If you’re a small business owner in today’s unique and challenging times, survival might feel like the order of the day. But wouldn’t it be nice to go from barely-hanging-on to growth-happy? With a few small tweaks to your approach and execution, you might be able to do just that.
5 Tips for Better, Faster Growth
There’s no foolproof method for growing a business. If it were easy to build a successful company, we’d all be millionaires by the age of 30. But it’s also not as difficult as some make it out to be. It’s all about your strategy and approach.
Here are a few specific tips:
Focus on an MVP
Most entrepreneurs are familiar with the concept of a minimum viable product, or MVP. And while it’s generally something you discuss when first starting a business venture, it’s also possible to develop an MVP for an existing business.
Whether your small business has been around for six months or six years, hitting the pause button and rethinking your core product offering within an MVP-like context can do wonders for your business.
Let’s say, for example, that you run a dog grooming business. While you’re currently offering onsite dog grooming, mobile grooming, overnight boarding services, and daycare services, you could strip it back and spend a few months focusing on an MVP version of your business model. Perhaps that looks like offering mobile onsite grooming only and spending the rest of your time and resources gathering feedback on what your customers want in the other areas of your business.
While dialing back to an MVP might hurt your short-term revenue, it should allow you to focus your resources on the highest-returning products and services. This will boost your long-term results.
People don’t care how many products you offer, how trendy your branding is, or what you’ve done for other customers. They care about what you do for them. You either add value or you don’t – there’s nothing in between.
It’s time to get specific about the value you create for your customers. Look for tangible ways to address key desires or pain points. It’s better to be proficient at solving one problem than average at solving five problems. Value over everything!
Offer Great Service
People will always remember how you made them feel. By emphasizing customer experience, you can overcome a lot of weaknesses and deficiencies.
“Customers’ perceptions of your business can really make or break a business,” entrepreneur Shannon Guasepohl writes. “Deliver quality experiences and products, and they’ll quickly sing your praises on social media; mess it up, and they’ll tell the world even faster. Fast growth depends on making your current and potential customers happy with their experience.”
One of the keys to great service is to under-promise and over-deliver. If you follow this mantra, you’ll end up wowing customers and giving them a reason to believe in your brand.
Invest in SEO
Eventually, you want your PR and promotion to happen in a streamlined fashion. (This is how you generate exposure at scale.) And one of the top methods for doing this is to invest in search engine optimization (SEO).
An investment in SEO – which may require working with a local SEO agency – allows you to develop targeted content that’s focused on very specific, highly-researched keywords that your audience is already searching for. Executed well, this will give you increased organic exposure and credibility in the digital marketplace.
Partner With Influencers
You only have so much reach. At some point, you need some assistance outside the four walls of your company. One way to grow your business and enhance credibility in one fell swoop is to partner with influencers.
Partnerships with the right influencers can expose your brand to an entirely new audience and give you a much higher degree of credibility (since they likely already trust the influencer). The key is to pick the right influencers. This means partnering with individuals who have audiences that overlap (but don’t directly compete) with your own target market. It’s also helpful if they share some of your same values and ideals.
Putting it All Together
As you grow, it’s normal to experience growing pains. And while these challenging circumstances might leave you wanting to give up or throw in the towel, positive results are waiting for you on the other side. Stick with it and you’ll eventually see some encouraging progress as your business enjoys organic growth.