As a small business owner, the constant question that many people will keep asking themselves is “How do I grow my business?”
The business world is a competitive world and it can be daunting when you are starting out. Once you have managed to get your business set up then comes the next headache, how do I find new customers or clients to buy my product or sign up for my services so I can grow my business?
Well, to start with you need a good marketing plan in place. This is a must for any business and will help you plan ahead and you can tick things off when you have achieved them. On this list, many businesses will have things like building a website, social media profiles, email marketing, networking and the older fashioned but great marketing tools such as leaflet drops, press releases and getting testimonials.
Your next question may be where do I start researching my marketing plan, well a great place, to begin with, is your competitors. Look at their social media presence, website, apps, leaflets etc. Study these and be really critical to what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. By working out what they have done wrong will mean that you won’t waste time on making the same errors and you can focus on implementing things that you see have worked for them, but put your own slant to it and make sure that your online content is unique and has your own stamp on it.
If it is possible to try and integrate yourself into the community and with your competitors, do it. Speaking to your competitors might sound like a bit of a strange thing to do but by communicating you will see what your similarities are, but you may also learn about what makes you different. You may provide a product or service they don’t and if they are asked for that particular product or service they may look at recommending you and vice-a-versa.
In today’s digital age it can be too easy to only look at your digital marketing options and forget about the more old-fashioned methods like press releases. If you have a good strong story to tell about your business, why not share it with others to gain exposure for your business. We aren’t saying you need to contact the national press, but there are lots of options with local newspapers, trade magazines, industry bloggers and local radio too.
Human interest stories go down well. So, if you have a story relating to your business that you think will grab a journalist’s attention, think up a catchy headline and send them a press release detailing your story, although don’t go into too much detail, just give them enough information to wet their appetite and make sure it will catch their attention.
Email marketing is still a very powerful marketing tool and it is a great way to reach out to existing customers. You may be thinking, that’s great if you have a long list of email contacts. Well, reaching out to people and gaining an email list might be easier than you think when if you use a great lead magnet. This is when you offer your customers something for free in return for information from them, in this case, an email address. Your lead magnet could be a downloadable PDF with some hints and tips, the chance to join an online webinar or maybe 15 minutes of your time. Think quirky and be a bit different, as this will help you stand out from the crowd.
Business Mobile App
Lastly, if you have a great website, why not back that up with a business app that will compliment your website and business branding. A business app can be a very flexible marketing tool when it is used in the right way. You can use it to gain new customers by offering a new service if they sign up via the app or you can use the app to keep in touch with existing customers and keep them up to date with your latest news and offers. You can also look at building a lead capture form within your app to help you build up your email list.
The above marketing ideas are all tried and tested ways of helping small businesses grow. You can choose to use one or two ideas on their own or look at using some of the ideas that can work hand in hand with one and other. By taking these ideas and putting your own creative stamp on them you should in time see a positive impact on your business.