Whether it’s starting your own business or a well established brand just looking to garner more clientele and revenue, the 12 ways to grow your business is the blog for you! As technology becomes more prevalent in our society, digital marketing and how we engage with our audience starts to become a huge factor in the buying process. In order to have a consistent, thriving business, one must first have a consistent and thriving: brand voice, reputation, website, and customer service- as well as a slew of other assets that will be discussed more thoroughly in this blog as you read along.

Running a lucrative business today isn’t the same as running a business 20 years ago. Our digital age has and will continue to influence the consumer’s buying process, thus raising the expectations of your business and its ability to stand out among the millions of brands out there in the world. As you read further, you will discover ways that will help grow and promote your business, whether it’s from digital marketing efforts you deploy or administrative task that you assign to your employees. These 12 ways grow your business will surely be a step in the right direction for your brand!

Where’s Your Doorway?

1. Have a mobile-first website & other digital platforms.

If you’re looking for ways to grow your business, having a functional website is your first step. Every business requires a website in today’s digital age because it’s your #1 digital doorway. A Digital Doorway is the first thing people see when they look up the keywords that match your business in search engines. The importance of a website can not be understated, this is your brand’s hub to millions of people around the world. Plus, it gives your business a sense of professionalism as well as an opportunity to compete with other established brands. People will determine if they’ll buy from your business or not, simply by browsing your home page. Make sure your Digital Doorway is on point and gives your audience all the tools they need in order to get what they want. Discover how to get the most out of your homepage here. Your website should have everything your audience needs to help them become more informed about your business and what it has to offer. This website must be optimized for mobile devices and responsive on all media platforms. Any successful business you see today has a website that’s functional on mobile, tablet and desktop devices. These websites are equipped with contact information and an easy way to book/reserve or order any product.

Not only is a website important, but other digital platforms like facebook, instagram, twitter, etc are equally important. In order to grow your business and gain more revenue, your brand must be accessible on all social platforms, or the platforms that are most relative to your business. Harness the power of instagram stories or facebook live, showcase your business by posting original content that only your brand can offer. Consult with a Social Media Marketing professional in order to determine which platforms are best for your business.

Can I get some service?

2. Have Good Customer Service & Administrative Skills

If your website is your first important tactic on this list we can’t stress enough how close good customer service comes in second. Good customer service means helping customers efficiently and in a friendly manner. This also means that when you or your employee interacts with a customer or prospective client, you or the employee must be able to answer any question or concerns that may arise, proficiently and accurately. If you’re looking to amp up your customer service, consider hiring a virtual CSR that can handle all of the necessary aspects of Customer Service today: Answering & Returning Emails, Instagram & Text Messages; Managing Online Chat, Social Media Profiles & even answering your phones and booking appointments. It’s crucial that your business has someone to manage all of these task, as you (the business owner), may have other responsibilities that require your time. Hiring a Virtual Customer Service Representative may not be in the cards if your business is on a tight budget. We firmly believe that a close analysis of cost-benefit will weigh in favour of hiring a virtual CSR. One business metric that still remains tried, tested and true is the famous Pareto Principle: 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of our customers.  

Any successful business owner knows how to maneuver their way around things like Instagram, Facebook, or even a CRM. So many times where we as digital marketers, have come across business owners who aren’t on Instagram or even listed on Google. They also aren’t that tech savvy and find it difficult to understand the basic foundation of programs like, Google Docs and Google Sheets. This can be a problem when the vast majority of our audience is in fact tech savvy and expect businesses and management to be as well. With CRMs and other automation softwares out there, it’s become a lot easier for business owners to findnew ways that will help them increase their revenue. But first, they must fully understand these tools and how to use them. For Instance, If you own a Hair Salon, it’s wise that you use a CRM software like Salon Iris to better manage your appointments, stock, and time. It’s also wise to fully know how to use the software, from it’s booking to marketing capabilities- these tools are meant to make running a business easier, therefore it’s best to learn all you can about them and all of the powers they possess which can benefit your brand and grow your business.

What's in it for them, What's in it for you?

3. Create a Referral/loyalty program.

     No Matter what your business may be, another great way to growing your business is to create a Loyalty or Referral Program. Let’s face it, everyone loves free stuff and with social media and the digital age influencing younger audiences, it’s imperative to cater to them: the individuals who like FREE stuff the most. As a business owner, the word “FREE” may seem a little scary, but a smart business owner would embrace it and utilize its power to gain more clientele. If you’re creating a loyalty program or a program that promotes your clients to refer other people, you’re essentially creating the illusion of giving away something of value for “FREE”, but under YOUR conditions. Let’s say a customer signs up for your program, in order for them to get something in return they must give you something. It is up to you what that may be, it could be a FREE Hairstyle when  “x amount of dollars” are spent, or a Free Dinner for 2 when you refer a Couple. The possibilities are endless and can ultimately benefit your business and help promote growth, client retention, and sales.

Book 'em, Book 'em Good!

4. Implement a great booking software

     In order to grow your business, a good booking system is a must-have considering how everything is digital these days. No one wants to call or text a business in order to book or reserve something. If your business model requires your clientele to book an appointment or service, a booking system is crucial if you’re looking to grow your business. As stated earlier, this is the age of all things digital – from social media platforms to emailing and whatsapp – we do most of our communication and business through these platforms which have consequently made things easier for the consumer. But with ease comes higher expectations, expectations from your audience, prospective and current. They will expect things to be just a click or two away. Think about when you’re ordering food from Ubereats or booking a hair appointment or your next hotel room, you want this process to be easy, fast, and convenient for you- so does your audience.

One of our favourite booking systems to use for our beauty clients is Salon Iris, as it gives clients the opportunity to see a fully interactive schedule of each stylist available, is mobile friendly, and convenient for the owner and the client. It also connects to social media platforms like Instagram, making it accessible for people to book from any instagram page with just a click of a button. If you’re not in the beauty industry, no worries, there are many booking systems/CRMs available that are catered to various business types.

Ask and you shall receive!

5. Ask For Reviews

Never be ashamed to ask your satisfied customers for reviews! Great reviews are a sure way of helping anyone who’s trying to grow their business. “Word of Mouth” is the last living form of traditional marketing that works, but when you’re trying to grow a business in a time like this, there’s less talking and more typing. This is the perfect opportunity to ask your audience for a testimonial, review, or positive feedback on social media platforms like Facebook and Yelp. Positive reviews are the first thing people look for when deciding to make a purchase, book a table, or even book a new hair stylist. The world wants to hear positive things about what they are about to invest in, so make sure to ask your customers to leave a review.

Of course, we can’t please everyone and that’s ok. A negative review may happen from time to time, but it is always in your best interest to respond to that review, this is where a good virtual CSR comes in. To learn how to respond to a negative review, check out our blog: “ How to respond to negative reviews.”

Do it automatically.

6. Automate repetitive task with marketing automation,

Not many business owners are aware of Automation software like Mautic, Hubspot, or Marketo. If they are, many assume that marketing automation software costs an arm and a leg, or may not be relevant to their specific industry. Well let me tell you, every business should implement some sort of marketing automation strategies in order to grow their business. Marketing automation is more accessible for small and medium size businesses than ever before. For as little as $80 per month you can automate your growth. Don’t let big numbers or fancy terms like bounce rates, email campaigns, or cron jobs scare you- these things can either be taught or you can hire someone like us to do it for you at an affordable rate.

Imagine that as a business owner, you want to inform your customers about your latest deals.  Maximize your time as a business owner by giving repetitive task to automation software like Mautic. This will make running your business easier and allow you more time to focus on what else is needed for your business. If you want to learn more about the powers of marketing automation, click here.

All a business really needs is MONEY.

7. Make Payment Easier

 The reason people decide to become an entrepreneur and start their own business is obviously to make money. You’re reading this blog because you want to grow your business and make more money, but does your business allot for money to easily come in and make checkout seamless? Not only do people want to book or buy fast, they want to pay fast as well and as easily as possible. Does your business have the option to pay using apple or android devices? How about the option to pay online or through pay-pay? Whatever your business may be, determine which payment methods make sense to your brand and how to make them accessible for your clientele.  Make it clear to your audience about whichever payment methods you offer, this information should be listed on every page of your website or social media profile if necessary.

There’s no excuse as to why businesses today can not offer payments by debit, credit, Apple Pay, or Android pay. These options make checkout easier and faster for your customer, so make sure your establishment is equipped; you’ll definitely have a happy customer with a little more time on their hands.

8. Manage your OWN finances ( for the first two years).

It’s important that every starting business should manage their finances for the first two years or so. From a business management perspective, it empowers you to learn and understand all of the various aspects regarding the different numbers which make up your business operations. Over the course of that time, you will become more skilled and have a better understanding of your accounting processes. Of course, if you have the money to hire an accountant for your business, by all means go for it but understand that this will limit you from fully comprehending the accounting and financial side of your business.

Embrace the change.

9. Learn about trends & technology emerging in your industry.

     It’s never a bad idea to stay on top of your game as a business owner. That means, in order to grow your business – you must be aware of all the emerging trends and latest technology used in your field that will attract more customers and make your job easier. Notice all of the social media trends for 2019 and so on, make sure that your business is equipped with industry leading products that will help attract customers, drive revenues and lower operational overhead. Don’t be that store that doesn’t carry the latest styles in fashion or a hair stylist that has no clue about balayage techniques. It’s your responsibility as a business owner to know all the ins and outs of your industry and how to use them to your advantage. You don’t want to be that business owner that refuses to use a booking system or even instagram or facebook. This will surely help you LOSE clients. Embrace change and all that comes with it – you never know how it can help your business grow.

And the winner is...

10. Have Contest Or Giveaways

     Contest and giveaways are fantastic ways of generating new leads and grow your business. Similar to referral/loyalty programs however the difference here is that something is actually given away, for free. The general idea of a contest or giveaway is to attract more people to your website and/or social media profiles and get them to engage with your business. Engagement is crucial for any business interested in growing as this will help retain customers and generate new ones. Moreover, if you decide to hold a contest or giveaway, make sure that it’s worth your audience’s time and effort. Don’t give away something that anyone can buy at a dollar store, give your audience a reason to share your contest/giveaway to their profile. Brand awareness and exposing your business to a new audience is the ultimate goal here, and if the price is right – you can guarantee a loyal client!

Know your...Analytics

11. Review all of your analytics.

Analytics are extremely important when trying to grow your business. Tools like Google Analytics, Instagram Insights, and Yoast SEO gives you the advantage of seeing what’s working for your business and what isn’t. Analytics provide your business with key insights on every campaign you run on instagram, facebook, linkedin, or any social media platform you use. Google and yoast analytics help you determine which web pages on your website are browsed the most, your churn rate and offer many seo capabilities which will help you rank higher in search engines. To see how Search Engine Optimization can help your brand, click here!

Hire the best!

12. Hire Center Stage Social

By reading this blog, we hope that you, the business owner, are equipped with the tools and knowledge you need in order to further grow your business, whether it’s through digital marketing efforts, or revamping your administrative staff and techniques. Be sure to implement either one, two or all of these techniques to your business and digital strategy. Growing a business in today’s digital age requires every business owner to know the ins and outs of their industry and the tools that will help them navigate towards success. If you’re overwhelmed by any or all of this information, give us a call or email us to schedule your FREE 1 on 1 session – we’ll be more than happy to discuss ways we can help grow your business!

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