It is one thing to start a small business but converting it into a successful venture needs certain skills, abilities, and strategies. Scaling a business is not a cakewalk, rather it takes a considerable amount of efforts. Many successful entrepreneurs have also faced difficulties right after they founded their businesses. In the beginning, startups need their owners to wear different hats in order to be productive and efficient.

Having said that, growing your startup should not be complex. Instead, simplicity should be the route you need to walk on. Keeping it simple means optimizing each process for productivity. While scaling up, this consistent optimization improves the systems and processes so that the transition is seamless. Thus, if you brace yourself, clear your mind, and put things in proper perspective, you can easily identify various effective strategies to grow your business. Here are five growth strategies for small businesses to consider:

1. Use a powerful business plan

After processing your business idea and analyzing its financial viability, the immediate thing you need to do is prepare a powerful business plan. It is inherently vital that you create this essential component to navigate your future work and bring accountability where it is due. The fact also is a simple yet effective business plan is often the best approach to get your small business off the ground. A simple plan focuses on your products or services, targeted market segments, customers’ needs, basic prices, and costs. Once you have taken a gradual but solid start, your idea moves closer to the actual business operations, which is when you can expand your business plan. As the progress is made over time, the business plan helps you to use more accurate estimates, actual costs, and achievable future projections.

2. Hire the right people

Your startup stands the best chance to succeed if you manage the right people to work for you. Skilled, productive, enthusiastic, and dedicated workforce helps you not only run your company smoothly, but steers it in difficult times. You have to identify the skill sets that you need your employees to possess. With a careful planning, you will be able to clearly determine your requirements, find proper pool of candidates and narrow down your choices. Make lists of the tasks you want each new employee to take on. According to a recent Robert Half survey, 81% managers and entrepreneurs accepted their companies have made a bad hire. 49% have found the hiring process complicated, and 65% had problems with the hiring procedure. Another important factor for hiring right employees is to consider your company culture, and select those candidates who fit in. This is an essential step for building a high-performing team.

3. Use social media to build new market segments

In order to expand your business, you need to explore and penetrate new market segments. For that, social media can be extremely helpful tool for you. The platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. can prove to be the next rung for welling more of your current products to an adjacent market. Many of the fastest growing companies in this past decade leveraged social media channels and capture new market segments. For example, Red Bull sells its energy drinks to young, passionate, and adventurous audience – this audience is influenced through social media. So using social networks, you will be able to spot where your potential market segments are hanging out, thereby allowing you to engage with them. It is an emerging trend that marketer have started loving social media platform because they allow them to create customized experiences.

4. Apply creative marketing techniques

Getting creative with your marketing campaigns can help your business attract new customers. You can start by initiating contests and giveaways, which could be a great way to get attention online. People love winning contests and get giveaways; while you get a good level of engagement. Creating unique business cards and distributing them at strategic locations can also work in your favor, or you can get custom address labels for your business. Being creative with your digital marketing efforts will definitely grab the viewers’ attention.

Therefore, you need to prioritize the graphic design of your efforts. Another important marketing technique is to create content that people want to read. When you deliver informative and engaging content to your users, you become successful in establishing your credibility in your user base. Lunching a referral program can also be an effective strategy where you allow customers to help promote your product for you. The fact is people pay heed to personal recommendations or reviews from users like them.

5. Focus on customer experience

Today, customers are more educated and make informed decisions as to which brands to choose and which brands to leave. Since their expectations are increased, it’s more difficult than ever to convince them and give good value to their money. This is exactly where customer experience (CX) kicks in and helps you create a better brand image in your target audience.

In a blog regarding a McKinsey Podcast, McKinsey principals Harald Fanderl and Nicolas Maechler explained beautifully why CX matters so much. “When we talk about customer experience, it’s all about putting customer needs at the center of what a company needs to do, and then ensuring along all the touchpoints and even more so along all the relevant customer journeys that the customers have a flawless experience”, Fanderl said.

“The different touchpoints you’re interacting with are just ways for you as a customer to fulfill that need or solve that problem”, chimed in Maechler. Therefore, by optimizing your customer experience at every touchpoint, you can ensure a more seamless customer journey in the future.

Final words

Growing and scaling up your business needs genuine efforts and right strategies. Though there is no one-size-fits-all approach to grow your startup, you need to get your act together and strengthen your fundamentals. You have to think one step ahead and plan your next move. So anticipating all the possible scenarios will be the best way for you to stay grounded while your business evolves.

Smith Willas is a freelance writer, blogger, and digital media journalist. He has a management degree in Supply Chain & Operations Management and Marketing and boasts a wide-ranging background in digital media.

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