Realistic small business growth strategies in 2023–and beyond
In today’s business world, you need to focus on three primary things: growth, growth and more growth. However, many business owners don't have a realistic idea of what it takes to grow their companies. In this article you will learn different strategies to achieve your business goals in 2023–and beyond, such as leveraging public relations, the use of technology, or support provided by learners, to name a few.
1. Focus on building your email list
As a business owner, you’re probably doing everything you can to increase sales and generate leads. But if you aren’t using email marketing as part of your strategy, then you could be missing out on one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal.
Emailing your list regularly lets customers know that they are important to you and it allows them to stay connected with the latest news from your company. When done right, it can also help build loyalty among existing customers while attracting new ones.
Email marketing can serve as an important component of any company’s overall marketing strategy by:
- Strengthening brand loyalty among existing clients;
- Generating more revenue through cross-selling opportunities;
- Increasing sales conversions when used alongside other channels such as social media advertising campaigns;
- Creating new revenue streams thanks to automated drip campaigns that trigger once a certain number of emails have been sent successfully.
2. Get involved with your local chamber of commerce
Chambers of commerce can be a valuable resource for your business, especially if you're trying to reach out and make connections in your local community. As a member of one of these organizations, you'll have access to useful resources like networking opportunities, workshops and seminars on business topics, and even scholarships for employees who want to get additional training (if you're running an employee-owned company).
Find yours by searching “(Town/City) Chamber of Commerce” on Google.
3. Work with a small-business coach or mentor
You can also hire a coach to help you with your business plan, marketing and other aspects of running a small business. A good coach will not only give you the benefit of their experience but also help keep you motivated and focused on achieving your goals.
You can find coaches through organizations like SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) or by searching online for "small-business coaching".
4. Build a solid, professional website for your company
A good website is the cornerstone of any business. It’s where you direct potential customers, and it’s the first thing people will see when they Google your company. To make a good website even better, there are several things to keep in mind:
- Make sure it’s mobile-friendly and easy to navigate on smartphones and tablets as well as desktop computers.
- Make sure there’s a clear call-to-action (CTA) that leads customers toward something actionable—whether that means asking for an email address or phone number or providing links to purchase products or services directly from your site. Include some form of contact information on every page of your site so visitors can reach out directly if they want more information or want to sign up for something like a newsletter you send out monthly through email marketing software like MailChimp.
5. Take advantage of technology
Technology is a great way to reach customers and grow your business. In fact, social media, email marketing, and other digital tools can help you connect with customers in a whole new way. It’s also helpful for running your business: using technology can make it easier to manage inventory and orders.
Take advantage of these tools by creating an online presence for your company (like an e-commerce website), using apps like MailChimp or Constant Contact to send out newsletters and email blasts, or investing in software that helps manage inventory and order fulfillment (such as FreshBooks).
6. Consider public relations as well as advertising in your marketing plan
Public relations (PR) is a great way to build your brand. It's also free if you have a good story to tell. PR is more about building relationships with the media, though—and that can be hard for startups that aren't well-known yet.
PR isn't the same as advertising, either: it's not just about getting your name in front of people on TV or online. PR strategies include things like getting coverage in newspapers or magazines, participating in industry events and conferences, hosting contests or giveaways, and connecting with influencers who are likely to help spread the word about your business or product.
BONUS: Don't forget to think about hiring interns and student talent in addition to seasoned professionals
If you are just starting out and need to find quality employees, it is important to remember that interns and learners can be a great source of talent, whether through virtual or in-person internships.
They are eager to learn and you can teach them things they will never learn in school. In addition, getting involved at a nearby college/university can boost your local reputation and help develop the next generation of professionals who may choose to work with your organization later on down the road.
Learners and interns can make a significant contribution to your business. For example, they can analyze your data and identify trends to inform key decision-making, automate processes, redesign your website, provide insight into market trends, and help develop strategies for growth, etc.
Take example from Shopify who leveraged student talent through Riipen to make e-commerce more accessible for small businesses through a 3-month bootcamp. Although many of the merchants were brick and mortar businesses or just starting out in their e-commerce journey, they were able to hit the ground running with the help of Shopify-trained student talent. The bootcamp’s popularity resulted in over 160 new #Shopify stores built by participating learners. In addition, 15 individuals from the program were hired for 3-month contracts to continue their work over the summer.
Hopefully, you have a better idea of what business growth strategies will work best for your company in the coming years. At the end of the day, every business has unique needs and goals that can’t be met through cookie-cutter solutions. But the advice laid out here can serve as a starting point to help you come up with a plan that works for you—and one that will help your company achieve success today while preparing it for tomorrow.
Whether you’re a startup, a solopreneur with ambitious plans, or a small business owner with a desire for growth, sign in or create your free Riipen employer account and access student talent from 430+ universities and colleges in Canada, US, UK, and Australia.
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About the author:
Jennifer Lussier is a bilingual Content Marketing Specialist based in Montreal, QC. With a multidisciplinary background and a desire to accomplish more for the betterment of society, she joined Riipen in 2019 as an Academic Account Manager and has since migrated to the marketing team as it is more closely aligned with her interests and expertise.