One of the most common New Year’s goals for small business CEOs is to grow their business. But when it comes to establishing realistic strategies to make that happen, CEOs need some fresh ideas.
We found that you can learn a lot from other companies.
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 making organic search work is to invest the resources into creating content, building back links, and solving any technical issues with the site. If a company wants to grow in the next year, organic search is certainly a long-term strategy for building a marketing funnel. Keep in mind that when hiring an SEO expert, a campaign can take anywhere from four to 12 months to see results. However, once the campaign produces results, a business should enjoy a steady stream of new customers and revenue. —Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Utilize existing customers
If you have a long list of satisfied customers, try using them for referrals. A satisfied customer is a grateful customer and will likely be happy to recommend you to others. As an interior design company, there is already a lot of demand for our services. However, this does not prevent us from making the most of our relationship with our clientele, which is why we receive a reasonable number of referrals. — Alisha Taylor, Alisha Taylor Interiors
It may sound cliché, but social media is the future of business growth. Everyone has a smartphone in their pocket and social media platforms are among the most used apps on these phones. If you set up your social media business page, advertise products, activate any store or product promotion options, and regularly interact with your followers, you will set yourself up to see significant results in the new year. — Vicky Franko, Insurance
If you’re not making the most of the ecommerce boom, now is the time to capitalize on it. There is a market for just about everything online, from services like insurance to products. However, if you don’t have an online presence that can capture customers’ awareness or interest, 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, insurance company
Look for niches that need to be filled. You might think you have all your bases covered, but untapped opportunities are waiting for you. In the past, offering specific loan services to small businesses was an underused market, but we continue to help others and ourselves thrive. — Allan Switalski, LendThrive
One way to grow your business is to ensure that you are up to date with trends. For example, if you’re in the healthcare industry and there’s something big going on with healthcare reform, make sure that information gets to all employees to adapt when needed. The goal should be to keep up to date. — Saskia Ketz, Mojomox
If you think your customer base is limited to just one demographic, throw that notion away. Boho-Magic’s mission is to inspire women to love unconditionally and express their authentic selves, but we also sell jewelry for men. If you want to grow, see if there are untapped markets for your products and do what you can to seize the opportunities.— Nataly Vanunu, Boho-Magic
Invest in your sales team
Investing in your sales team, providing them with the best technology and tools they need to do their jobs, is essential to growing your business. There are many sales automation tools on the market. These tools will help save your sales reps time and money in prospecting for new business and will help you bring more quality leads to your business – which ultimately leads to more revenue. — John Wu, Gryphon Connect
Conduct fresh market research
Take a second look at your business environment by studying the competition and investing in a new round of market research.
Market research is essential to focus once again on core strategies, a move that will allow a company to gain a new view of its competitors and customers.
The findings will help realign current strategies, thereby 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 Certified SCORE Mentor Volunteer and Past SCORE Chapter President, District Director and Regional Vice President for the Northwest Region.