Are you hoping to broaden your brand’s reach and start attracting new customers? Would you like to expand into a new market or increase production? Scaling your company is exciting and when done correctly can increase profitability. But, before you can experience any of those benefits, you will likely also have to increase sales to help finance the cost of scaling, acquire and train new staff, expand your management duties, and make sure that you have enough energy to devote to this transformation. As you prepare for the next stage of your business journey, these five tips will help you with all of the new demands you’ll face and set you on track to meet your goals.
Automate your email marketing
If you can cut down on the time it takes you to perform essential tasks, you’ll be able to focus on the new responsibilities that come with growing your business. That's why automation is a huge boon for small business marketing. With email automation, for example, you can create a series of messages that are automatically sent when someone subscribes to your email list or after a period of inactivity. Automation makes it easier for you to nurture leads and encourage repeat business.
Invest in social
While setting up a profile on a social network is typically free, paying for social ads can help extend your reach when you’re ready to expand your audience. Facebook’s advertising platform, in particular, boasts advanced targeting options that allow you to reach specific audiences based on criteria like location, interests and user behavior. An organic — or unpaid — Facebook post will only reach people who happen to visit your page or who are following you, but an ad puts your content in front of a wider audience. This creates more opportunities to connect with prospective customers.
By definition, scaling your business will require more work and more of your time; but doing everything on your own won’t give you or your business a fair shot. If you take a DIY approach in areas where you lack expertise, there’s a good chance you won’t get the high-quality results you’re after. To grow your business effectively, you should outsource some tasks. As you begin to think about which tasks you should be outsourcing, take a good look at your payroll — when scaling and adding new employees, it's bound to become more complicated. If you choose to hire a professional payroll service, you won’t have to do all of the time-consuming calculations yourself, worry about your payroll going out on time or stress over compliance with tax regulations. Data entry, IT, inventory, bookkeeping and graphic design are other areas that growing businesses commonly choose to outsource.
Increase your online visibility with search engine marketing
Did you know that 75% of people will never scroll past the first page of search engine results? Designing a website for your business is just the beginning — you have to develop a search engine marketing (SEM) strategy to make sure prospective customers find you online. Search engine optimization (SEO) helps increase your rankings on sites like Google so you can drive more traffic to your website — and ultimately bring in more customers. Factors such as web page load time, keywords used in your content and website usability will improve your search results. You can further increase your online visibility by paying for ads that are prominently displayed in search results. Search engine marketing is one of the most important online marketing tools for small business owners. But it can be complicated, so you may want to seek professional assistance when developing a strategy. However, if you decide to handle your campaigns on your own, there are Google tools for small business owners such as Google Search Console, Google Keywords and Google Marketing Platform that can help you get started.
Leverage your branding
Creating a logo was probably one of the first steps you took when you started your business. That single design unifies all of your marketing efforts — your email campaigns, social media profiles, website and so on. But it can also be used to publicize your business through promotional product marketing. Giving out items that have been customized with your logo — such as pens, T-shirts, refrigerator magnets and drinkware — can increase brand recognition and keep your business top of mind throughout the year. Hand out promotional products at events to introduce your company to new prospects or give away useful promotional items to current customers, so they remember you the next time they require the products or services you offer. Scaling up your small business marketing and daily operations is challenging. But with planning, patience and flexibility you can avoid growing pains and set your business up for long-term success.