With the rising operational costs of the post-pandemic era and the fears of a global recession increasing with every passing day, running a profitable small business isn’t easy. In fact, did you know that 50 percent of small businesses fail within their first five years? But surviving and even growing is more than just possible with the right strategy and tools.
In this article, we’ll share small business growth strategies that will enable you to outperform your competitors even in the most challenging times.
You need a growth strategy—but which one?
According to Professors Yvonne Randle and Eric Flamholtz of the UCLA Anderson School of Management, startups and small businesses should aim for an annual growth rate of 15 percent which would help them double their size in five years. Businesses aiming for a 20–25 percent annual growth rate grow faster, but they’re likely to run into capacity issues.
Businesses with aggressive but sustainable growth strategies need to invest in sales, marketing, and product innovation. But most small businesses have limited cash flow and cannot follow the growth path of established brands or large corporations ready to burn millions of dollars in experimentation.
Instead of experimenting with your limited resources, follow these proven strategies that have worked for your competitors. Optimise your spending and focus on your most profitable growth channels.
Small business growth strategies for the new year
So, where should you focus next year and how should you adjust your business plan to drive the most growth? Let’s discuss the most relevant, accessible, and high-impact growth strategies and initiatives for small businesses.
Strategy #1: Grow your email subscriber base
Growing your email subscriber base is a guaranteed way to build an engaged audience around your brand. It reduces your reliance on conventional marketing channels, decreases your advertising costs, and allows you to establish next-level customer loyalty via personalised relationships with your prospects and customers.
Today’s entrepreneurs will be happy to hear that email marketing has an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent. Surprisingly, 49 percent of consumers look forward to receiving promotional emails from their trusted brands. No other marketing channel has such returns and user engagement.
So how do you grow your email subscriber base?
- Identify your audience’s core needs.
- Create a lead magnet that offers an immediate solution to a core need. For example, a real estate business can offer a piece of content like a free report on the hottest real estate trends or investment ideas.
- Create a landing page for the lead magnet with an opt-in form.
- Place the lead magnet on your website’s homepage.
- Drive traffic to your lead magnet’s landing page through organic (unpaid) and paid social media marketing and email messaging.
- Incorporate content marketing by continuing to produce helpful content for your audience and promote it via social and email campaigns.
Make this process a permanent part of your marketing strategy, so your email list keeps growing.
Strategy #2: Build authority with video content
According to a recent survey, 93 percent of marketers say video content has helped them increase brand awareness, and 87 percent say it helped them achieve a positive ROI on their marketing efforts.
As a small business owner, video is your secret weapon to building brand authority and credibility as well as improving your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Creating in-depth and actionable videos that answer your audience’s most burning questions will help you establish yourself as an expert.
For example, if you’re a financial analyst, creating regular videos answering your audience’s questions will make you their first choice when they need financial services.
This approach works in most industries and should be a part of every business’s marketing plan.
Kyle, a small business owner with 1.5million TikTok followers, is an excellent example of how video content empowers small businesses. His company Noble Leather Co. is built on his TikTok viral videos.
@nobleleatherco Answer @cranky_crab The one and only legendary belt video#oddlysatisfying #asmr #smallbusinesscheck #MySmallBusiness #sosatisfying ♬ original sound – Noble Leather Co.
April Wilkerson is another small business owner who has built her company thanks to her YouTube channel, which has nearly 1.5 million subscribers.
Here are the types of videos you should create to build authority and drive leads:
- How-tos and tutorials
- Expert opinions
- Success stories
- Product demonstrations
- Customer support
Thanks to modern smartphone cameras, creating high-quality videos doesn’t require a heavy investment. Just pick up your phone and start sharing knowledge. Be sure to stay consistent for at least six months to start seeing results.
Strategy #3: Focus on customer retention
Did you know that selling to an existing customer is 70 percent more likely to succeed than selling to someone who hasn’t done business with you before?
Growing your business by acquiring new customers is important, but retaining your existing customers is much easier and helps you grow faster. Why? Because they already trust you and use your products.
How do you increase customer retention, though? Through excellent customer relationship management and service delivery. If you have an integrated CRM and marketing automation system that helps you give your target audience a memorable and helpful customer experience, you’re more likely to retain their business.
And that’s where Act! comes in.
How Act! can help you grow
Act! is a leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform that helps you optimise your customer relationships and grow your business faster. It offers a range of lead generation, automation, and customer engagement tools that allow you to attract, convert, and delight customers.
Here are a few ways Act! helps you grow faster:
- Lead generation: Act! allows you to create landing pages for lead generation and sales campaigns.
- Marketing automation: Act! is a unique CRM with complete marketing automation features that allow you to automate your customer outreach and engage your leads and customers at various stages of their journeys.
- Customer relationship management: With Act!, you can follow your customer’s journey and provide them with a personalized experience to maximise your chances of retaining them.
Are you ready to grow your business?
Growing a small business in tough economic conditions is challenging. But, if you focus on growing your subscriber base and providing them with a memorable user experience, you can significantly lower your marketing costs and drive more revenue with your existing clients.
With Act!, this is easier than ever. Sign up for a free Act! trial today and see for yourself.