11 Ways to Grow a Small Business

Finding ways to grow your small business is essential. But with limited time and resources, the task can feel daunting, if not impossible. 

But, the reality is, there are ways to grow your small business with marketing that don’t involve a huge budget or hiring new team members. Instead, find ways to play to your strengths, and the strength of your team, by employing one or more of the strategies below.  

Know Your Audience

Whether growing your small business online or in person, it’s worth getting to know who is already a fan of your business. Understanding your existing audience can help provide insight into how to grow and where to attract new business. 

Getting to know your audience can be simple. If your business is mostly online, try sending out a survey to shoppers, asking how they found you, how likely they are to recommend your services, and what else they’d like to see you offer. In-person, this can be as simple as asking customers how they found your storefront or product. 

Take note of these answers. If you find similar customer responses or trends, consider how to take advantage of these elements. Are in-person shoppers finding you through partners? Invest in more partnerships. Are online shoppers finding you via Instagram posts? Consider putting even more time and effort behind the platform. 

Get Involved Locally

Creating local partnerships not only boosts visibility, it can also create ambassadors for your small business. 

Getting involved locally to help your small business grow could include any of the following: 

  • Joining local community groups on Facebook, getting involved with your Chamber of Commerce, or participating in main street initiatives in your area.
  • Starting a referral program between local community businesses, offering discounts if customers can show proof of purchase from a local partner. 
  • Showcasing your brand at pop-ups, farmer’s markets, or other small vendor showcases. 

Being a part of local events can boost sales and brand visibility. You’re meeting customers in the community instead of drawing the community to your storefront.

Focus on Customer Retention

New business is exciting, but customer retention is just as important. Getting new customers is often a more expensive process than retaining existing ones. 

Keep loyal customers front of mind with the following strategies:

  • Prioritize customer service. Make it a point to engage with and build relationships with returning customers each time they visit the store. 
  • Track returning customers through POS data.
  • Shout out regular customers on social media (with their permission). 
  • Include a personal touch, like reaching out if you say you’ll follow up or remembering their favorite order or most recent purchase.

Paying attention to returning customers will benefit your bottom line in the long run. 

Expand Offerings

Sometimes, growing your small business is as simple as selling more items. With a better understanding of your audience (see above), you might better understand what sort of upsells or complimentary products might fit within your product line. 

For example, if you’re selling water bottles at your outdoor supply company and you know customers like to personalize their purchase, something as simple as branded stickers could be a small but effective upsell. Plus, they’ll serve as great advertising for your business. 

Leverage Your Network (Customer Referrals)

Referrals can be a great way to help small businesses grow. They not only bring in new customers but often reward existing ones. They activate repeat customers, creating advocates for your business. 

For example, if you’re an online-only business, offer a referral link or code to repeat customers. If they share the code with a friend, and the friend makes a purchase, they’ll receive a discount on their next order. 

Create Partnerships

A good partnership can open your business up to a whole new audience. At the very least, you expose new potential customers to your brand. At the very best, customers from trusted brands you partner with have a positive affiliation with your product. 

A partnership can take several forms. It might be formal and long-term with shared products or events, or it could be more informal, where you cross-post a partner’s social media posts in your feed. Either way, developing bonds with like-minded businesses can be a good tool for finding new business. 

Remember that if you agree to a partnership, you must be able to hold up your side of the deal. Letting down a partner can create ill will and could negatively impact your business in the long run. 

Use Data

Even if you’re not a pro at analytics, pulling high-level data on your website traffic can help inform you how to grow your business. 

While you may not have the budget or time to track data like a major brand, you can use free, or nearly free, tools to figure out how people find your business and where they spend time on your site. 

Google Analytics can be a great place to start diving into data. The free and easy-to-use tool can show you everything from time on site to how visitors find your website. 

Tap into Micro-Influencers

Working with influencers can sound expensive (and complicated), but tapping into your small, local, or micro-influencer market can be a great way to expose your brand to new business. 

Micro-influencers can have anywhere between 10,000-50,000 social media followers and may cover more niche content or geographical areas. The benefit of working with micro-influencers includes more affordable rates and speaking more authentically to a smaller audience. 

If you’re hoping to expand your reach in a local market, you might reach out to a micro-influencer in the area to partner with. 

Use Email Marketing

A strong email marketing strategy can help you retain customers and drive growth. Use email marketing to:

  • Offer customers a sneak peek
  • Inform them of upcoming events
  • Alert them of site-wide sales
  • Build a stronger brand identity through voice
  • Get to know your customer base

Look Internally

You don’t have to grow your business alone. Brainstorm with your employees to see if they have any insights from their customer experiences and your product. They may be able to pinpoint an expansion you didn’t think of or suggest a simple upsell for a service. 

Reaching out to your employee network for feedback and ideas can also be a powerful retention tool. They’ll feel like they have a hand in the process and can get involved with new initiatives they’re excited about. 

Leverage Your Expertise (and Interests)

As a small business owner, your time and efforts are likely limited. For example, you may not have the time to shoot several Reels a day, and you may not have the budget to hire this project out. However, you may enjoy and have a talent for creating newsletters and flier designs on Canva. 

When you’re considering strategies to grow your small business, make sure they’re something you can happily commit your time and energy to. Focus on tasks or projects you’ll enjoy. Chances are they’ll be easier to repeat and keep up with. 

There’s no one way to learn how to grow your small business. Different strategies will work for different business owners. What’s important is that you’re excited about and can commit to a strategy or two starting out. 

Looking for ways to free up your time so you can focus on growing your business? That’s where Get Beyond comes in. With simple-to-use payment processing software, employee payment tools, and more, let us manage business operations, so you can focus on what you do best. 

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