You see it all the time. Someone starts a business and it takes off like wildfire. They get their first customer, then their second, then their third. They’re growing like crazy! And it’s not long before they’re hiring employees and expanding their product line.
The problem is that most small businesses don’t start out this way. In fact, nine out of 10 new businesses fail within the first year. And while there are many reasons for this statistic, one of the biggest is that these entrepreneurs didn’t have a plan for success from day one.
If you want to make sure your business doesn’t fall into this category, there are certain things you can do to set yourself up for growth from day one. Here are 10 secrets to growing your business quickly:
1. Create a strong online presence by setting up a website, blog, and social media accounts.
Your website is your online business card. It's the first thing people will see when they Google your business name, and it's how they'll learn about what you do, who you are, and how to contact you. The best way to grow your business is by finding new customers and turning them into repeat customers. But how do you get new customers? The answer lies in the power of search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!
The more traffic you get from search engines for keywords that are relevant to your business, the more likely potential customers will visit your website. This is because search engine algorithms are designed to rank pages with high traffic levels above those with less traffic.
You can increase traffic by getting links from other sites or paying for ads on Google or Facebook. But these strategies can be expensive, especially if they don't work as well as expected or if they're not aligned with your business goals.
2. Use search engine optimization (SEO) to improve the visibility of your website in search engine results pages.
Write content for your website that helps visitors find what they're looking for quickly and easily — not just sales copy that tries to sell them something right away! This kind of content is called "conversion copy," because it's meant to convince people who come across it to take action immediately (even if it's just signing up for an email newsletter).
Here are some tips for using SEO to grow your online presence:
- Create a strong online presence by setting up a website, blog, and social media accounts such as Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. Make sure all these things have consistent branding so visitors know they're all part of one company—you!
- Include videos on your website or blog posts that show how products work or give tips on how customers can use them more effectively — or both! Video marketing is one of the quickest ways for businesses to capture more leads.
- Hire an agency to help guide you through the process. SEO can take some time to learn, and if you do it wrong, it can have negative consequences for your business. Need help? We help small businesses show up in search engines. Contact us to get help with your SEO.
3. Use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to drive targeted traffic to your website.
The internet is a huge place, and it's not uncommon for new businesses to struggle to get their message out.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to promote your business online without spending a fortune on marketing.
Use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to drive targeted traffic to your website. PPC ads appear at the top and side of search engine results when someone searches for keywords related to your products or services. They can be very effective in driving traffic — and sales — if done right.
4. Engage with your customers through email marketing and social media to build relationships and encourage repeat business.
If you want to grow your business quickly, you need to be in touch with your customers. Email newsletters are a great way to keep people engaged with your brand and remind them of what's new in your business.
Staying in touch with your customers on social media is also a great way to stay top of mind when they're ready to buy something or make a purchase decision. Here are a few tips for your social media efforts:
Focus on quality over quantity
It's tempting to try every marketing tactic available, but this can actually hurt your brand over time. You need to find the tactics that work best for you and focus on those while eliminating the rest.
Create an online community around your brand and products
Creating an online community around your brand or products is a great way to boost sales by encouraging repeat purchases from existing customers and attracting new ones who share similar interests or values.
Make sure your website is mobile friendly
Eighty-eight percent of smartphone users say that if they visit a website on their phones and it doesn't look good, they won't return (Google). Make sure that people visiting get a positive experience with your business by having a mobile-friendly website.
5. Utilize influencer marketing to reach new audiences and gain credibility.
You can use influencer marketing to target potential customers who are interested in your products or services by creating content with influencers who have large followings on social media channels. Influencer marketing is also a great way to get more exposure for your business at a relatively low cost, as you only pay when you want to run an ad campaign.
61% of B2C marketers said they planned to increase their investment in influencer marketing, compared to only 44% in UGC, according to Hubspot.
6. Offer promotions and discounts to attract new customers and encourage repeat business.
One of the easiest ways to grow your business is by offering discounts and promotions. When done right, these can be a powerful way to attract new customers and encourage repeat business. In fact, according to Adobe, 61 percent of consumers said they would be willing to pay more for an exclusive promotion from their favorite brands.
Here are a few ways you can use discounts & promotions to grow your business:
- Discounts for first-time buyers. A discount for first-time buyers is one of the most effective ways to attract new customers, especially if it's something they couldn't otherwise afford. For example, if you're selling software products on a monthly subscription basis, offer the first month free or at half price as an incentive for signing up with your company. This could help convert browsers into buyers and ensure they stick around after their free trial period ends.
- Free shipping or other incentives for repeat purchasers. If someone has already bought from you once or twice before, consider offering free shipping or other incentives when they make their next purchase. This can encourage them to keep coming back again and again — and it will also give them another reason not to buy your competitor's product.
Expand your product or service offerings to appeal to a wider customer base.
You may have heard the phrase, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." That saying is meant for people who want their businesses to grow. If you put all your energy and resources into one product or service, you'll be stuck if it doesn't work out.
But what if you can expand your offerings without making a big investment? There are a few ways to do this without breaking the bank:
- Expand your product or service offerings to appeal to a wider customer base. If you're an accountant who specializes in taxes, for example, you might consider adding bookkeeping services or financial planning to broaden your appeal.
- Offer more convenient hours for clients who work during traditional business hours. If you're a doctor who sees patients only on Fridays, consider expanding your hours so that people don't have to take time off work just to see the doctor — especially if they have children and/or other commitments on weekends that make it difficult for them to go in during traditional business hours.
- Invest in technology that allows customers to do business with you remotely or at their convenience (for example, online ordering systems). This will help ensure that your clients don't feel like they need to come into your office as often as possible just because they can't get what they need from you otherwise (and therefore keep coming back).
Utilize user-generated content, such as customer reviews and ratings, to build trust and credibility.
Utilizing user-generated content is a great way to build trust and credibility with your customers. This can be as simple as asking for reviews, or it could involve having customers submit photos of themselves using your product or service.
- Share photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that show people using your product or service — especially if they’re having fun doing so!
- Encourage reviews on third-party sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google profile pages. These sites can help drive traffic to your website, which in turn will lead to more conversions and sales for your business.
Consider offering personalized or customized products to stand out from the competition.
Consider offering personalized or customized products to stand out from the competition. It's a great way to build a following of customers who love your product and will continue to buy from you in the future.
In addition, provide excellent customer service. Your customers are your best salespeople so make sure they have an enjoyable experience every time they deal with you or your company. If they have a good experience, they'll want to share that with others by spreading the word about their experience and encouraging them to purchase from you as well. Another way to expand rapidly is by getting involved in social media and networking events where people can learn more about your brand and services and how they can benefit them personally.
Collaborate with complementary businesses or organizations to cross-promote and reach new audiences.
Consider joining forces with complementary businesses or organizations. It's a way to drive more traffic to your site, help each other get the word out about a joint promotion, and increase sales for both of you. For example, if you sell dog products, why not collaborate with local veterinarians? Or if you have a clothing line for babies, try partnering with daycare centers and pediatricians' offices.
I hope that the information provided in this post helps you start off the new year on the right foot, and continue to develop your business and grow your brand. Even if you have not been very profitable in your online business, don't give up hope. It is never too late to change direction or a marketing strategy (if necessary). In fact, it is better to look at current strategies that are not working and make changes now. That way, after six months you will be more likely to be more profitable than if you keep doing what you were doing.