Every small business owner gets stars in their eyes and envisions expanding their enterprise—and earning more revenue as a result. But as eager as you might be to grow and expand, it’s essential that you do it the right way. Biting off more than you can chew can lead to devastating consequences, causing you to sink and crumble rather than capitalize on new success.
Growth needs to be scalable and sustainable. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but here are a few things you should pay close attention to before making any big decisions.
Bolster Your Online Presence with Search Engine Optimization
One of the single best ways to grow your business is by using search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a powerful tool you can use to increase your presence online, and many of the strategies used are completely free of charge.
The goal of SEO is to appear high in the search engine results page (SERP) when a user enters a query that matches your business’ offering—whether that may be a product, service, or a relevant topic that you can use to capture leads and push them down the sales funnel.
When building your professional website, you can easily include a blog page and create content filled with relevant keywords that solve a potential customer’s needs. Say, for example, you’re in the business of HVAC installation; rather than spending your advertising dollars on air conditioning units for sale, you can create a how-to guide on “how to clean your air ducts”. Users will appreciate the informative resource and a non-commercial approach that earns their trust, and if they find that cleaner vents do not solve their need for cooler air, you’ll likely be high on their list of service providers to call.
Test Paid Search and Social Media Campaigns
SEO campaigns are “organic”, meaning that you earn the unpaid traffic these efforts achieve. However, you can also apply some of your marketing budget to paid search and social media campaigns that drive effective results.
Pay-per-click advertising is based on a model in which you (the advertiser) pays the publisher (such as Google) who displays your ad, whenever a user clicks on the link. It can be a great method to outrank your competitors who offer a similar product or service with a stronger hold on the market.
You can also run paid ads on social media, which are targeted at users in your ideal customer demographic. From Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and more, these types of ads can be highly effective at capturing Millennials with purchasing power.
Hire Employees to Support New Demand
The results of a successful digital marketing strategy will call for a larger staff that can support the uptick in demand. Hire help that can assist you with the increased workload, because the last thing you want is to launch a great marketing campaign that falls flat because you can’t fulfill invoices or provide prompt service.
Bulk up your staff before the spike hits, otherwise you may be scrambling to fill open positions as quickly as possible—and may make the wrong hiring decision in your rushed process. Give yourself plenty of time to run a criminal background check on potential employees to confirm you can trust the new member you bring onto the team.
Consider Upgrading Your Office or Storefront
Whether you operate a brick-and-mortar storefront, an ecommerce site, or at-home office, chances are that you’ll need a little more space to accommodate the growth in business. From more shelves to keep stock in supply, to a larger commercial property that can house your increased staff size, shop around to find the best deal in town before signing the dot on any contract. If things go sideways, you don’t want to be paying for an expensive lease that drains the bank account.
Stay on top of Customer Relationships
Finally, always remember that customer relationships are the key to success at any stage in business. No matter how big you get, be sure to prioritize customers with best-in-class service that keeps them coming back. You might consider a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform that can keep track of your correspondences and automatically send timely emails to stay in touch.
Time to get growing—good luck!