In today’s world, starting a small business is a process that is ripe with more opportunities than ever before. However, that does not mean that starting a business that is successful is not without its own hurdles, obstacles, and roadblocks. Far too many business owners leap into the world of business without doing the slightest work to ensure that they are prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. The good news is that there are more resources than ever before that you can consult when you’re feeling lost or stuck in growing your successful small business. Here’s our simple guide to growing a successful small business. Let’s get started.
Define your goals, mission, and values
Any successful small business, regardless of its industry, focus, or niche, must define its goals, mission, and values if it wants to sustain consistent upward growth. Without these key elements in place, it is difficult and nearly impossible to have a clear picture of the trajectory of your business. That might explain why only 40% of small businesses are successful. Furthermore, when you have strong goals defined for yourself, it can help you to build a company culture that is streamlined and efficient. This not only helps you in hiring the kinds of employees that will lead to great productivity and efficiency, but it also gives you a stronger public-facing reputation in your community and online.
So just how does a business go about defining its mission, goals, and values? It’s helpful to begin with a discussion around the ideal customer. Who are you looking to serve? What are they like? What are their interests, their needs, their shortcomings? If you are producing a product to serve your ideal customer, then what kinds of problems does your product solve? In short, how will your business be able to help the kinds of people that will make for loyal, devoted supporters? Shifting your mindset from one of profit to one of genuine benevolence can help you to unlock your core values, goals, and missions for your small business.
Even if you have a successful small business already, it can be incredibly helpful to revisit your goals and values every once in a while. It’s all too easy to lose sight of your core values amidst the concerns of profit margins, community reputation, operating costs, and all the other logistical details that go into running a small business in today’s busy world. Whenever you feel as though you’ve strayed from your original purpose with your business that’s a good sign that it’s time to reassess your goals, mission, and values.
Construct a robust brand
A strong brand brings many benefits to your business. First and foremost, the strength of your brand can lead to untold recognition in your local community and in your industry at large. Companies with instantly recognizable brands enjoy the benefits of loyal customer bases, improved connections within their industry, and more opportunities to convert new customers. What small business wouldn’t want those kinds of benefits?
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that branding is solely focused on their logo and graphic design. While these things are certainly important aspects of any robust brand, building an excellent brand is about much more than just having the right look. If you’re using social media a lot, for example, then your branding is also concerned with the tone of your posts, your approach to content creation, and your interaction with your audience. Taking a comprehensive to your branding efforts will lead to a far more sustainable approach than just prioritizing one element such as your graphic design. Using your core values, mission, and goals from the first part of this guide, try to inject them into each aspect of your branding to maintain consistency and reliability across all your advertising channels.
Use the latest SEO practices
In a world that is increasingly technological, it’s crucial for small businesses to make the most out of search engine optimization. Simply put, SEO is the process of making your website and other online content visible to customers who are searching for terms related to your business. Did you know that almost 93% of online experiences start with a search engine? For example, if you’re running a computer repair business in the Chicago area, then you want to be sure that your business shows up online when someone types “computer repair Chicago” into their favorite search engine. Capitalizing on the right keywords and search terms can lead to incredible results for your business both in the present day and onward into the future.
While SEO may seem simple enough on the surface, it is actually quite a complex, technical field with many levels of expertise and understanding. For this reason, it’s a good idea to hire a specialized SEO company to take care of this for you. Hiring an SEO firm ensures that you are taking advantage of the latest practices to stay relevant. It’s also possible to do damage to your SEO profile if you are not sure what you’re doing and you try to proceed alone. Thankfully, there are many companies that specialize in search engine optimization, and they can be hired at affordable rates. Keep in mind that a full 92% of searchers will select businesses on the first page of online search results.
Invest in digital marketing and advertising
On a similar note, it’s wise to ensure that you’re staying on top of all the latest digital marketing and advertising opportunities that are available to you. Because more and more businesses (and people) are going online every day, it’s wise to have a strong presence there in order to capture the most attention possible for your business. Sure, using a social media outlet such as Facebook or LinkedIn is a good start, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. By creating content on a wide variety of online platforms and staying consistent in your brand voice and tone, you give yourself access to a wide range of different customers from all around the globe.
While growing a small business is a subject with many different considerations, we hope some of these ideas serve as a jumping-off point for even greater success in the future. Good luck out there!