By Patrick B.
Starting a business is simple – growing it to levels you expect is where the challenge really exists. When you have a great business idea or offer a service that provides value to customers, how do you take advantage of your skills or product and reach more customers faster? This is what we’ll discuss today.
Here are 8 ways to grow your small business fast. Each of the tips listed below will also help you develop a network of contacts and tools to continue building that business for continued growth and success. To protect your small business, you should consider purchasing business insurance.
First – Build a Sales Funnel
If you’re not completely aware of this term; don’t worry, you’re not alone. A sales funnel is a system of lead collection techniques that allows you to locate leads, qualify them, and then lead them to the sales process that best fits their needs, budget, scope, and other important sales attributes. There are several exceptional software solutions that allow you to create an organized sales funnel, so make sure to research your industry online to determine what tools are best used to help with your lead collection and allocation steps.
Second – Use a Customer Management System
A customer management system is also called a CRM, and it’s a crucial tool that is used to help keep customer data and information stored in a single, cloud-based (typically) platform that is easily accessible, from multiple locations. A CRM allows you to set up a customer profile (once you receive a lead), assign their contact details, make notes on their demographic details, areas of interest and more.
Plus, a good CRM also has robust sales tools that allow you to document every phone call, email, or previous interaction. It’s a great tool for those in sales or who have multiple leads and can use some better organization.
Third – Seek Referrals from Multiple Contacts
Word of mouth advertising is quite effective at building and growing a business; especially when you’re good at what you do. Anytime you work with a current customer or previous customer, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. While this can be quite difficult for many people that may be shy, it’s a proven business development method.
The key is knowing how to ask. Here is a quick and very effective tool. At the end of your transaction or project, ask the client or customer for feedback. If they are happy with the service, ask them if they’d be willing to share their experience online (either on a public forum or your Facebook page for example) – and share with their network.
Fourth – Create a Customer Loyalty Program
Whether it’s a free cup of coffee for every few products or services purchased, discounts on future business, or even a pair of movie tickets for every 10 orders, rewarding your frequent customers with perks is a proven method of growing a start-up. The key is to create something of value that allows your customers to opt for your company over competitors.
Fifth – Build an Email List
This tip goes in hand with the one(s) listed above. Anytime you bring in a new customer, ask them for their contact information. Most people are hesitant about providing phone numbers if they don’t need to, but more than willing to offer up their email. Second, when you create a customer reward program, make their email a required contact form entry. Third, anytime you’re networking with people, ask for their email contact, then use that CRM mentioned above to create a customer profile with that stored email. It will help you launch an email marketing program rather easily.
Sixth – Create Webinars
If you’re a service provider or consultant, a webinar or video educational workshop is a great way of establishing yourself as an authority figure. For example, if you’re an SEO expert, consider making a series of 3 to 5-minute promo videos that you can post on YouTube.com, and share on your social media pages for starters.
Make sure they are filled with relative information but don’t give away all your trade secrets. The best webinars are those that address customer pain points, explain how your service resolves them, and how they can grow their business by using services like yours.
Seven – Use Social Media
There is a misconception that social media is used to target new consumers only. That’s not entirely accurate. Social media is best used as an engagement tool with previous customers first. When you provide great customer service, having a strong social media page filled with additional resources to help provide additional value to your existing customers is a great start.
This information can easily be shared by your previous customers on their pages, and now you’ve got a new sales lead opportunity. The key to social media activity is engagement. If people have questions, be quick to provide factual and honest answers. If issues pop up, resolve them quickly and privately.
Finally – Look for and Reward Efficiencies within Your Team
It’s often said that the best sales tool are the people that work for a business – especially when they are happy. One way to create a positive company culture is to look for and reward employees or team members who excel at their jobs, provide exceptional customer service or go above in beyond in their duties. Provide incentives for efficient work, such as offering movie tickets, gift cards, and other perks. By doing so, you’ll create a positive environment and build a network of outbound sales associates simply by being a good boss.
These 8 tips for growing a business are quite effective – regardless of the industry. However, arguably the most important sales technique is the oldest; the power of please and thank you. Anytime you engage with a customer or employee, go out of your way to be kind. Always welcome them into your store or thank them for their patronage. This is a simple and increasingly lost art – that will separate you from the competition.