Growing a small business requires you to be creative and try new tactics. The most successful small business ideas for growth are those that allow you to work faster, smarter, and maintain satisfied customers. You may have seen posts that contain lists of the top ten small business ideas, or similar articles. But we’ve taken it a step further and provided 31 small business ideas to accelerate growth. Let’s dig in:
1. Invest in a CRM
Small businesses need a customer relationship management (CRM) system to streamline contact management. A solid CRM houses loads of data about your customers, allowing you to maintain insight into their interests, needs, personal information, and so on. It’s difficult to compete in today’s highly competitive business landscape without a CRM in place.
2. Leverage marketing automation
Marketing automation is another piece of technology you should invest in if you want to accelerate growth. It allows you to send marketing emails, build landing pages for lead generation, score leads as they move towards conversion, and much more. And if you use an all-in-one CRM, you’ll have marketing automation already built into your system.
3. Automate processes
Small businesses need to be as efficient as possible with limited resources. You can automate tons of processes that would otherwise be done manually with the right technology—such as CRM and marketing automation.
For example, you can automate data entry by using forms to automatically capture prospect data. Automation frees up time that you can spend on higher-value tasks such as forming your growth strategy.
4. Focus on the customer experience
The customer experience is set to become the most important variable in consumers’ buying decisions. It will soon overtake price and product as the key driver of customers’ purchase choices. Do everything you can to deliver a world-class customer experience.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask yourself how you would like to be treated. Then go out of your way to treat your customers in that same way.
5. Hire top talent
It’s worth the investment and extra money you’ll spend to hire top talent. It’s an investment in the future of your business. Hiring the best employees will ensure they produce the best results for your company. It will also positively affect the customer experience.
So, don’t skimp and try to save by hiring people without the appropriate experience just because it saves you money. It will cost you more money in the long run.
6. Deliver great customer support
It’s crucial that customers can contact you easily when they have an issue and need support. Ensure your customer support team knows your product well enough to resolve issues on the first try. And make it a priority to respond as quickly as possible when they reach out. Delivering great customer support is an incredibly important small business idea.
7. Get aggressive with social media
You should create a company page on various social media sites. The most important ones for many businesses are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Post daily and share news, new content, and other helpful information that will engage your audience. You’ll be surprised by how much traffic a strong social media presence will drive to your website.
Related Blog: 31 ways to increase brand awareness using social media
8. Provide product training to your employees
Your employees need to know your product inside and out. They need to be able to confidently answer product-related questions when they speak to a customer or prospect. Otherwise, prospects and customers will lose trust in your ability to support them and deliver a great customer experience.
9. Write a blog
Another important small business idea for growth is to create a blog. Write about topics that will educate your audience. Provide tips and tricks that will help them work smarter. Educate them on industry trends so they can be more competitive. And always be sure to share your blogs on social media.
10. Grow your email list
It’s essential that you constantly grow your email list. You always need new leads in your database. You can’t grow your business without finding new leads and marketing to them. Learn best practices for growing your email list.
11. Make it easy to subscribe to your email list
Put a form on your website homepage that allows people to subscribe to your list easily. Put it on other high-traffic pages as well. You can also include a link to your sign-up form in your email signature and on your social media sites so that people can find it in multiple locations.
12. Make customer satisfaction a priority
Satisfied customers stay longer and provide a recurring revenue stream that helps stably grow your business. They also speak positively about your brand to others, which amounts to word-of-mouth advertising. Focus on improving the customer experience, as mentioned above, and you’ll maintain high levels of customer satisfaction.
13. Generate a positive work culture
Happy employees work harder, have higher morale, and stick around longer. Employee turnover has a horrible effect on your bottom line. Keep them happy by asking them how you could improve the workplace. Implement their feedback, tell them about it, and they’ll see that you truly care about their wellbeing.
14. Know your customers
Your CRM stores loads of personal and professional data about your contacts. With this data, you can maintain deep insight into their interests, pain points, past buying behavior, and more.
Your relationship with your customers should be a partnership. Getting to know who they are and what they need will help you convey that to them, which will increase customer satisfaction and help you grow.
15. Provide onboarding for new customers
You need to train new customers on how to use your product. The extent of that training depends on your product. But if customers can’t successfully use your product, they will leave you for a competitor.
16. Engage in corporate social responsibility tactics
Many miss this small business idea, but its key to growth. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly important. It helps you develop a positive reputation as a company that gives back to the community it serves. People increasingly take that into account when comparing vendors. Get out and volunteer, donate to charities, and tell your audience about it.
17. Develop a brand style guide
Branding is one of the most important things for business growth. You need to use consistent branding so that consumers recognize your brand when they see it. Read about how to create a brand style guide.
18. Create vision and mission statements
Your vision statement is where you want to be in the future. Your mission statement is how you plan to get there. Create these documents and share them with all your employees so that everyone understands and is working towards the same goals.
19. Focus on what sets you apart from the competition
Create a value proposition that highlights the unique value that your product brings to the market. Research your competitors and identify areas that you excel in, which they don’t. Then focus on those areas in your lead generation outreach, email marketing, social media posts, and any other customer interactions.
20. Develop messaging documents
How do your employees talk about your company and your product? It’s important that everyone speaks in the same way when interacting with your audience. Consistent messaging ensures that you don’t create confusion in the market.
Create messaging documents with talking points and share them with all your employees so that everyone describes your business and product in the same way.
21. Use service level agreements
Service level agreements outline the type of service you will deliver to your customers. They are contracts that you must adhere to. Using them gives customers peace of mind as it tells them what they can expect.
You can also use service level agreements to hold employees accountable for meeting the required level of service you have committed to. It’s a small business idea that will generate trust among your customers.
22. Offer multiple support channels
Customers need to be able to reach you on the channel that they prefer. Offer customer support via email, telephone, social media, and online live chat. Your customers vary, and so do their preferences. Offering multiple support channels ensures you are catering to the unique needs of every customer.
23. Define the customer journey
Map out the stages of your sales funnel. Understand what prospects need at each stage to move to the next. Monitor leads as they pass through those stages, so you can identify bottlenecks when they arise. This helps you keep leads flowing through the funnel on their way to becoming customers.
24. Create content that aligns with your sales funnel
First, you need to define the customer journey and the associated stages of the sales funnel, as mentioned above. Then, you will know which type of content is needed at each stage to move leads on.
You wouldn’t send a new lead a how-to guide. And you wouldn’t send a customer an introductory one-sheet that tells them about your business. Mapping content to the sales funnel allows you to deliver the right content at the right time and increases engagement.
25. Personalize your interactions
You can personalize your interactions with prospects and customers when you store so much data about them in your CRM. You can greet them by name when they call as you’ll have that information right in front of you. You can personalize your marketing so that it’s more relevant to them. Personalizing your interactions will help you close more deals and grow your business.
26. Send an email newsletter
Sending email newsletters is a great small business idea. It’s a way to keep customers informed about new developments at your company. Send them periodically to alert customers about new products, special offers, new content, and more. Keeping customers in the loop will keep them satisfied.
27. Generate customer testimonials
Prospects will trust the word of your customers more than they will trust you when you tell them how great your product is. Find satisfied customers and ask for testimonials. Then post them on your website and share them on social media. It’s a great way to drive more conversions and grow your business.
28. Engage with industry influencers
Industry influencers are people with a high profile in your industry that others look to for advice. They normally have huge followings on social media. Try to engage with them so they will share your content or mention you in their posts. It will put your brand name in front of loads of new potential customers.
29. Nurture your brand advocates
Brand advocates are customers, employees, or anyone else who advocates for your brand. This normally takes place on social media. Your customer may post about how great your product is. That’s a brand advocate, and when you find them, you need to nurture them. You can be alerted when someone mentions you on social media by using social listening tools.
30. Speak about benefits rather than features
This is a great small business idea that many fail to recognize. People want to hear how your product will benefit them and make their lives easier. They don’t want to hear a technical explanation of the feature that will deliver that benefit. Ensure your whole team knows how to speak in terms of benefits and doesn’t overly focus on features.
31. Provide user guides and training videos
User guides and training videos help ensure your customers can use your product to the fullest. That results in more satisfied customers, which in turn results in increased brand awareness. These things are essential for small business growth.
Growing a small business is easy if you follow the right tips. There are loads of small business ideas that you can implement for under $100. The list of small business ideas above will help drive your growth. Get creative when thinking of ideas to grow your small business.
The most successful small business ideas are those that allow you to work faster, smarter, and maintain satisfied customers. Meeting those objectives will certainly drive growth.
Do you have any tips for growing a small business that you’d like to share with our readers? Please let us know in the comments section below.