If you thought getting a business started was the hardest part, think again. Growing your business to become successful is another challenge you’ll face once you get over the infancy stage of your company. Here are some tips to help you continually grow your business.
1. Keep Your Ear to the Ground
Whether it’s doing a bit of reconnaissance sleuthing to figure out what your competitors are up to, market research on your demographic or just staying abreast of industry news and trends, smart business owners know they never stop learning. Continually researching, reading, writing and sharing is what helps you grow.
2. Make (and Tweak) a Plan
You may have drafted a lengthy marketing and business plan when you launched your company, but when’s the last time you took it out and read through it? And if it’s been a while for reading it, chances are it’s not updated to your ever-changing needs. Put it on your calendar to review your strategy documents once a quarter, and tweak them to better fit where your company is currently.
3. Continually Market Your Business
A lot of small business owners falsely assume they can’t afford to market their businesses. But there are tons of free ways you can increase visibility of your brand, such as by blogging, sharing on social media, and participating in local events. Find cost-effective measures that help you best connect to your audience.
4. Embrace the Sell
It took me years to admit I was a salesperson. In previous jobs I’d had, I was forced to meet quotas and use slick salesperson tactics I didn’t like, so I shied away from the idea of selling. But as a small business owner, that’s what you do every day; better own up to it. It’s your role to convince others of the benefit of your brand. And that, my friend, is what selling should be about.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Take on Investors
Even if you’re not a skyrocketing startup, seeking funding or taking out a loan can help you exponentially grow your business. Look at your options and determine what you’d do with an influx of cash. How could it help you grow?
6. Hire the Right People
Once you move past solo operation, it’s key to bring in people that will help your business grow. Identify the characteristics you think you need to balance out your own character traits. Find people with experience and enthusiasm to help you run your business.
7. Know What’s Next
Not everyone wants to sell his company down the road. But it’s important to have an idea about your big picture vision for your brand, as well as your exit strategy. Maybe you’ll hand the business down to your child, or simply close up shop when it stops being fun. Whatever the plan, identifying it can help you make decisions to get from where you are now to where you want to be.
For more great tips on growing your business, download our free ebook, Thriving Solo – How to Grow a Successful Small Business.
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s written two books: 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as Mashable, Small Business Trends, FutureSimple, and Lead411. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.
Photo: michaelaw on stock.xchng