Top 5 Ideas to Grow Your Business
You need some fresh ideas on how to grow your business, right? Well you have come to the right place! We will focus on the very top 5 things you can be doing right away to start increasing that bottom line and widening your profit margins as your business grows. Let’s get right into it!
1. Understand How It All Works Together
I was going to make this one the last one and tie everything up nicely, but people are impatient nowadays, so let me give you the most important one first, then randomly spread the other ideas around.
You need to understand how all of the different elements of your business work together to create one finely-tuned machine. You have your branding and messaging, your sales staff, your website, your social media, and your advertising. You also have your products and your e-mail list and your employees. Let’s quickly work this out, and in a later blog post we can get more detail focused, or just contact an expert marketing strategist for some friendly advice.
Your branding and messaging must be clear and aspirational to your target marketing and customers. Those customers need to see that messaging in your advertisements, social media marketing, and read it on your website blog.
Your website must be able to capture customer information (i.e. sign them up to an email list), direct them to your social network pages, and provide them with a clear path to find the information and products they’re looking for on your site.
Your social media pages should have a very clear and easy way to send your traffic back to your lead-capturing website, and the source of all this great content: your blog.
Your advertising should speak with your brand voice, attract customers to a landing page on your website or social network page, and capture their information into the same list as your website’s standard lead generation strategy does.
Start with your website, because you own that and it’s not going away unless you go away. Your website should be the main hub of all information, and everything should be directing traffic, leads, and customers into your website.
2. Repeat Business…Keep Them Coming Back
Your customers are your best friends. They put the roof over your head, and keep the lights on. Why wouldn’t you want to see your best friends more often, right? Once you have a customer, do everything you can to get their information. You’re not going to spam them or annoy them (at least I hope not!). Rather, you’re going to occasionally keep in touch with them, check in on them, and remind them that you would love to see them again soon.
Let’s say you’re the owner of a restaurant, then you can offer them social media only specials of the day, or leave comment cards with the bill, or offer them a free desert on their birthday. Or, maybe you own (or work for) a car dealership. You can call on your customers to see how they’re loving the car you sold them and remind them about the great benefits of keeping the car maintained. Remind them how your staff knows that car inside and out and would love to help keep it on the road and never break down on them.
Whatever your business is, there are things you can do to reach out in a helpful and friendly way. Make sure you do this from a purely helpful frame of reference and not as an up-sell. The up-sell will take care of itself when your customers know for a fact you’re taking care of them and their needs.
3. Referrals, Referrals Referrals
Now we have our best friends, aka customers and clients, coming back more often. Let’s ask them to do some free advertising for us. Ask them to post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter about how much they enjoyed your business or service. Incentivize them if you like. Maybe offer whomever spreads the word a free desert, free standard oil change, whatever you can offer that would be cheaper than an ad and more effective.
Why is this more effective? Because people will believe other people’s word over any advertisement they hear or see. Social Proof is what it’s called, and it’s one of the most effective (and cheapest!) forms of marketing.
What if you’re a realtor? Then referrals are an absolute must in your field as you most likely already know. In real estate, 99% customers won’t buy more than once every 5-10 years, so your referrals are your life-line to a great percentage of your sales opportunities.
Also, on your blog, have social sharing buttons so those who found your blog post interesting can share it on their social networks and/or with their friends and colleague.
Hey, look at that, at the bottom of this blog right here are a few social sharing buttons! Maybe you should give it a shot, click a few, and kindly share this post with some of your friends and colleagues. We would really appreciate it, and it’ll make you look really smart for directing other business owners to the valuable information you’re getting right now.
4. Keep the Mindset Which Got You Here
When you first started your business, you knew the risks and the challenges. That didn’t deter you, though, did it? You forged forward against all odds, put in the extra work and did everything it took, and more, to get the job done and grow your company.
Then, you start getting busier in the day-to-day, and you start to get used to the sales and the money that you’re now counting on to maintain your standard of living. You now have a different mindset. While you would love to still keep growing, the fear of losing what you’ve built up forces you to reverse your thinking and you suddenly stop taking the risks and doing many of the things which worked for you in the beginning.
Then, your business starts to level off, plateau, and eventually (if it hasn’t already at this point) start to wane and slide. Why?
Because you stopped taking risks. You have the experience now of what worked and what didn’t work. You can’t afford to take risks, you say? Well, with competition and technology constantly improving, and customer desires constantly changing, you simply can’t afford not to take risks. Risks, well I should say calculated risks, are just a part of the nature of being in business. If you’re afraid of calculated risks and trying things out to keep the company growing and remain competitive, then close up shop and work for someone else.
Reverse that reversed thinking and start thinking of strategic ways to get your profits growing.
5. Create an Efficient Pay Per Click (PPC) Ad Campaign
So, let’s finish up with a calculated risk option that is far less risky than you might think. We are going to quickly go over creating an efficient Pay Per Click (PPC) Ad campaign. Circle Marketing has a blog on split-testing PPC Ads, so please see that as we won’t cover it here, due to space.
First thing to do is keyword research. Use Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool, and find the best combination of volume and relevancy to pick the best ones. This is more of an expert’s job, so just contact us, and we can help you get this optimized.
Next, create aspirational copy and an image for the ad (unless it’s a text-only ad) that is very targeted. Create a few different versions of the ads, and do the split-testing model for very little money up-front until you find the ad or ads which have a far superior click-through rate.
Next, create a couple different landing pages. A great landing page delivers on the promise the ad made, and gives more information, incentive to order right then and there (or at least the very least capture the potential customers’ information), and have a very clear and appealing call-to-action to encourage the conversion into either a lead or customer (depending on your offer).
Once you found the best ads with the best click-through rates, and used analytics to find out which landing page was converting the highest numbers, we now know what is working and what isn’t. Here’s where we spend our money knowing what our educated projected ROI will be.
Instead of spending hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on a campaign you hope will work, you now have spend a coupe hundred to test the PPC ad and now can spend the large balance of the Ad Campaign’s budget on what you know for a fact works.
Of course, all of these are very broad strokes kind of advice, and every business and strategy needs to be honed and developed with your specific business in mind for maximum effect and ROI. If you have any questions, please comment below and we’d love to answer every single one of them! Talk soon, and enjoy growing your business!