How to Grow Your Small Business
Growing a small business can be challenging, especially when times are tough. It takes commitment, good use of resources, and good planning. To help you organise your efforts, here are a few tips on how to grow your small business.
Step #1: Focus on marketing to get more prospects
If you want to grow your business, you have to generate more prospects—more than what you normally produce. You do this by focusing your efforts on marketing. It’s necessary to first get more prospects than just trying to make a quick sale. Here’s why: converting prospects to actual buyers and repeat customers is much more effective.
Take note that a lead is different from a prospect. A lead is merely a contact that shows potential to purchase. A prospect, on the other hand, shows interest in your product/service, has responded to your campaign and provided contact information, and has the ability to buy what you’re selling. Existing customers can be considered prospects as well.
Step #2: Select a niche
You have to select your own niche instead of trying to reach everybody. Why? If you market too widely, you’ll end up not targeting anyone. Once you’ve decide on your niche, direct all your marketing towards them.
Step #3: Develop an appealing offer
You should offer something that people would respond to, like giving away something for free. This could include a complementary sample or free white paper—as long as you get it to as many people in your niche as is humanly possible.
Step #4: Spread the word
Here’s when you tell everyone about what you’re offering. You can either try the usual means like advertisements and press releases, or you can spread the word through the internet (e.g. social media, forums and affiliate programs), which can actually be cheaper and more effective. Either way, see to it that you devote enough time every day in getting the word out.
Step #5: Follow up your prospects
This step is crucial. You need to follow up your prospects so that you can keep offering them attractive deals like gift certificates or discounts, which should keep them interested. Place all their contact information into one database that your salespeople can easily access. If the prospect didn’t provide contact information, there’s no way to inform them.
Step #6: Concentrate on one product or service
This doesn’t mean you should trim down your products or services into just one. What this means is that you should concentrate on marketing just one product or service at a time to keep things simple and avoid complicating your pitch.
Step #7: Guarantee what you’re selling
Do you want to win the confidence of your prospects and customers? Then provide a money-back guarantee if they’re not satisfied with your product or service. But before you make such a promise, see to it that the quality of your product or service really is that good, and that the guarantee isn’t just a trick to lull the prospect into a false sense of security.
Step #8: Monitor your performance
Make sure that you consistently monitor your performance before and after ramping up efforts so that you can compare how you’re doing. Of course, your figures should be accurate as well; if not, you won’t know if you’re doing things correctly. If you do get the numbers right, stick to doing (and improving) what works and adjust the ones that don’t.