Big things often have small beginnings…BUT in order to go from small to big, we first need to know where to begin.
Starting a business is certainly difficult and scaling it is even more so, which is why I called in the top dog, Melinda Emerson, Forbes #1 Influential Woman for Entrepreneurs and Author of, Fix Your Business & Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months.
Melinda gave us so many insightful tips and tricks on how to grow your business successfully.
Scroll down for a recap of last night’s incredible Q&A!
- You have happy consistent or repeat clients
- Market demand is there, industry growth
- You have more inquires than you can handle
- You have regular profits
- You have a system and team in place
@SmallBizLady: It’s time to grow when you are really clear about your target customer, product/service offering, profit margins. You also need to have the right team in place. If you grow your business without a strong team, you risk damaging your brand and creating high stress for yourself. You also need to have the funding or a strong line-of-credit in place to manage the growth and expansion.
@AmandaBernardo: How does that saying go: A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true. Take the next step in your growth as you cross off the checklist from each goal.
- Market Penetration: a good strategy if the goal is to market existing products within the same market it has been using.
- Market Expansion/Development: when wanting to sell current products in a new market.
- Product or Service Expansion: add a new feature, product, or service to increase sales and profits
- Leverage Partnerships, Influencer Relationships, Press, Public Speaking
@SmallBizLady: You can buy a competitor and expand your footprint or become an affiliate marketer. You can add an additional salesperson or a sales team to increase your sales. You can also expand digital products and services which will allow you to test different content marketing strategies.
@clindus: New product development, opening new markets, adding new audiences.
@ChelseaKrost: 1st audit your business internally, then take a careful look at the external factors that should reveal the right growth strategy for your biz:
- Your Industry
- Your Competition
- Economic Climate
@SmallBizLady: Talk with your customers, review which products or service sell the best, and at the highest margins. Test your growth idea first, give it at least 3-6 months.
Ask the existing customer base how you can better serve them (additional services/products or new services/products they wish you could offer in the existing package you present).
@Fromgirltogirl: Ask the existing customer base how you can better serve them (additional services/products or new services/products they wish you could offer in the existing package you present).
@ChelseaKrost: Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster full of highs & lows. If your feeling stagnant then it’s best to get the bottom of it & ask WHY? Once you are clear on why your biz is at a halt, then get strategic with defining objectives & putting goals into place. Let’s clarify: Objectives define strategies/action steps to achieve the identified goals. Unlike goals, objectives are specific, measurable, & have a defined completion date.They are more specific & outline the “who, what, when, where, how reaching the goals.
@SmallBizLady: If you’re feeling stagnant in your business it’s time for a fix, grab my book! You can also hire a business coach to help you turn things around too. If you hire a coach, make sure you are working with someone who is more successful than you.
- Ask for help.
- Reach out to others within the trade.
- Reach out to small business development organizations.
- Take a step back and review trends.
- Re-evaluate, plan, execute.
- Current Customers
- Warm Leads
- Industry Trends
- Political Climate
- Social Media Trends
@SmallBizLady: You should look at any regulatory changes, industry trends and the competition.
@RScheese: Monitor competitors but don’t copy competitors – you need to differentiate your offer to succeed long-term.
@SmallBizLady:Self funding business growth can be tough. It’s best to borrow money before you need it. Get a line of credit from a bank if you can. It’s the cheapest option. Make sure you have a good business credit card that will help float expenses as well. Look for CDFI loans before pursuing alternative lenders such as
@OnDeck and @Kabbage. If you do borrow money make sure you know exactly how you will triple what you borrow.
@RunnymedeCap: Find other ways generate revenue and profit in the interim. Be creative, find new income streams, can generate the capital needed to fund growth.
@ChelseaKrost: If you want more leads you have to put yourself out there, period.
- Start guest blogging on popular sites that attract your customer.
- Post more frequently.
- Use social advertising on the channel that attracts your client: FB, IG, Twitter, Linkedin.
- Create an irresistible freebie for download to encourage more opt-ins.
- Insert the right CTA on your posts.
- Google Adwords, Keywords, SEO optimization.
- Use more Video and Livestream to connect with your target audience.
@SmallBizLady: Create an irresistible FREE offer on your website to generate leads, publish relevant content consistently. Use online ads to promote your FREE offer. Use pop-up graphics with a delay to collect emails on the best perforrming content on your site.
- Reached out to
#bookbloggers with free product for a book review to gain their audience.
- Followed online trends, e.g world book day, back to school, etc. to leverage the hashtag.
@SmallBizLady: If you have an audience that is engaged, corporate sponsors will pay for access to your audience. Pick a platform where you are going to build your audience ie IG, FB, Twitter, SnapChat, YouTube or your own blog. Publish your unique content and engage your audience to leave comments and share. Sponsors will approach you when you can enough reach and credibility with your audience.
@SarahDudley3: Corporate sponsorships can be used to add credibility to your business but also as an opportunity to provide additional value to your customers/clients in the form of discounts or giveaways.
- The more educated, researched, and clear you are about your goals the better.
- Don’t expect to become an overnight sensation, slow and steady wins the race.
- Don’t overthink things to the point that you don’t take action! You have to start somewhere.
@SmallBizLady: If you want to start a business figure out what you want and why first. Save your money, since you’ll need start-up funds. Figure out who your niche target customer will be and your unique value proposition. Make sure your passion has a profit center! Don’t mistake busyness for business.
- Do it! Not before doing your homework (market research, analytics, budgeting) first though.
- Ignore the naysayers
- Consistency may cost something (hello, sleep) but it pays so much in return. Be consistent in serving your customers!
If your serious about your small business growth, investing time in building your personal brand can help catapult your success. Take a deeper dive and check out this great post ‘How To Create An Influential Personal Brand’ HERE!
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