Small business growth models have been created to show the different phases a business typically goes through before it achieves maturity. The fact that some of them include a survival phase shows how precarious new business ventures can be. You might have heard that slow and steady wins the race, but the truth is that you need to push through the survival phase and achieve sustainable growth as quickly as possible if your business is to be successful. There are plenty of tools and resources you can leverage to stay organized, build a business with effective processes and achieve your goals. Here are a few recommendations to help you get started.
Use advertising to get your message across to your audience, grow your customer base, boost sales, and stand out from the competition. Your ad campaigns will also shape your brand image and help your audience connect with your brand if your campaigns are successful.
Get started with free online platforms such as Yelp or the Yellow Pages and look into investing in Google or Facebook ads to target online users. Don’t neglect traditional channels such as TV ads or billboards.
Analytics can become a powerful tool in different areas that will drive growth:
- Analyze your audience to get to know customers better.
- Analyze the buyer’s journey to develop more relevant content.
- Analyze sales to improve your products, marketing strategies and pricing points.
- Use predictive analytics to manage your inventory and lower operating costs.
- Run hypothetical scenarios to find avenues for growth and expansion.
You can get started for free with Google Analytics and invest in a more advanced solution as your needs evolve.
Creating a blog for your business will help you generate leads, shape your brand image, establish yourself as an industry leader and create content that can be linked to and shared on social media.
You can use a platform such as WordPress or Squarespace to create a blog or website, and manage your content with a tool like Joomla.
Learning how to assess risks, find new opportunities and navigate the business world requires a certain degree of knowledge. There are different resources you can use to educate yourself, including the Small Business Administration website, your local Small Business Development Center, or online certifications or classes for specific skills on a platform such as Coursera.
Your business plan will become a blueprint you can use to stay on the right track. Developing your business plan gives you a chance to sit down and figure out how you will generate profits and growth, how you will stand out from the competition, and define what you will offer and how you will offer it.
You can find sample business plans at BPlans.com. Your plan should be tailored to your business venture, but samples from your industry should be useful.
No matter how good your products and business propositions are, you will need money to invest in your project. You need capital to invest in an inventory, machinery, advertising and operating costs, among many other expenses.
There are different financing options to consider for your small business:
- A loan from a bank or the SBA.
- Personal funds.
- Angel investors.
You need to carefully assess risks and figure out where money should be invested to achieve growth. You might need to adjust your business strategy in function of the funding that is available to you. At HJR Global, we specialize in helping small businesses find the funding options they are looking for to grow their business.
There is a direct correlation between good design and business growth. Consumers expect to find information or perform an action quickly and effortlessly when they visit a website or use an app, and 46 percent of consumers won’t buy from a brand if design delivers a poor experience.
You need to develop designs that will deliver a positive user experience. You need mobile-friendly designs and should adapt your design to the consumer’s journey. There are a some online resources that you can use to find templates such as HubSpot or ThemeForest. PicMonkey is a very useful tool to edit your photos, and you can create design elements with Canva.
Choose an internal communications channel adapted to your workflows. Slack has become a popular tool thanks to its messaging and collaborative workspace features. Solutions like Front give your team access to a shared inbox to avoid wasting time processing countless emails.
You will need different tools to manage finances. Adopting a trustworthy solution to process payments is crucial. PayPal is an obvious choice since this platform can process credit and debit card payments as well as recurring payments.
PayPal is recognizable and trusted by customers and can easily be integrated into your checkout process. You will also need an accounting and payroll solution. QuickBooks is popular among small businesses, but FreshBooks or Xero is worth considering.
You can boost productivity by using a project management tool that will let you organize your workflows, assign tasks, and improve communication within your team. Slack, Trello, Asana, and KanbanFlow are options you should consider.
Slack is ideal if you want communication features and online workspace, while Asana is great for assigning tasks to team members.
The right scheduling tools can take the stress out of daily tasks such as booking appointments, finding a time and date for team meetings, and keeping track of tasks that need to be completed. YouCanBook.me and Playno are online scheduling solutions that can be integrated into your website so that clients can request appointments and communicate with your calendar directly.
Google Calendar is an ideal option to keep track of meetings and other events thanks to its integration with Gmail. If you need a tool to schedule shifts and keep track of payroll, Shiftboard should have all the features you need.
You need to develop a presence on social media to increase awareness for your brand. Social media can generate growth by strengthening the connection with your audience, boosting sales and helping you reach out to new leads. You can also deliver a better experience by using social media for customer service.
The key to an effective social media presence is to use a social media management tool. These tools allow you to schedule posts, track engagement, and implement consistent strategies over the different platforms you use.
Hootsuite has become the go-to management tools for social media marketing, but there are other options to consider, such as HubSpot or TweetDeck.
You need a reliable file sharing solution, especially if you plan on working with a remote team. The ideal file sharing solution should be fast, secure, and easy to access on mobile. Dropbox, Google Drive, and Dropmark are excellent options for storing, organizing, and sharing your files.
If you are developing software or apps, using a central repository for your code will be more adapted to your needs. NuGet, Yarn, and Pulp are tools that allow developers to collaborate remotely.
These different tools and resources will help you save time, improve communications and organization, and boost productivity. Make sure you review the features of these different tools, compare them, and choose the tools with the features that will result in business growth.
No matter what your needs are, HJR Global can be a resource to your business. From planning to management and even financing, we can help you grow your business and reach your goals. Contact a member of our team today to see how we can galvanize your growth.
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