3 Ways to Level Up Your Small Business
Small business is booming in the US. With many people giving up their big-business jobs in favor of venturing out on their own, and established small businesses making up a whopping 32.5 million, it’s obvious the age of the entrepreneur is here. Here are some ideas to help level up your small business no matter if it’s from ground zero, or an established presence.
If your business is just starting you need to spread awareness around your products, services, or special offers to keep the growth momentum going. Try implementing a referral program. Access your existing customer base who knows and loves your product, then reward them for using your business via incentives or credit toward free products or services. This will make people more likely to talk up your product, and as new customers come your way, they can, in turn, join the referral program.
Who, What, When, Where, Why?
First, establish what product or aspect of your business needs more help, then tap into the people who have given positive feedback on that product. After you identify these factors, decide when (at what point) your customers will be nudged to share their experience with your business. Will it be right after they’ve had a great experience with your customer support or when they have a smooth checkout experience online? Perhaps you should wait until after they have had the product in hand for a while and had the chance to use it. The timing may be closely tied to what you are asking them to spread the word about, so make sure to think this part through carefully and be prepared for some trial and error.
Make sure to direct your current customers to where you want them to share the love! Perhaps you can include Call To Action’s that lead to the social media channels you are seeking to grow in. Give them a referral link within your weekly newsletter that populates a coupon for both their use and the use of the recipient. This gives your customers an incentive to share your offering with others. If they have no reason – a “why” – behind the action of sharing links, social media posts, or talking about your product, they will quickly pass up your request.
Do Things Differently
Rejecting the traditional business structure is a huge motivation behind the rise in small businesses across the US. The pandemic prompted many individuals to rethink what they were willing to sacrifice and who they were willing to work for, as they sat in front of computer screens at kitchen table Zoom calls. The ability to call the shots as a business owner allows owners to do everything they wish their former bosses had done to make the company a better place to work.
Pay for Things Differently
The exciting (though admittedly nerve-wracking) part of running your own business is both the flexibility and the creativity you can employ in finding solutions to daily problems both for customers and the daily operations of your company. Often, the ability to pivot and experiment on their own terms is what draws individuals to start new ventures. If you are one of these people, having cash on hand to make decisions that help your business “level up” is highly important. A business line of credit or business credit card are great options to have on hand for either large, time-sensitive purchases or everyday expenses that come up unexpectedly. Many who do not have a large enough cash flow find themselves part of the statistic of businesses that close their doors within five years of starting. This doesn’t have to be you!
If you left your company for greener pastures, chances are your talent pool is doing the same. Give them opportunities you would want to have if you were job hunting. Lower the experience requirement and hire individuals with fresh knowledge of the industry, but less time in the workforce to help drive new growth in your business. Offer benefits and wages that are competitive in the space, then post these prominently on job review boards and your website’s career pages. Take care not to over-inflate promises made to employees like so many big companies have done in the past, and offer career growth in-house. Most importantly, listen to the needs of your employees. A company can only grow if its talent is enthusiastic about the brand they work for. Give them every reason to sing your small business’s praises!
A risk, by definition, implies that there are loss potentials, but when weighed against the possible gains, every business should be prepared to jump on a timely opportunity for growth. While the current economic climate tempts many businesses to play things safe with inflation and hiring problems continuing to cause issues, there are still ways to calculate what your business can handle and decide on what you are willing to sacrifice for long–term results.
Starting your business was its own risk, and that chance for failure was one you were willing to take on to get an idea off the ground or a product to market. Take that same bravery into meetings with your cofounders or team and think of ways your business can spearhead a new way to approach marketing. Perhaps you could try outpricing competitors for a while to see if you can gain a greater market share in this way. It is important to communicate clearly with all parties involved, including the ones involved in decisions, continuing to do so in a way that assures them that you are taking risk consideration seriously.
The unknown can be exciting! With some creativity and experimentation, you can help your business experience the next level of innovation and growth.
There are lots of ways to ‘level up’ your business, but these 3 are a good starting point. We’d love to hear your thoughts – share a comment below if any of these ideas resonates with you.