10 TIPS TO GROW A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS
By Nia Pearson
Do you want to grow your small business? After successfully helping hundreds of small business owners grow their business, I have put together an easy to follow guide with 10 tips to grow a successful small business.
As with all aspects of life having a well-thought-out plan will more likely bring success. Before we set sail on the ten tips to grow your business, let’s review four categories you need to run any business, Service/Product, Value, Clients/Customers and Sales.
The number 1 tip to grow a successful business is to begin with a marketing plan.
Too often, small business owners get too caught up in day-to-day operations or lack of sales and neglect to have a short term plan for week to week marketing activities. A marketing plan offers both short term and long-term planning options with a sole purpose to clearly define goals, provide strategy and tactics.
Before you get started it’s critical to know the answer to this question. What do you want to achieve in your marketing efforts? (Link to Resources).
Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate more leads, or get more business? These are three different paths and they all can lead to sales at some point but not directly.
Once you have your goals outlined, you can start to develop strategies to achieve each goal. If your business has more than one target audience, I recommend to have a separate marketing plan for each audience. Your marketing plan can start with one sheet of information that breaks down customer profiles and data and insights from market research.
If you already have a marketing plan and are not getting the results you want, you may need to update your marketing plan to reflect a new set of key performance indicators and tactics.
If you’ve never written a marketing plan, you will be happy to know that once you have a plan it will be easier for you to create success for your business.
Benefit Of A Marketing Plan:
Outline the day-to-day marketing tasks. This can serve as your marketing checklist for hiring a social media manager, email marketing manager, events manager, outbound sales rep, etc. The specific strategies and tactics that will create success are solely based on goals, target market, and budget.
The person that works with you to create your marketing plan should have a good understanding of the target audiences, competitive landscape, and industry specific marketing business acumen.
Define your goals: The first step in creating a marketing plan is to define your goals. What do you want to achieve with your marketing efforts? Align each task with a process to accomplish it (Get resources to help here).
What To Include In Your Marketing Plan:
i. Situational Analysis: The situational analysis section of your marketing plan will provide an overview of your company’s current situation, including its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This information will be used to develop specific marketing goals and strategies.
ii. Marketing Goals: The marketing goals for 2023 should be specific and include a breakdown to increase brand awareness, generate more leads, and customer loyalty. Each goal should include a very specific customer/client journey which will start from stage one to closing new business.
The combination of marketing strategies will include online and offline activity, advertising, public relations, social media, email marketing, relationship marketing and more. See the below top 5 ways to win business when using an integrated marketing strategy.
1. Marketing Strategies: The marketing strategies that will be most effective are industry specific.
2. Advertising: Run a series of print ads, digital ads, podcast ads, to increase brand awareness and generate leads.
3. Public Relations: Generate positive media coverage around your brand with press releases, industry articles and blogs.
4. Relationship Marketing: Build relationships with industry specific key influencers.
5. Social Media Marketing: This will depend heavily on your target audience. Social media platforms are free but very time consuming. Content should not be duplicated, instead it should be based off the audience. (Consider platforms like, Instagram Facebook, LinkedIn….)
Example: REALTORS® – Instagram is one of the best online visual social media platforms. By 2025 Instagram is forecasted to have 1.44 billion monthly users. That is 31.2 percent of global internet users, making Instagram a great place for REALTORS® to help homebuyers see the options that are available to help them find their dream home and live the American dream of homeownership.
What content to share on Instagram:
- Coming soon listings photos
- Walkthrough videos
- Neighborhood photos
- Local parks, farmers markets, grocery stores, schools, coffee shops, city buildings, fire stations, etc.
6. Email Marketing: As a top performing channel for marketing, email allows you to nurture prospects and customers by sharing valuable content to stay at the top of their minds for your service. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals or barter services to generate more leads. Consider Automation when possible.
What To Include In Your Marketing Budget:
Marketing cost change over time, but the general rule is 3-10 percent of your profit should be spent on marketing. This will include, advertising, public relations, customer service team, social media marketing team, video production, etc.
Marketing Evaluation: Evaluate the success of your marketing often in a marketing audit to identify what is working and what is not working and highlight the channels that are driving new business.
Brand awareness: This is the path to building equity for your brand. Identify improvements, through surveys and social media analytics.
Lead generation: Create customer journeys on your website that link to your Customer Relationship Management, (CRM) system like, Salesforce or, Zoho and Email.
Sales: Track sales through Sales Automation, Point Of Sale, (POS) systems, Zoom, Quick Books, Intuit,or Paypal. It’s very important to tag every new prospect so you can best track marketing spend.
**Remember to review and update your marketing plan on a yearly basis to ensure that what you want to happen is happening.**
2) Take Action: Don’t put that business plan in a drawer and forget about it. No matter how busy you are, set aside at least one hour a week to review your progress. This should be done with all business partners and all employees. A quarterly meeting should be scheduled with key vendors, marketing team, human resource team and all other key teams. The goal is to review process, modify action steps and set deadlines for accomplishing them.
3) Update Your Website: Update blog content and frequently asked questions, (FAQs). Add new photos from recent events, and projects, create new customer journeys. **Make the necessary changes to modernize your website.**
a. Does your business’s website answer questions of prospective clients/customers?
b. Does it look current, or is it sporting an old design?
c. Does it load quickly from desktop and mobile devices so clients/customers can access your business wherever they are.
d. Add ADA Compliance
e. Add SSL Certificate
4) Take Charge Of Your Finances: Consider an accounting software, like Melio, Intuit or Quickbooks to help with budgeting, sales and expenses.
5) Plan Ahead For Financing: How will you finance your business growth plans? If you are unable to fund growth from profits in a cash business, explore outside financing at the lowest possible rate. Consider credit unions and community banks, big banks or private investors such as angel capital groups or hard money lenders are much higher. Do not overlook family and friends, that might be willing to invest in your success.
6) Get Social: No matter what industry you operate your business, consider social media at a minimum for brand awareness. Every every business can benefit from social media,.
According to google however, link sharing across social media platforms increases brand exposure and influences SEO. The search engine optimization component helps as well with ranking on search engines. If you aren’t currently using at least one social media channel to stay connected with your target audiences, you are missing out on the ability to rank higher on search engine.
If you are active on social media and not seeing the results an improvement in your results, evaluate your content and consider the below items:
Be more authentic
Speak to a specific audience
Include a mix of education and fun behind the scenes
Share videos and photos of your service, partners and team
7) Delegate: It’s tough for small business owners to give up control, since most tasks can be done best by the business owner, but delegation is critical for business growth. By hiring an outsourced marketing team, you can have more focus on sales, sales, sales which is going to keep you in business longer.
Once a task has been assigned to a new person, get weekly and monthly updates to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. It’s important to give team members autonomy to make business decisions and stay up-to-date in weekly meetings. Structure operations so you can focus on your strengths and delegate the rest.
8) Human Resource: Does your team have the skills needed to grow your business? Whether someone may need more training, or not the right fit, consider hiring independent contractors short term to keep all gaps closed.
9) Upgrade Your Systems, Software and Equipment: Whether it’s technology like artificial intelligence (AI), email marketing, text marketing, CRM, content marketing making your business as efficient as possible should remain your number one goal. You can make a big difference in your bottom line by having standard operating procedures in place. Decide which investments will have the biggest impact and stack rank the options and execute with efficiency.
10) Celebrate Success: No matter how busy you are, be sure to celebrate your wins with your team. Every win should be celebrated. Making time to recognize results will re-energize you and your team for more wins.
M4RR works with small businesses from all sectors, while specializing in the vertical markets of real estate, cleaning and restoration, retail and legal. Nia is a licensed California Realtor, IICRC Certified in Water and Odor and holds formal University degrees in Marketing and International Business.