So you want to challenge yourself and grow your business. Awesome! But before you dive right in, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing it in a smart way… and that means focusing on small business growth strategies.
You KNOW that I’m big on strategy and action-oriented planning prior to implementation. After all, if you don’t take the time to create a concrete strategy, then you might make choices that aren’t right for your business. Taking action without planning can be just as problematic as planning without taking action.
Before we get to the list of ideas for small business growth strategies (which I’m excited to share with you!), let’s explore why you would even want to grow your business, plus a few important things you’ll want to consider when choosing a growth strategy for your small business…
Why bother with growth strategies for your small business?
There are many reasons why you might want to grow your business, but here a few just a few:
1) It challenges you in new ways. It’s easy to get caught up in doing the same old thing day after day with your business. Maybe it starts to get boring after a while! Growing your business will challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and it will bring a spark to your business again.
2) It enables you to finally reach your goals. Perhaps you set goals for yourself but haven’t gotten around to achieving some of them. You’re not sure why you’re struggling, and you’re getting frustrated with it. Well, focusing on growth strategies might be the extra boost you need!
3) It prevents your business from getting stale. At some point or another, you might feel as though your business needs a makeover. It needs something fresh and new to keep it going. Growth strategies are a great way to do that.
4) It keeps you motivated and inspired. Let’s face it---business ownership is TOUGH. The struggle is real! But having new things to work toward will help you to keep going and moving forward when you feel stuck.
How do you choose the right growth strategy for your #smallbiz? @Saganlives shares her tips:
Okay, so now you know why you might want to grow your small business… but how do you go about figuring out which small business growth strategies are right for YOU and your unique business?
5 things to think about when choosing your small business growth strategies:
1) What are your business goals? Refer to your business plan when doing this. Your next business growth strategy could be right there, staring you in the face! Growth strategies should be related to and help you achieve your business goals. Learn more about business goal planning.
2) Why do those business goals matter to you? If you set goals for yourself because some guru told you that you should do XYZ, or because you want to make $X/month to prove yourself to someone in your life, then that might not be a great idea.
You need to internalize your goals: they need to have special meaning for YOU. If you don’t truly care about them and believe in them, then you aren’t going to wholeheartedly take action on them.
3) What are tangible actions you can take to achieve those business goals? This is going to help you determine what type of growth strategy is right for you. Learn how to create a plan of action.
4) What are some business growth strategies that simultaneously scare and excite you? You want to choose growth strategies that help you push the boundaries of your comfort zone, yet aren’t so scary that they paralyze you into inaction!
5) What are some business growth strategies that you are NOT at all interested in? It can be a good thing to have a hard “no” (or even a “not right now”) when it comes to some strategies, because that will help you to narrow does which growth strategies you should choose to work on at this stage. Perhaps at this point in your business, you have absolutely no interest in getting a business partner, for example.
Ideas for your small business growth strategies:
- Add a new service/product to your roster. If you already offer a couple services, you might consider adding another couple to diversify your portfolio.
- If you only do services, consider adding products (and vice versa). This is a fun way to explore new avenues and challenge yourself. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, you could write a book and sell that. Or, if you create online courses, you could consider starting to offer services to clients too. Learn about the pros and cons of services and products.
- Expand your client base. Perhaps up until now, you’ve worked with a small group of clients. Why not take that to a whole new level? Expand your market! You could even switch over to an entirely new market.
- Niche down on your client base. If you’ve focused on a broad group of clients, it might be time to become more of an expert for a specific clientele! Here's how to identify your ideal client.
- Hire an assistant to help you out. Hiring someone like a virtual assistant (VA) to, for example, manage your social media or create blog graphics, will free up your time to do other things in business.
- Start automating certain things. Hiring an assistant will enable you to delegate, but you could also automate things to make your life easier! Social media automation is a great example of this.
- Streamline your business management. This might include getting a bookkeeping software, using a time management or task management program, etc. Explore ways to make your business more efficient and easier to run.
Get 15+ ideas for how to grow your small business in this actionable guide from @Saganlives:
- Learn a new skill. You might want to take an online course or learn on your own, but the idea here is to expand your knowledge base---either in something related to running a business, and/or something you can turn into a service that you’ll be able to offer to clients.
- Implement a new marketing plan. Have you always thought it could be fun to start a blog or a YouTube channel, or have you been pondering the idea of doing more in-person networking? Now could be the right time to test it out! Swipe this step-by-step marketing plan.
- Get a business partner. This is a big step for a solopreneur! If you want to go far with your business and if you have Big Ideas for what your business could turn into, a business partner might be the right choice for you. Just make sure you choose the right person to partner with.
- Collaborate with others. Maybe you’re not ready to get a business partner just yet, but you can still work with another business owner to support and promote one another! Think co-hosting webinars, offering services together, becoming business friends and participating in a mastermind, etc.
- Invest in something that takes your business to the next level. Perhaps that means getting professional headshots, doing a business rebrand, redesigning your business website, or hiring a business coach.
- Build a community. You could do this by sending a regular weekly newsletter to your email list, starting a Facebook group in your niche, or even building an in-person community.
- Raise your rates, and/or change your pricing strategy. Spoiler alert: you’re probably charging less than you’re worth. It might be time to increase your rates! Alternatively, if you’ve been charging by the hour and you work quickly, it might be time to start charging by the project so you can get paid more for what you do, without scaring your clients by having a higher hourly rate. Learn more about setting rates.
- Improve your existing products/services. When was the last time you reviewed your products and/or services? Think about creating new packages or overhauling your existing product/service line to make them better.
- Change the way you connect with clients. Do you have a client welcome package? Do you have a strategy for retaining clients and/or staying top of mind with past clients? What can you do to improve your communications with clients?