Curious as to what other small business owners are doing to spur growth this year? This infographic contains some really interesting results from a survey the Small Business Administration conducted among small business owners. Among the findings were the “Top Five Small Business Growth Strategies for 2016.” They are:
- New advertising and marketing strategies: 49%
- Internet/expand ecommerce: 30%
- Strategic alliance: 30%
- Hire new employees: 28%
- Investments in R&D: 13%
Here’s how you can leverage these strategies for your own business:
Advertising and marketing
Online advertising is getting expensive depending on the network, so instead I’d focus on three areas of marketing – all of which are super important in 2016 and for the foreseeable future:
Content creation: If you haven’t invested in creating high -uality content, this is the year to do it. Now that social media postings are starting to show up in search engine results, content that contains keywords will make it much easier for people to find you online.
Relationship marketing: To build strong, long-term relationships with your clients, start thinking about marketing to them in a more personal, useful way. That means you want to deliver personalized content to your clients based on their behavior and past purchases.
Ephemeral marketing: Snapchat’s very short and concise messages disappear in seconds – and people love it. You can use ephemeral marketing to get in front of potential clients without boring them to death.
For B2B small businesses: Bundle services to create products or flat-out create products (think worksheets and hands-on guides) and start selling them on your website (and via social media).
For B2C small businesses: Focus on the power of social selling. Facebook and Pinterest now allow mobile users to make purchases right from the app (rather than clicking off to visit your ecommerce site).
Personally, this is a major reason I have been able to grow my small business. For years, I have been pursuing partnerships – formal and informal – with other service providers whose clients need my copywriting services (and I, in turn, send my partners clients who need their services). I highly recommend this strategy, but if you’re a bit gun-shy, talk to your attorney about partnership agreements.
If your marketing works, you’ll need to hire more people this year. As you go through the process, keep in mind that it’s smarter to hire for values and culture fit than for skills. You can teach someone technical skills, but you can’t teach people to embrace your values, culture, or mission. Either they do, or they don’t.
Have your clients been asking for new products or services? Invest some money and conduct thorough research to figure out if it makes financial sense to pursue these new opportunities. If they do, you could really see growth skyrocket this year.
What growth strategies are you pursuing this year?
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