make your business appear bigger and more professional is to choose a prestigious address. This is something you can do with ease nowadays, as there are many companies that give you the opportunity to set up a virtual address. This means you can show a physical business address on your website, yet your mail will be emailed to you. This enhances convenience while also enabling you to build a great brand image and make your business appear bigger than it is. You should also make sure you have a prestigious business phone system set-up as well.
  • Pay special attention to your website – Your website says a lot about your business and your brand. If your website looks amateurish, this will make your business look unprofessional. You don’t need to spend a fortune on your website, but you do need to get it right. It should look sleek and sophisticated while representing your brand image. It also needs to load quickly, be optimised for use on all devices, and be easy to use and navigate. Plus, you should ensure your website is optimised for search engine result pages so that you can increase your presence, which will, in turn, make your business appear bigger and more reputable. After all, when you search for a business on Google, you are more likely to find one of the top results more trustworthy than a company languishing on page three, right?
  • Grow your social media presence – The importance of being active on social media cannot be ignored in the current day and age. There are many social media platforms to choose from, and it’s all about being active on the social media networks that your consumer base uses. With the exception of Facebook, which appeals to all, each social media network has a different, distinct demographic. For example, Pinterest largely appeals to females of college age. If this isn’t your target audience, you could be wasting a lot of time and effort trying to build your business up on Pinterest.
  • Use a virtual private branch exchange (PBX) – For those who are unaware, this refers to a type of telephone system that gives you the ability to switch calls between a number of lines while also allowing all members of staff to share the same, single phone system. You don’t need to spend a fortune on such a system when there are cloud-based options available, for example, those that use voice over Internet protocol (VoIP). By being able to provide a number of different extensions for your company, as well as selecting your own phone number, you will be able to make your business appear bigger and more professional.
  • Use larger invoice numbers – One easy and effective way to make your small business appear bigger is to use larger invoice numbers. If you use small invoice numbers, for example, let’s say you send an invoice with #12 at the top of it, this makes it appear like your business only opened a week or so ago. It shows that you only have a small number of customers. If this is not the sort of image you want to project, it is better to use larger numbers. For example, you could start your invoices from 1000 instead of 1, meaning you would put #1012 at the top of your invoice rather than #12.

As you can see, there are a number of different strategies you can use to make your small business appear bigger than it is. If you follow the tips that have been mentioned above, you can make your business look more established, and this will generate a greater sense of trust, which will make people feel more secure when choosing your business over others in the industry.

3 Simple Strategies to Keep Your Business Organized

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Needless to say, 2020 has been a challenging year for many small businesses. While you probably already know the importance of making positive changes and smart choices within your own company, you might be feeling overwhelmed by everything on your plate. 

Unfortunately, the stress that can come from uncertain times, recession-level unemployment rates, and low profits can lead to even more problems. Stress leads to burnout, a lack of motivation and productivity, and can even cause physical health problems like high blood pressure and heart conditions. 

While you may not be able to control the economy or even how successful your business is at this very moment, there are some things that are within your control. Making the choice to keep your business as organized as possible can help to alleviate some of the stress you’re feeling. It can also bring your employees a sense of comfort and familiarity, allowing them to be more productive. 

So, if you’ve gotten overwhelmed by the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and you’re trying to figure out how to reel those emotions in and get back to work, get organized! Let’s look at a few strategies you can put in place to make that happen.

  1. Don’t Waste Your Time With Documents

Many business employees spend over an hour each day trying to organize documents and digital files. If one is “misplaced” within the cloud or another document center on the computer, it can be a virtual nightmare to find it again. 

Using document organization like Filecenter can help you to keep everything in one place, scan your documents easily, and even provide cloud sharing so other employees can have access to important documents at a moment’s notice. It’s also a great option for offices that are choosing to go paperless. 

  1. Plan Your Social Media Strategy

If you don’t have a person specifically tasked with social media on your team, it’s far too easy to forget about platforms like Facebook and Instagram. 

But, they’re incredibly important. There are 3 billion people using these platforms each month, so it’s important to look at them as potential customers/clients. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time each day planning out posts and figuring out what to share, pick one or two days a week and create your content ahead of time, so you can automatically schedule it to post later. 

Be sure to check back on your posts to see what kind of engagement they’re getting. It’s much easier to respond to a comment or answer a question than to think of fresh content several times a day. 

  1. Create a Productive Workspace

Now is the perfect time to give your workspace a boost, or completely change the scenery. Physical environments can impact the mental health of employees, and if they don’t feel inspired it will lead to a lack in productivity. Instead of your business running like a machine, it’s bound to get lazy and messy. 

You can encourage both organization and productivity by creating an environment that inspires your employees. Try things like live plants in the offices, or standing desks to keep people awake and alert. Don’t be afraid to ask your employees what they need in order to feel more organized and more productive. 

Whether your business is reopening now or you have plans to in the near future, staying organized will allow you to be calm and less stressed. In turn, you can pass those feelings onto your employees, and be an inspiration to your whole company.

Brand Busting Online Tips

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You don’t just have to be good at creating your product or delivering your service when you’re in business for yourself. Half of the very real battle for many entrepreneurs is selling themselves and their offer and creating a presence online that is accessible and recognizable while also building brand awareness.

For many of us who already have an online active social presence, separating the personal and business can be problematic, so in this blog we take a look at how to make sure you build your brand online successfully.

Create a business persona

The types of posts you write and the pictures you put up do not need to be the types of posts you write to your friends and family, in fact they very much shouldn’t be. Instead you’re going to want to create an avatar for your business that is very separate. You may have the same face but the nature of your posts will be very different and entirely targeted to your audience. If it makes sense to you, create another public face of your company to help you better make that separation.

With this in mind, the first thing you’ll need to do is consider your target market. If you have put in some time conducting your market research you should already know which social media platforms your customers use and when they are most likely to be accessing them.

Be targeted

Although it might seem that you should be on all platforms at once it makes no sense in terms of your time or money to spend precious time creating posts that won’t speak directly to your customer.

So, if your customer is an avid Instagram user concentrate your efforts there and don’t spend nearly as much time on Facebook. The same for Twitter. If you’re targeting the professional market then something like LinkedIn is going to serve you better, as it has for Philip McTigue of NY.

When you’ve target your social media platforms, you need to start building a deliberate strategy. Don’t think random postings, even daily postings will not do the job, you’re talking about building a message, character and identity around your brand, not a series of posts that don’t appear to be linked.

Think very carefully about how you use images and steer clear of posting anything personal, stick with genuinely clever memes and GIFS that fit into your corporate online identity.

Setting up your profile isn’t hard but making it and keeping it relevant is, so make sure that you know what you’re doing before you start hitting the post keys. If you haven’t done so already, make sure you have your customer research in place that shows you who and where you should be concentrating your time and efforts.

Get your killer social media strategy up and running and you’ll soon be raising your brand awareness and hopefully generating traffic to your site. Start incorporating updates and responses into your everyday morning work routine and you’ll be on your way to social success in no time.

5 Reasons No-One Is Visiting Your Website

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If business wasn’t cruel from time to time, would it be any fun? Not in our book. However, some things seem especially cruel. Take all those business websites that no-one ever visits. Those companies spent long hours – and perhaps paid good money – getting their website just right, working on content, and all the other small details of setting up a website, and then…no-one is stopping by to check it out, or, if they are, they’re not there long. So if you’re in this position, what’s the problem? We take a look at some of the common reasons why your visitor numbers are low below.

It’s All About You

Your website is going to be kind of about your business, but “your business” is not the main thing that people are looking for when they visit your site. They’re looking for themselves. What does that mean exactly? It means that if you’re making all of your content about your business, then people are going to click X. Make it about THEM – as in, what they want – and they’ll stick around. Be a company that’s like a person who asks questions rather than a person who just talks about themselves.

They Don’t Know You’re There

Sometimes businesses fundamentally misunderstand some things about the internet. They think it’s a place where people hang out, and if they’re just there, then people will stop by. But it’s not. The internet is not a public space where people will naturally drift to your corner of it. You have to lead them there. If you don’t, they’ll have no idea that you exist. It would be like trying to find an underground shop in a packed city: it’s not going to happen. As such, you need to light up your business online, and that means organic SEO marketing. If people can search and find you, they’ll stop by.

All Your Focus Is On Social Media

Social media is important for your business, and anyone who tells you differently is wrong. However, sometimes business owners take this to the extreme edge and put ALL of their focus on their social media accounts. There are companies out there who have plenty of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram followers, but low website visitor numbers. It’s because they’re not using their social media platforms for its proper use, which is direct people to their site.

Old Content

You could have the greatest web content found anywhere online…but if you’re not updating it periodically, then who’s going to come back? There’s only so often you can visit a website you like without seeing new material. So keep things fresh. Videos, blog posts, new photos will help to do this.

It’s Taking Too Long to Load

Finally, don’t forget the number one sin: taking too long to load! People these days have the attention span of a goldfish (actually, this might be generous), and won’t stick around if the pages are taking too long to load. Speed that baby up.

This Is How To Have A Successful Product

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To create and sell products successfully is far more complicated than most people think. In fact, there are many factors to consider, from the product itself to broader issues such as your marketing and customer service. Happily, you can get the scoop on the most crucial ones in our post below.

Product development, lots of it.

No idea for a product leaves the inventor’s mind fully formed. In fact, there is a great deal of value in doing detailed and focused product development that allows you to refine and better shape your offerings to the market that you want to buy them.

Research and development is crucial for a successful product

Therefore, do not shy away from formal product development before you even consider launching your business or brand. Also be sure to do thorough market research to gauge how your iterations fair on the market. Something that should help you to decide whether this version is good enough to go out there and represent your company’s brand on a permanent business.

Use the best components and processes.

Once you have a financial product agree on, it’s vital that you take the same time and care in replicating this item for your customers as you did in developing it in the first place.

Of course, this means sourcing the best quality components like the electret microphones, that are made by reputable companies and come in many different specifications. It is also crucial that you ensure the manufacturing process for your product is top notch as well, not only because if it isn’t it could cost your business additional money, but also because poor manufacture will result in a substandard product. Something that certainly won’t please customers, have them coming back for more, or enhance your brand!

Brilliant customer service.

Now, once you product units are ready to ship, you may think its almost all over, but really the whole process has only just begun. In fact, once customers start to buy your items, you will need to offer them stellar customer service both regarding the buying process, and the with the follow-up help and support you provide as well.

What this means is that not only does your website have to be easy to use and easy on the eye, but you also need to be as available for customer questions, support, and the resolution of issues as much as possible.

One way to do this is to invest in a more substantial social media presence, where you have people on hand at all time to search for comments and complaints online. They can then answer and resolve them to the customer’s satisfaction as quickly as possible.

Of course, this will provide you with a double win, because not only will that individual customer be happier, but other potential buyers will see that any faulty product is the exception and not the rule and is also promptly dealt with, you are a fantastic company to deal with as well. Something that should help you to sell even more units moving forward.

The Real Reasons Why Your Social Media Marketing Isn’t Working

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In the early days of social media, it was supposed to be a new dawn for online marketers. You could attract an audience of people interested in your industry and business – and could do so without spending a dime.

However, as we all know, the social media of today is not the same as the one we were introduced yesterday. And if you are struggling to make any headway, there are probably a few common mistakes you are making.

In this guide, we’re going to go through a few of the things you might be doing that are causing you problems, and offer simple tips that you need to start employing with social media to get yourself back on track. Read on to find out more…

No strategy

It’s amazing how many businesses think that posting randomly about irrelevant things will work in any way, shape or form. It’s vital that you have a strategy in place if you want any success. Establish what you want – is it to attract more sales, or to build a community? Then, create goals for how you might achieve that, and keep those goals in mind when you plan out a strategy. Use analytics to track your success and improve your failures – there is a science to this, so don’t expect to achieve your goals if you are firing off posts at will.

Expecting a free audience

The beauty of social media in the early days was that you could build an audience for free. Now, however, it is just like any other advertising platform in that you need actually to pay money to achieve any kind of success. Research suggests that fewer than 1 percent of your audience will see your unpaid posts, so learning how to use Facebook and Twitter ads is essential.

Failing to take advantage

What matters most to your business? Likes, shares, or cold hard cash? So many companies get sucked into the social media popularity contests, even though it delivers very much at all in the way of returns. Your best bet is to learn all about Clickfunnels and other funnel programs to set up your ads correctly, attract the right kind of people, and turn those likes and shares into visitors to your website, where you can make actual sales. It’s a lot of money to leave on the table, so ensure you have your priorities straight.

The ego trip

Are you boring your customers to death with constant posts about you and your business? We hate to break it to you but other than your mom and a few close friends, nobody cares. Instead, use Pareto’s 80:20 rule with posting. Only a fifth of your posts should be promotional in any way. The rest? Make them entertaining, educational, and helpful. Feel free to highlight the accomplishments of people in your business and industry, too.

OK, so there you have it. These common issues are visible everywhere on social media, and it shouldn’t take too much to start making a difference, stand out from the crowd, and start getting better results.