Is it possible for a non-business owner to understand the pressure of running a small business? We think not. Building a successful business from the ground up is all about wearing a ton of hats and juggling even more balls.
And just when it seems like you can see the light at the end of an extra-long tunnel, you’re inevitably thrown for a loop with some sort of ‘business crisis’.
From operating expenses to staffing issues, and quarterly budgets to ROI metrics, your attention is often pulled in numerous directions – but don’t let ‘promotion’ be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Consistently securing new leads and nurturing them into loyal, satisfied customers should always be a key priority for your business regardless of what stage of growth you’re in.
So how do you promote a small business on a limited budget and without tearing out your hair? Read on for 5 easy tips on how to grow your small business.
Maximize Local Listing Directories
Make sure your customers can find you when they need you! Taking advantage of local listing directories like Yelp and registering your business on Google’s My Business Listing, is a no brainer when seeking the low-hanging fruit of advertising your business.
Often, these directories are free to list and relatively easy to set up, plus there’s major payoff – making this a best practice for small business marketing.
Local listings are particularly successful because they take advantage of customer’s needs in the moment, and enable your company to be at the ‘right place’ at the ‘right time’, as well as sharing important information that could negate barriers to conversion, such as business hours, phone numbers and reviews.
They are also effective in growing your business through connecting you with leads in your geographic area that have a need for your product or service, but have never experienced your brand before.
Invest in PPC advertising
SEO-rich content gets a lot of buzz, but the reality is that securing ‘first page’ results is a slow process, that’s not only highly competitive, but also requires a lot of lead-time and upfront investment.
In contrast, Pay Per Click advertising is a very effective and relatively low-cost way to promote your business. You only pay when a customer clicks, which means you’re guaranteed that your dollars will go towards ROI results right now.
You also have complete control over your budget, allowing you to ‘boot-strap’ by modifying your investment as you grow your business, instead of making a significant upfront investment (whether it’s time, money or both) that may not yield a rapid return.
PPC campaigns are easy to set up through Google Adwords and Facebook advertising, which automatically also runs campaign ads on Instagram if that’s where your target market is.
Use Lead Magnets to Gain Prospects and Build Your Database
Offering a free ‘lead magnet’ is one of the most effective and popular advertising ideas right now. Essentially, this is when a business offers a complementary product or service in exchange for a ‘lead’ (potential customer), typically gained through email sign-up.
Lead magnets could be a free e-Book, a downloadable .pdf related to your services, an email sequence offering free tips or even a free product and are usually offered through a website popup, or via a Facebook advertisement.
Lead magnets are incredibly effective in growing your business mailing list and CRM, plus they can also be powerful from a customer segmentation perspective, drawing in different groups through strategic targeting.
While lead magnets really aren’t a new idea (sales dynamos have been offering ‘discovery calls’ and ‘free consultations’ for years), they remain a winning strategy for getting in front of customers to share ‘what you do’… but now they can be fully automated and working for you while you and your sales team are working on something else.
Capture Leads and Customers in a CRM Like Salesforce
What’s at the centre of some of the best business success stories? A master customer relationship management system like Salesforce. This type of system is the ‘command centre’ for everything to do with your leads and customers over the duration of their life cycle.
Whether you want to re-engage leads that never quite converted, grow your customer base through referral prompts or up level your average sale by marketing better to your best customers, a CRM is equally powerful to a small business and a large organization alike. It’s today’s gold standard for ‘understanding’ your customer, through gathering and organizing important data.
Ultimately, CRMs support you in creating a highly personalized experience that’s scalable, can be automated, and efficiently houses all of the essential notes you’d want at your fingertips, but couldn’t possibly store in your head.
Focus on Your Social Media Presence
Cracking the formula of how to grow your small business isn’t a one size fits all method, but ensuring your company has a social media presence is important.
There’s no need to run yourself ragged setting up an account on dozens of platforms and pushing copious amounts of content on all of them. Instead, think about your business strategically, and consider which channels will be the most relevant to your customers. If your brand is creative and has a strong personality, Facebook and Instagram are likely the platforms you want to focus on most.
In contrast, if your team is full of small business ideas that are driving the conversation in your industry, take your content to LinkedIn for a B2B audience.
Try using a software like Hootsuite to schedule posts for the entire week on a Sunday or Monday (read: before you get derailed by your to-do list for the week).
Remember, social media is a highly effective tool to broadcast your brand personality and promote offers that drive customers to your website or storefront, but keep your message tight and value-driven… or designed to delight your audience in your unique voice.
Use features like geo-tagging and hashtags on Instagram to help new leads unconver your company and what you have to offer.
Continuously implementing strategies to grow your customer base is essential to keeping a small business up and running – but the great news is that this can be achieved with a budget of any size. When you truly understand your customers, and are able to track their behaviour through a CRM, it becomes virtually seamless to facilitate a powerful conversation with them about how your company can meet their needs.
To learn more about how you can use Salesforce as a CRM to help you nurture your leads and customers, email us to set up a discovery call.
Related Tag: Business Automation