Small Business Talk
The Podcast to Grow your Business Faster
23 Business Growth Strategies to Run a Successful Business
Happy New Year and welcome to 2023. Today let’s talk about business growth – 23 business growth strategies to run a successful business. Some of these will be things you are doing, other things you know but might have forgotten to do regularly and some might be new. Let’s make 2023 the most amazing year yet.
1. Create a Great Customer Experience
For many people their product or service is not unique. Often there are thousands of choices and hundreds of providers that your customers can and do choose from. The difference is you and your customer experience. Unfortunately, in many industries customer service has become almost non existent and people stay with bad providers due to price or they think it is too difficult to move.
What are you doing to create a great, not just good customer experience?
How are you letting potential customers know about your fabulous customer service?
Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth by Jay Baer is a great book and has lots of examples from hotel’s baking cookies to theme parks with free soft drink.
Showing customers a great customer service could be as simple as having your phone number easily accessible on your website. Giving people the option to buy, there is nothing more frustrating than wanting to buy and not being able to find the buy button or having to fill in pages and pages of forms first.
Go to Sell Without Selling, Small Business Talk Episode 173 for some more ideas.
2. Talk to Your Target Audience
Is your messaging specific, are you talking to your exact audience and do they know it.
Take this example
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You need to be able to articulate your customers problem and show them that you are the expert that can provide the solution. Getting really clear on your messaging doesn’t limit your audience it creates a laser focused one. Think of the sun. A little bit over a big distance is cold, over a small distance it is warm, through a magnifying glass it burns whatever it touches. Wouldn’t you want your customers to be so excited about your product that there was no other choice?
Small Business Talk Episode 90, has plenty of extra advice for you.
3. Market Your Business Effectively
20% of businesses fail in the first year and up to 60% fail before their 3rd year is over, in Australia or UK. In America it is 20% fail in their first year then it takes 8 years to reach the 60% failure rate.
Why do so many fail?
Cash flow and finances.
Without regular sales cost effective sales that can’t sustain their business costs. Many small businesses don’t consider marketing as an activity that need to consistently. Yes, there is good marketing and bad. Expensive marketing doesn’t mean it is good or will work for your business.
Before you start marketing your business whether you are going to do it yourself or bring in outside help you need to do your homework.
- What is your cost of sale
- How much can you afford to spend on marketing, pay for a lead?
- Who is your audience
- Where do they hang out
There are lots of thinks to think about before you “boost” a Facebook post – just because Facebook says it’s a good idea and call it marketing.
Check out these recent Small Business Talk episodes on Marketing.
4. Update Your Website
Websites are not set and forget. The most important thing is your website should be updated so that it loads quickly across all devices. Your website needs to have easy contact details and must be relevant to the products and services you currently offer.
Old websites create large bounce rates from frustrated potential customers. By annoying your prospects before they have even found you will kill all your marketing efforts fast. There are many episodes on websites on small business talk podcast, here are 3 to check out.
5. Plan Your Social Content
The 2 biggest problems that I see with small businesses social media is all or nothing approach. Dumping lots of content at once and then large breaks before the next big lot. Or spending so much time on socials that they don’t have any time left to run their business and do the work.
Social media is a fantastic way to market your business, to get across your brand message and to tell your story however if you are not using it strategically then you are wasting your time and money.
Adding a post here and there can be fun and add to the playfulness of your posting. As part of your strategy is a great idea for most businesses. If it is your only strategy, you already know that socials are not working very well for your business marketing.
Creating consistent, planned out on brand content ahead of time is the best way to make sure you are using your chosen platforms effectively. Remember that the platforms you choose need to be where your customers are, not just your favourite social.
are 4 great SBT episodes to revisit or check out for the first time.
You might think that social media tips for 2022 is old hat but I guarantee you if you follow these tips your social media accounts will be serving your audience well into 2023 and beyond.
6. Leverage The Power of Video
In 2022 it was the year of video. Reels became a thing, short form, long form and everything in between. Why because we craved connections. Whether that be a funny video to entertain us through the dark lockdown period, education or just human to human interaction. This trend is continuing and video is still hot.
Authenticity is what our audiences are searching for, the real you, your message your way.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken – Oscar Wild
The World Needs That Special Gift That Only You Have – Marie Forleo
Video is the easiest quickest way for your audience to see you, hear you and love you. If they don’t love you that is great too because you won’t be wasting your time on people that are not right for you and will never buy your services.
85% of videos are watched with the sound off so remember to use a caption service and have captions on your videos.
Video is the social media platforms preferred kind of content at the moment, so the reach and engagement of this type of content is normally higher than other forms.
If you haven’t added video content to your marketing strategy now is the time to do it.
Here are a few episodes that might be useful to listen to, so that you can be inspiring to your audience
7. Set Your Goals and Strategically Implement Them
At this time of year (January) lots of you will have set goals or New Years Resolutions, but how many will still remember them in a few weeks’ time let alone next December.
Goals with out dates and actions are only dreams.
Setting goals and making them Smart Goals, Specific, Measurable, Achievable/Actionable, Relevant, and Timely means you can and will achieve them. You can also add ER, to make them SMARTER Goals, Evaluate and Revise.
Setting goals is a great way to trigger behaviours, eg good eating habits to lose weight, budgeting to save for a holiday. Goals can be used to filter you decisions, will this move me closer to where I need to be to achieve my goal, yes or no?
Goals are a great way to create momentum and focus. Once you start it is easier to keep going. You can easily keep a basketball bouncing with one finger once it is bouncing but it is very hard to get it going with only 1 finger.
Setting your goals is the first step. Now to keep them timely make sure you put them in your diary and allocate time to achieve the steps that you need to go. Don’t set yourself to fail before you even start, listen to Failing Ahead of Time.
8. Understand Your Competition
Some say that you should understand your competitors, to enable you to set your prices competitively, I disagree.
What your competitors charge has nothing to do with what you can, and should charge for your products, as discussed in talking to your target audience earlier in this episode. You should know what your competitors are offering to see if it something that you would like to add to your offerings or not. Can you tweak it and make it better.
Knowing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses plus your own can be a great place to look at, when strengthening your offerings, removing, or creating new ones.
Great examples of this is Uber, they took all the bad things from the Taxi industry and eliminated them. Not knowing your driver, hours of waiting, having to have cash to pay, no choices, not knowing the price etc.
Another great place to look for innovations is other industries, what is the norm in their industry however not used in yours.
The accommodation bookings model was turned on its head with online software like bookings.com and later Air BnB. How can you stand out from your competition and create a category of 1 where you are the only choice?
9. Invest In Cybersecurity and Train Your Team
With all the recent attacks, cybersecurity is certainly a huge topic. Small businesses are often targeted because of the ease of access. Identity theft is big business and thinking that you wouldn’t be important enough is wrong. You need to be informed and most importantly your team needs to be trained in cyber awareness too. 95% of cyber attacks are caused from human error creating the security breach.
Small Business Talk Episode 085 What are the Real Cyber Risks For Small Businesses? With Caitriona Forde gives you more information.
23 Business Growth Strategies
There is your first 9 business growth strategies to run a successful business, plenty to think about and work on, until next week when in episode 186 of Small Business Talk Podcast, I will go through 14 more strategies.
Listen to Episode 185 of Small Business Talk for the full details.
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