There are many perks to owning a small business. When things are good you might feel on top of the world. You get to choose when you work, who to work with, and you are able to do something that you truly enjoy and believe in. The goodwill your business provides isn’t just good for business but is also beneficial for the community you serve. Everyone wins.
While that might all seem great, growing your business is hard work that may require a well-planned strategy. Regardless of how good your product or service, if people don’t know about it you likely won’t survive long. If you’re a business owner that is just starting out, or an established company looking for growth strategies, we have a few tips that in my opinion will help to grow local companies:
Think Locally…At First
When you started your business, you were likely like me and made plans to take over the world markets with your brand. That is a great end goal, but it might not be a good place to start. In the beginning, it can be difficult for a small company to gain visibility on a large scale. Starting with a local audience and developing your customer base, as well as strong relationships with your customers can help you create a strong foundation.
Local marketing to a specific niche will be key. One of the advantages you have is that you can connect on a deeper level than some of the larger corporations. Use that to your advantage as you participate in local events and advertise in your community. There are likely a number of local advertising opportunities nearby such as youth sports, local newspapers, and church bulletins for example.
If you have a website, and we hope you do, be sure to invest in local SEO, social media, email marketing, and local PPC advertising. If you are able to concentrate your efforts on a single local market while you start out it can help ensure that you don’t spread yourself too thin. And when you are ready to take that next step you can build upon your success in a national market.
Balancing Work and Family Life
Finding a balance between work life and family life is critical to ensure that you don’t burn out or neglect your loved ones. If you are serious about growing your business it might make sense to make strict working hours. If you plan out your day and stick to a schedule you can accomplish more than you think.
Managing your workplace relationships with family members is another area that can help make or break a business. If you have relatives that aren’t performing well you may need to re-establish expectations while ensuring that it doesn’t affect your family bonds. Helping each family member become a strong contributor with clear direction is important in the growth of your business. Navigating such relationships can be tricky and could be one reason why some family businesses give up on entrepreneurship and look to work for somewhere else.
Have Clear Direction & Execute
One of the big advantages of a small company is that you don’t have to go through layers upon layers of pitching and approvals before executing ideas. Don’t give up this advantage. Make sure your co-workers have clear goals and know what is expected of them so that they can be successful and help the company move forward.
Don’t Stop Learning
While you’ve likely heard this before, I feel like this next one is important. Don’t stop learning. If you have a bachelor’s degree, consider getting an MBA. If you’re looking to help the bottom line maybe it makes sense to go back to school for a marketing certificate. There is a good article called “How to Choose a College that’s Right for You | Fremont College” that was authored by the school I work for, which can help you figure out what type of institution may be right for you based on your goals. Remember that you’re education doesn’t just affect you. Any skills you acquire at a local college can also be passed on to others you work with, making your entire team stronger.