How to grow a small business into a large business
What does it take to expand my business?
Many businesses that fail aren’t insolvent or even unprofitable, they just run out of cash as a result of timing. A business that sells products may need to fund the stock well ahead of receiving sales revenue, but in the interim, it still has to pay staff and all of the other expenses.
Managing cash flow is the single most important thing you can do. It doesn’t matter how much cash you raise; without revenue generation you will eventually run dry.
The biggest mistake to be made is spending money on features that are not needed or spending your marketing budget with no control on measuring what you are getting back. Do not spend on things that aren’t essential to expansion.
Business expansion strategies
There are two things that every entrepreneur wishes for: more time and more money.
We desire more money so that we can run ads; pay for employees or expand our operations, and everything else in between. Having more money would be great but it’s wasted if you don’t know how to spend or properly invest that money on marketing or growing your business.
It’s often hard to find time to do anything when you’re enthralled in building or scaling a business to any degree.
Not only do you need to effectively bootstrap your growth by wearing many hats, you also need to constantly work to increase your skill set while struggling to wrangle sales, dealing with customer service and tending to other tedious issues that tend to take up a large chunk of time.
There never seems to be enough hours in your day. If you’re not properly managing your time with an effective time management system, or you’re immersed in one bad habit after another that seems to be eating away at all the precious moments you do have, then the problems compound on themselves.
Setting proper goals is necessary for anyone who’s serious about scaling their business, making more money, producing more product or achieving any other dream. They need to be smarter goals and there needs to be powerful reasons behind why those goals absolutely must be achieved.
By creating a plan, taking action and staying persistent no matter what, you can leverage the following strategies and methods to scale your business.
Take a scientific approach to growth
It’s tempting to always be chasing a “silver bullet” for growth. The viral video, press coverage, star sales rep, or guerrilla marketing campaign which will propel you to success. While these big wins will often happen at points throughout your journey, they’re usually impossible to predict. .
data-contrast=”none”>Top performing companies take a scientific approach to growth, rather than relying on chance.
This is usually done by:
- Brainstorming new growth strategy ideas regularly, and save in a backlog
- Prioritising your ideas quickly, and effectively
- Develop hypotheses to test new ideas with minimal time and resource
- Scale- up investments into tests which perform, and
- Incorporate learning from failures into the development of future growth strategies
Align key growth functions
It’s not breaking news that Sales, Marketing and Customer Success often don’t see eye-to-eye. It’s not uncommon to witness:
- Sales teams blaming marketing for low quality leads
- Marketing teams blaming sales for poor follow-up
- Customer Success blaming both Sales & Marketing for generating poor-fit customers
- Sales & Marketing blaming Customer Success for not retaining or up selling the customers they generate
Alignment across all growth functions is essential for success.
Sales, Marketing & Customer Success each need to agree on common terminology, use consistent messaging, promote the same content, work towards the same goals, and share information and insight in a friction-less way.
Most important of all, they need to share a common understanding of your company’s Growth Metrics, Ideal Customer Profile & Buyer Personas.
Marketing techniques for expanding your business
Leverage legitimate SEO techniques
SEO seems complex and confusing, but it really boils down to a few fundamental principles. Learn SEO the right way, leveraging the proper techniques, while adhering to Google’s many rules, and you’ll succeed.
Your visibility will eventually grow, resulting in a natural increase in leads and sales.
Create and share content on a Blog
Starting a blog is simple and straightforward.
What isn’t simple and straightforward is actually posting useful and unique content that adds a tremendous amount of value and doing that consistently.
However, blogging is one of the best ways that you can build authority and create an organic audience over time. By becoming an authority, you’ll end up attracting customers rather than chasing after them.
Advertise with AdWords or Facebook
Conversion-pixel tracking is a great way to grow your business online by targeting the right audience.
You can do this with a Facebook conversion pixel, while also tracking any event such as shopping cart abandonments or products that were added to a wish list but not purchased and so on. You can then directly target these individuals with ads, enticing them to come back.
Similarly, on Google’s AdWords platform, you can use re-targeting through contextual or search-related ads as well.
Answer questions on Quora
Quora offers up a great opportunity for online marketers to connect with a massive audience by answering questions and engaging with like-minded individuals from around the world.
Use Quora to spread value and further establish yourself as an authority, effectively helping you to scale your business by boosting your visibility through the Platform’s Massive Footprint.
Run a contest or giveaway
Contests and giveaways offer another quick way to market.
The word “free” is very enticing, and people will naturally want to sign up for anything that involves a potential windfall prize. Your giveaway needs to be worth it, if you’re going to collect that all-important contact information.
However, be sure to pay homage to local laws and regulations when running any kind of contest.
Setup a social media content channel
Social media offers one of the most abundant opportunities for scaling any business, no matter what type of business you’ve started. It also offers an avenue to tap into the world’s connected population, quickly and effectively.
Clearly, achieving a massive following is no simple feat, but that shouldn’t deter you from establishing a content channel where you can spread value throughout social media to raise the awareness and visibility of your offers.
Build in-depth YouTube tutorials.
Deep dive into the world of video with YouTube tutorials. Creating a popular YouTube channel isn’t easy, but it is well worth it. To do it, you have to provide in-depth tutorials, helping people to really understand a niche or solve a problem.
Whatever it is that you do, help to educate the world on how best to do it. In turn, you’ll become an authority and an industry leader, ultimately leading to greater exposure and eventually, more sales.
Create a lead magnet and sales funnel
Ask any smart online marketer about how they scale out a business and they’ll tell you the same thing: build an effective sales funnel. Draw them in with a value-laced lead magnet and drop them into a funnel where you can sell them on autopilot.
The right sales funnel, split-tested to oblivion, with a clear understanding of your cost-per acquisition, can be scaled infinitely.
Not only will you grow your business by leaps and bounds, but you’ll make tremendous amounts of money no matter what business you’re in.
Deliver real value through email marketing
Email marketing is the most powerful driver of sales for leading online marketers and businesses the world over. This isn’t just about your email drip-campaigns that go out automatically; this is about truly reaching out and connecting with your subscribers.
It’s that connection to you that will help sell whatever it is that you’re selling on autopilot. However, it has to be done the right way. Not by spamming but by genuinely sharing and trying to help others.
Hire commission-based sales reps
Most businesses can’t afford to keep a large staff of salespeople on board. Instead, they turn to commission-based sales reps to help provide a steppingstone to the next level in their business. However, those sales reps need to be effectively trained; they can’t simply be hired and forgotten about.
Take the time to create training videos and helpful guides to walk them through your entire system and business and use it to quickly scale things out when you need to bring on more members of the team.
Setup an affiliate program
Affiliate programs can drive a significant amount of traffic. In fact, some of the biggest online marketers rely heavily on affiliate income generated through email marketing or preexisting website or blog traffic. However, setting up an affiliate program isn’t always simple, since there are so many facets involved.
If you’re an absolute novice, turn to some of the leading affiliate sites such as Link Share, Impact Radius and Commission Junction to quickly build an affiliate program.
Websites, Landing Pages, Funnels & Squeeze Pages
Did you know that many out-of-the box websites do not automatically rank on Google?3
Social media marketing and website optimisation have become specialist fields that you can no longer ignore. You might think a basic website is boring, but when done correctly and with the user in mind, Google is friendlier to your website.
By making sure that your website or online presence is cohesive and done correctly, it’s essential that you understand how they all work and can work together
Digital marketing took hold in the 1990’s with companies creating their first website to grow their brand and sell their services and products. Success relied on search engines finding your site and ranking it above others in the search result display.
The pace of technological change has seen the look of websites change as has the way in which social media is used in conjunction with a website.
A website is a set of interconnected pages with details about your business.
Business websites explain what the business is and does as well as products and services available.
Websites are useful for the following reasons:
- Tell Your Story
- Promote your brand
- Explain Your Products/Services
- Provide a Forum or Blog
- Relate to Customers
- Showcase your company culture, mission, values, and style
If you’re wondering about a landing page vs a website, consider using them both together. Each should be used for different things, and neither should be replaced by the other.
A landing page is a standalone, single web page that marketers send traffic to, from online advertising campaigns, social media, or email marketing initiatives. A landing page can serve one of two purposes:
Landing Pages are effective for a variety of tasks:
Google judges pay-per-click (PPC) ads’ quality partly by their relevance to the linked page, and a specific landing page built around the ad will be more relevant than a general Products or Services page. This means it appears higher in search results and gives visitors what they’re looking for.
A funnel is a series of pages that direct the user to the page that serves as the end goal.
These funnels guide users through a journey of pages that aim to sell your products and services; In doing so also adding options to upsell your sales process.
First, the user would click on the initial URL from an online advertisement, social post, or email. This first click would bring them to a page that gives us the opportunity to upsell a product. In short, you want to introduce and encourage the purchase of those additional products.
To entice the user to buy, we would include a Call to Action (CTA) to “Buy Now.” The hope is that they click that CTA and continue on to the next page that introduces another product.
If they decide they only want that first product and choose “no” for the second one, they would continue to the page where they enter their information to sign up for a consultation.
Funnels essentially continue until a user simply wants to reach their end destination and is no longer interested in additional products or services. A key benefit of this type of marketing and sales funnel is that they can be as complex or simple as you want.
Of course, the more pages with offers you include the more opportunities you’ll have to collect information, upsell, and complete your sales funnel.
A squeeze page is designed to squeeze a visitor’s email address from them by offering something valuable in return. You encourage visitors to opt-in to an email or subscriber list to collect more information about the product or service featured on the main squeeze page.
A successful squeeze page doesn’t just ask for your visitor’s email address. Squeeze pages also provide a good reason visitors should provide their personal information in exchange for whatever valuable offer you have available. The offer should be irresistible to justify the need to ask for your visitor’s email address.
Squeeze pages are important because they allow you to capture your visitor’s email address, so you can eventually sell them on something later. When you’re able to capture their email address, you have the opportunity to push them further down your sales funnel and build a lasting relationship with them.
What can you offer on your squeeze page? Some digital assets you can feature:
- Video or webinar
- Free report
- Slide deck
There are multiple techniques available to expand your business and increase revenue and you can use as many of them as you feel is appropriate, however you must be prepared to keep up to date with how each of these work.
Google, Facebook and others change algorithms, pricing policy and strategy continually. What is effective today may not be tomorrow and often you don’t know why.