One of the most common goals of a small business director for the new year is the need to grow your business. But when it comes to deciding on realistic strategies to make that happen, they really need fresh ideas. We found that a lot can be learned from other companies.
Brett Farmiloe, founder and CEO of Markitors, a digital marketing company that connects small businesses with customers through organic search, is one of SCORE’s content partners. As he has done in the past, he came up with some good suggestions when he asked business professionals and leaders for their insight “How can you improve your business in the new year?” Here are some of his answers.
Invest in quality SEO content. Organic Search is a channel that produces a reliable and sustainable flow of reliable leads at a low cost. The trick to running an organic search is to invest resources in creating content, building backlinks, and resolving any technical issues on the website. If a company wants to grow in the year ahead, organic search is certainly a long-term strategy to build a marketing flow. Keep in mind that when you hire an SEO expert, the campaign can take between four to 12 months to see results. However, once the campaign yields results, the company should enjoy a steady stream of new customers and revenue. – Brett Farmiloe, Markitori
Take advantage of existing customers. If you have a long list of satisfied customers, try to use them for recommendations. A satisfied customer is a grateful customer and will probably be happy to recommend you to others. As an interior design company, there is already a great demand for our services. However, this does not prevent us from making the most of our relationships with our clients, so we get quite a number of recommendations. – Alisha Taylor, Alisha Taylor Interiors
Take advantage of social networks. It may sound cliché at the moment, but social networks are the future of business growth. So you need to make the most of social media. Everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, and social media platforms are among the most commonly used apps on those phones. If you set up your business page on social media, advertise products, enable any store or product promotion option, and communicate regularly with your followers, you will be prepared for significant results in the new year. – Vicky Franko, Insura
Take advantage of e-commerce. If you haven’t made the most of the e-commerce boom, now is the time to take advantage of it. There is a market for virtually everything online, from services like insurance to products. However, if you don’t have an online presence that could capture the awareness or interest of customers, they will find it elsewhere. Make sure you have an up-to-date website and social media. These are the key ingredients for growing your business in the new year. – Brian Greenberg, insurer
Fill an unused niche. Look for niches that need to be filled. You may think you have all your bases covered, but untapped opportunities await you. In the past, offering small business-specific credit services was an underutilized market, but we continued to help others and ourselves thrive. Start the year by making an opportunity search plan and stick to it. – Allan Switalski, LendThrive
Stay up to date. One way to improve your business in the new year is to keep up with trends. For example, if you are in the healthcare industry and if something big is happening with healthcare reform, make sure this information reaches all employees to adjust as needed! The goal should be to update. – Saskia Ketz, Mojomox
Attract new customers. If you think your customer base is limited to just one demographic, discard that idea in the new year. The mission of Boho-Magic is to encourage women to unconditionally love and express their authentic selves, but we also sell jewelry for men. If you want to grow, make sure there are some untapped markets for your products and do what you can to take advantage of all the opportunities. Let the new year be one in which you will attract new and hitherto unexpected customers. – Nataly Vanunu, Boho-Magic
Invest in your sales team. Investing in your sales team by giving them the best technology and tools they need to do the job is key to growing your business. There are many sales automation tools on the market. These tools will help your sales representatives save time and money when looking for new jobs and help you bring more quality leads into your business – which ultimately leads to higher revenue. – John Wu, Gryphon Connect
Conduct new market research. Once again, take a close look at your business environment by studying the competition and investing in a new round of market research.
Market research is key to refocusing on key strategies, a move that will allow a company to re-examine its competitors and their customers.
The findings will help redirect existing strategies, posing a new threat to existing competition and gaining valuable insights into how the market has evolved. – Jerry Ford, 4WD Life
Dean Swanson is a volunteer certified SCORE mentor and former president of the SCORE chapter, district director and regional vice president for the Northwest Region.