Business growth is vital for small businesses if they want to succeed. Simply sustaining your business by keeping the same number of customers is not enough if you want to keep moving forward and become successful. However, it can be challenging, especially if you don’t know where to start. Business growth takes time and effort, rapid growth won’t happen overnight, but there are some simple steps you can take to get your business moving forward. Here are five simple yet effective tips that can help business owners grow their microbusiness.
Build an optimised website
Nowadays, every business should have a website. Most people find things by looking online, and even if people hear about your business elsewhere, the chances are they will look for your website to find out more about you before they decide to use your services. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy if you can’t afford it, there are plenty of platforms that allow you to build your own website free of charge. However, if you do have the money it can pay off to invest in an expertly designed website, tailored to your business needs.
You should ensure that your website is optimised, using basic SEO. Search engine optimisation helps your website to rank organically in search engine results pages, like Google. If your website ranks highly on Google when people search for keywords and phrases related to your business, this helps you to generate more leads. To ensure your website is fully search engine optimised it needs to be well designed, easy to use and navigate, have a fast loading speed, and be full of keyword-optimised content, which is useful and informative, so your users will want to engage with it. The more users who engage with your content and stay on your website for longer periods, the higher Google will rank your website in results pages, and the easier it will be for people to find your website. If you hire an expert to build you a website, they should fully optimise it for you. However, if you can’t afford this, there is plenty of free information online which can help you to get a hang of the basics.
Use social media
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. Finding customers on social media has a direct impact on sales and your bottom line. According to research by Sprout Social individuals are 57.5% more likely to buy from companies they follow on social media. It gives you the opportunity to interact with customers on a much more personal level.
Through social media, you can engage with customers through comments and direct messages. 71% of customers are more likely to buy from you after a positive engagement on social media. By analysing the likes, comments, and shares on your posts you can see what kinds of things people like, and who in particular likes them, so you can further tailor your marketing to suit your target audience. Having social media channels also makes it easier for customers to share your content, and promote you to others, which can be a powerful tool for increasing your brand awareness.
Social media is an excellent low-cost and low-risk way to promote your business and reach a huge number of potential customers. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and now even TikTok, are all great platforms to use but don’t feel like you have to be on every single platform, as this can be overwhelming. You need to go where your customers are. Figure out which is the best platform for your business by doing some research to find out which social media platform your target audience is using most. For example, LinkedIn is great for B2B businesses, whereas Instagram and Facebook are ideal for B2C.
People nowadays are spending more and more time on their phones, and a lot of this time is spent on social media apps. According to statistics, there are over 3.8 billion active social media users around the world, which is a more than 9 percent increase on last year. This just shows that the popularity of social networks is still growing, and if you want to reach people, social media is the place to be. It is particularly useful for reaching the younger generations, who are fast becoming incredibly influential consumers.
Get to know your target market
Every small business should know who their target market is. These are the people you are marketing your services and goods to, and the ones who are most likely to buy what you are selling. To effectively market your business to people, you need to understand their wants and needs and develop your products and services to meet those needs. Once you know who you are marketing to and what they want, you will be able to tailor your marketing and content to these people. This will help to not just attract more leads, but to also drive more conversions, as the people landing on your site are those who are already looking for what you provide.
Invest in great customer service
Ensure the customer service and support your business provides is exceptional. This can help you to stand out from the crowd. Customers are essential to growing your business, without customers, you will have no business. Therefore, you need to make sure you are looking after your customers in every way you can. Make it easy for them to be able to contact you in multiple ways, and ensure you provide fast and useful responses. Put your contact details on your website and list them alongside your opening hours on your Google My Business account. Social media is also a great way to interact with customers on a more personal level, keep them regularly updated, and allows them to contact you quickly and easily.
Provide your customers with useful, relevant, and engaging content through your website, emails, and social media. If they see you as constantly providing them with useful and interesting information for free, their opinion of you will be positive. Another good idea is to provide your loyal customers with discounts or offers. This will make them feel valued and encourage them to use your services or buy your products again and can also help you to increase the amount you make from people who have already converted. Research has found that upselling to existing customers can be up to five times less expensive than finding new ones. Customers will remember great service and will be much more likely to use your business again or refer you to others.
Outsource to experts
A lot of small business owners wear many hats when it comes to managing their business. This is understandable at first when you are just starting out and may not have the funds to hire a lot of staff or outside help. However, if you want to grow your business you will not be able to do everything yourself. As your business gets busier, you’ll have more and more to do and other things to focus on, and eventually, something will end up being sacrificed as a result. On top of this, if you try to do everything yourself you will become burnt out.
Outsourcing activities like HR, marketing, social media management, or legal and finance, to professionals can be a huge help. This can leave you with more time to focus on the things that other people can’t do and put some thought into how you are going to grow your business. Bringing in a new set of eyes and a new way of thinking can also be beneficial as they may be able to provide you with creative new ideas to grow your business or make it more efficient. Outsourcing is great because it allows you to have an expert in the field handle certain aspects of your business, but you won’t have to pay the costs of hiring a full-time member of staff to do it. If you outsource to an expert who has years of experience and extensive knowledge in that area, the chances are they will be able to do the job much better than you could anyway, which will only serve to improve your business.
The success of your micro business ultimately lies with you and your efforts. A variety of methods are needed to keep your business moving forward and growing sustainably. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it once you start to reap the benefits. Use these five simple tips and focus your attention on some key areas and you will soon start to see some positive results.