When you’re planning to grow your small business, it’s always best to be proactive. As your business grows, there are things that will inevitably break or bend. The secret to sustainable growth is anticipating and preparing for this so that you can chart a steady roadmap to growth and keep your business crisis-free as you expand.
1. Invest in Systems
When your business is small, you don’t need such robust systems in place but when anticipating growth, it’s of vital importance that you invest in solid systems that won’t break. Failure to do this could mean that you’re limiting your business and holding yourself back.
It’s important to have a solid customer relations management (CRM) solution in place as well as powerful ecommerce software that can cope with a spike in sales. Your systems should be as streamlined as efficient as possible so that you don’t have to waste time tinkering later on; your business will not become less time-consuming as it grows.
Cloud-based software is a good idea as it is easier to scale up and has less up-front and maintenance costs involved, which is good news for your cash flow.
2. Build a Better Homepage
First impressions count and so you need to make sure your homepage is looking its best. Research by MailChimp suggests that 96% of visitors to your website aren’t yet ready to buy and a shoddy homepage is unlikely to convince them. You need to keep these leads around so that you can nurture and convert them. A user-friendly, visually appealing homepage is an important step on the customer journey.
A content-rich blog has great SEO value which means it can drive a lot of traffic to our website. Once they are there, your blog allows you to establish yourself as an authority and build trust with your readers. In short, it’s content marketing gold.
This is corroborated by the fact that 53% of marketers say that blog posts are their most important inbound marketing activity and 81% of shoppers conduct research online prior to making a purchase.
Creating a successful business blog could be an article in its own right, but here are some tips to get you started:
- Create scannable content that is easy to read – big chunks of text are off-putting!
- Use plenty of images to break up the text. Stock photos work if you lack originals.
- Focus on ‘evergreen’ topics rather than seasonal ones to drive traffic all year round
4. Prioritise Scalability
A quick fix – or a cheap one – can often seem tempting but when preparing to scale your business it’s worth paying extra for longevity. Rather than shy away from solutions with steep learning curves or higher up-front costs, focus on the big picture and think about what will save you money and increase efficiency in the long run.
5. Use Online Data for Better Marketing
Back in 2017 The Economist reported that “the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data.”
Data is absolutely invaluable to a business. It can help you to understand and predict customer behaviour and fine-tune your marketing strategy to maximise sales. Even free tools such as Google Analytics can show you data such as page visits and bounce rates to help you understand which content resonates with your audience.
This data can help you to grow your business by allowing you to attract more customers and increasing their average spend. It can also help you to get rid of practices that are not generating a significant ROI and fine-tune your strategy to make it more effective in the future.
Preparing for business growth requires forethought and careful calculation. By investing in systems and long-term, scalable solutions you can create a strong foundation on which to build your business. Meanwhile, by using data to inform your marketing strategy and creating a content rich blog, you can create a more predictable lead flow and ultimately increase sales. Business growth does not happen overnight and requires careful preparation, but when you take the right steps to prepare it can certainly pay off.