Every small business owner knows the meaning of the phrase ‘growing pains’. You probably spend lots of time thinking of ways to grow your business, move up to the next revenue threshold and reach new customers and new territories.
Some of these strategies demand too much money, others take too much time. Meanwhile, you have to balance the finances of your family and of your company. And there is no way you can take another loan from the bank. It would seem you have to be satisfied with being at the helm of a small business, rather than a growing one.
However, we disagree with this view. You can and must look forward and strive to grow your business as large as you want to. And we are here to help you with our expertise. For today, we compiled a list of simple and effective growth hacks for your small business.
- Create an Employee Referral Program
Turn your best employees into your brand ambassadors and get more qualified leads without spending a fortune on marketing strategies. A study conducted recently by a group specializing in employee advocacy indicated that only 8% of your employees’ social media friends overlap with your business page fans.
This means that, through your employees, your business can reach out to many potential leads. As friends of your employees, these new leads already know about your brand and, possibly, are ready to trust its products or services. All it takes to create this program is to think of an adequate incentive for your employees and a clear action plan.
- Join Forces with a Competitor
It is so rare, even at top corporate levels, to join a competitor. You have probably read of strategic mergers between large corporations. So why wouldn’t this strategy work for small businesses as well?
With a little diligence you can surely find another entrepreneur in your local community, who is also struggling to grow their business. Instead of continuing to fight the battle separately, you can join forces and put together your know-how, finances and business ideas. The only thing to be careful about is drafting a clear and fair association agreement.
- Use Social Media to your Advantage
He who chases too many rabbits catches none. This proverb applies perfectly to small businesses and social media. You don’t have to be present on all the social media networks, but you should be present and active on those which are adapted to your business and are where most of your target customers spend time.
For instance, adults over 35 prefer Facebook™, while youths favour visual social media platforms like Instagram or Snapchat. Being on the wrong social media platform is like delivering a speech to the wrong room.
- Automate as Much as you Can
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. We don’t want to turn this article into a series of proverbs, but we just can’t help it. This saying perfectly illustrates why so many small business owners cannot find original and innovative ways to grow their business. They are swamped by routine and repetitive tasks that could be delegated to a software suite or web app.
Business processes automation is the number one trend at the global level. Managers, CEOs, and small business owners are all united in the same thought: what can I program a machine to do and thus free up my schedule? It is time you asked yourself this question and found the right answer.
- Improve Your Networking Skills
In business, it is not only important what you know, but also who you know. Mentors, investors, business partners, employees and suppliers can be found in places such as business conventions, on LinkedIn, at product launches and at local community events.
Be savvy about attending events, introducing yourself to people and asking to be introduced. In time, after contributing to events, you will be allowed to advertise your business, or even to be one of the featured speakers. The more you network, the faster you will find the right people to help you grow your business.