When it comes to your business you know full well how long it takes to master all the skills you need to run your business effectively and chances are you’re still learning as you go. But one thing’s for sure that desire to be effective and to take your business to the next level never goes away. In this blog we take a look at exactly how you might go about that and how small to mid-size business can grow without worrying about how it might all just go wrong. We give you nine areas to bear in mind when scaling up your business.
Ask Yourself Why
Why now? Why the desire to grow your business? Identifying your motivation is key to making the changes that are going to level up your business. With those goals in mind and the reasons behind them you are fully able to take the steps necessary to commit to making your dreams a reality.
Be honest with yourself during this process. If the reason you want to expand is money, then that’s fine. Just set yourself a reasonable goal and a realistic way of achieving it. If the goal is to wipe out the competition and establish yourself as number one in your field, then that too needs to be broken down and explored. All perfectly valid reasons that just require a little time and thought to analyse and understand before you can move forward.
Use Your Social Media More Effectively
Sure, you’ve got your social media strategy absolutely sewn up but how much of that strategy is about simply keeping your feeds busy with new content rather than examining exactly what kind of content works and what is having little, if any effect?
Perhaps it’s high time you re-visited your social media and carried out a thorough analysis of what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to your strategy and content. Don’t be content with just doing things for the sake of it. Don’t be content with just doing anything just because you think you should, do it because you know you have a purpose and it has an impact.
Finally, think how you might up your game. If you have most social media channels then how about trying to connect with a new audience through YouTube or Pinterest. Think outside the digital box and figure out new and innovative ways of connecting with your audience.
Build That Sales Funnel
The very best way to turn your queries into paying customers is through a sales funnel that really works.
If you don’t have a sales funnel in existence already then this is THE very first place you should start. Begin by getting all your sales concepts in place such as free shipping and so on and start building funnels that work automatically to funnel queries through successfully to the point of sale. It absolutely will take time to get right and it may involve some hit or miss with the planning stage but get it up and running and you’re going to see how quickly you’ll be able to upscale your business with the right funnel in place. Not particularly simple but incredibly effective and something you should be focusing your time and attention on right away.
Upscale Your Tech
If you’ve been relying on free or bottom of the range tech solutions for your business, then now is the time to see what a little investment in your infrastructure can take you. Take a look at software that’s going to integrate your sales and marketing teams. Take a look at Data as a Service, which will allow you to manage an access your Big Data in a more effective and efficient way.
Get rid of tech that’s holding you back and keeping your business operating in a piecemeal capacity but instead invest ins systems that give you the competitive edge and allow all your teams better access to data sharing and workflow on projects.
Admit You Have Competition
And furthermore learn to embrace it. Use this competitive edge to up your game. No longer can you get away with ignoring them but instead it’s time to explore what makes them tick and all that’s great, good and bad about their marketing strategy. Be prepared to be impressed and non-plussed in equal measures. But don’t ignore them.
Instead take a look at what works and why and begin to incorporate some of those same concepts into your own marketing plan. You don’t need to copy their ideas in total but if you notice that they Tweet at the same time every day and seem to have more engagement with their Twitter followers then perhaps they’ve hit on the right time to reach those customers that you too should be talking to.
Look at their social media strategy and their marketing to see what kind of decisions are being made behind the scenes, then it’s time for you to jump on board and start making those same decisions to give your boost a better competitive edge.
That’s right, consider the idea of forming a strategic partnership with a non-competing entity. If you sell sports equipment, how about getting together with an osteopath or sports nutritionist? If you sell bicycles, how about a sports clothing retail shop? Think outside or inside the box, it doesn’t matter because if you can find a partner who adds value to your brand, and vice versa, then you’re going to be creating a splash where it counts most, with your customers.
Naturally, you’ll need to figure out a campaign that works for you. A marketing plan that maximises both your exposure and allows both sets of customers to benefit equally from what you have to offer. Look at some of the bigger names that have collaborated and you’ll see that this kind of strategy can be an easy win for both parties.
You have your returning customers and you have their data so now’s the time to reward them by introducing a customer loyalty scheme. We know it’s far easier to have an existing customer return to your store than try and attract a new one.
While you want to entice new customers with special offers and the chance to join your scheme, it’s the existing ones you want to give an instant reward. Maintaining and managing your repeat customer base is something you’re going to need to invest some serious time and thought if you want to level up your business.
Hop On Existing Platforms
Are you a business that works in real estate and in particular in the rental market? Why not leverage the global reach of a platform like Airbnb to help advertise your short let properties? Use Amazon to sell your goods, use People Per Hour to sell your services or those of your clients.
You may not want to put all your eggs in one basket but carry out some investigations and experiments and see where using this kind of global reach might take you.
Grow From the Inside Out
If any of the ideas up post seem overwhelming or outside your skill set then maybe it’s time to start taking on some professional staff who can put the hours in for you and start the process of driving your business forward.
If you have existing teams it’s time to analyse what’s missing, what can be added to their numbers in order to get more from them in terms of successful output.
Like your technology, perhaps it’s time to start investing in your teams and making them a part of something much bigger. You may think about recruiting more and more team members or you may think about training up your existing ones on to a career path that takes them and your business to the next level.
When you started your business, chances are you had no idea where it was going to lead and how you were going to get there. But as you and your business have grown that path has become more clear and your ambitions have grown alongside it.
In order to match those ambitions you’re going to need to come up with a strategic plan and if you’re going to start anywhere, start with asking yourself why and what and how you want to go about achieving these plans before you take another step. Then it’s time to move onto the more analytical part of the process. Taking a look at your current processes and software and seeing how you can overhaul them, creating a killer sales funnel and finding more clever, more efficient ways of engaging with your customers old, new and potential.
Levelling up your business isn’t hard but it is time consuming and asks a lot of you in terms of commitment. Be prepared for some surprises and some stumbling blocks, but overall be prepared for success.