Heading into any new year be it fiscal or calendar, it's always important to reflect upon the previous year. How well did your business perform, in general? What did you do right or wrong? Were the goals you set for the business achieved or did you fall short? You get the idea.
But the bigger point is: After answering these questions, would you consider your year truly successful? Sometimes simply showing growth in terms of revenues doesn’t exactly translate into what a small business owner like yourself would consider “success.” To better determine your ultimate success year by year, it is practical to do some preparation.
So, if you're wondering "how to grow my small business for 2022," don't worry, we're here to help. Keep reading for seven small business tips to achieve maximum business growth this year.
1. Set Professional Goals
Striving towards business success is like taking a long road trip. It will take time and dedication to reach your destination. But more importantly, you can't expect to get to where you're going without some sort of navigation.
In the case of business success, our navigational tools are our goals. They act as both the signposts and the destination throughout our year. The tough part is knowing how to set challenging, yet achievable business goals.
We recommend using the SMART goal system. SMART goals are:
Using SMART goals will help you set growth milestones. Upon each success, you will be re-inspired to strive toward your next goal. Of course, each of these growth milestones will lead to your long-term vision.
2. Work with a Business Coach
So, you’ve got your goals set. But you’re left thinking something along the lines of ‘I’m already wearing every hat in the business, how am I going to also find time to grow my business?’ That's perfectly okay. There are experts in business who have decided to take their own small business experience and utilize it to helping others grow their pride and joy.
We call these people Heroes… *ahem* … I mean Business Coaches.
Business coaches are typically experts independent of various industries and work hand-in-hand with you to help you reach your goals.
In fact, we recommend working with a business coach even if you feel like growing a business is something you can do on your own. Why?
Because they have the experience and expertise gained from working with entrepreneurs across multiple industries as well as proven experience growing their own businesses of some sort. They offer valuable insight that brings a new perspective to the table. Working with a business coach could potentially help you achieve your long-term vision in half the time.
3. Ensure You're Ranking High on Google
When it comes to business growth, few things are as important as your Google search rankings. Your search rankings depend on both on-site and off-site SEO. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the coding embedded in your site along with the SEO minded copywriting that Google looks for to direct users to your web pages based on their keyword searches.
To improve your rankings, research and implement trending keywords for your niche and industry. Using these keywords as your basis, create relevant and engaging articles for your blog (which is what we are doing here!). Be careful to avoid keyword stuffing, which will actually hurt your rankings. Make sure you're using them organically and conversationally.
Additionally, use link-building practices to increase your website credibility. This includes internal links, which are links guiding website visitors to other pages on your website. You'll also want external links leading to sources of data or content relevant to your article, but outside your scope of expertise.
Finally, try to acquire backlinks to your site, which are links from other websites to yours. You can get these by guest posting and affiliating with other blogs and small businesses.
Side Note: If all of that was WAY over your head, then consider hiring a company to handle your SEO efforts. SEO is not the cheapest expense, but it is easily one the best uses of your marketing budget. However, be extremely cautious when hiring an SEO company, there are a ton, even a majority, of scammers or wannabes out there. The key items you’ll want to make sure they offer is Content and Backlinks. If they just pitch your listings and that’s it, run away!
4. Invest in PPC Marketing
Growing a business through organic SEO can take time. If you want immediate results, invest in pay-per-click marketing. We often recommend PPC as a bridge between unranked SEO to finally getting on first page. This route essentially allows you to buy your way to the top before you earn it organically.
On to the basics: PPC marketing is a system that allows business owners to pay for search engine visibility. You can pay Google to (attempt to) ensure your website comes up at the top of the search result pages for specific keywords. You pay Google for each click your ad receives, up to your predetermined budget.
However, the actual application of PPC can be a bit tricky. Anyone can create an account and toss up some ads. But Google bases its bid amount based on numerous factors and if you don’t take time to refine your ads, you’ll end up spending more for the same click than otherwise.
Regardless, this is a great way to increase your brand presence online and achieve business growth. It also happened to be another item on the list that is both recommended and easy to sub out to a specialist.
5. Maintain a Strong Social Media Presence
There is no simple answer to how to effectively market your business on social media. Each social media platform has its own algorithm. Plus, for every industry there are different tactics and methods to be effective. However, as 72% of Americans use social media, you honestly have no choice but to invest your time and resources into mastering these apps.
There are a few rules that can be applied across multiple platforms that will maximize your brand presence on social media, and thus, your business growth.
First, post content regularly. Try to post at least three times a week on whatever app you're using. This will increase your visibility and keep users engaged. Oh, and don’t forget that you can schedule all your posts. So instead of trying to remember to post every few days whilst also running your business, you can simply set aside a day at the beginning of the month and do all the posts for the month in one fell swoop.
Second, learn more about each app's algorithm to understand how you can attract more of your target audience. This means using the right hashtags on some apps or certain keywords on others. Depending on your audience, it might mean posting at specific times of the day. We always recommend that when you start out you rotate your times and days every 2 weeks or so and then go back and analyze the data to find what works best.
Finally, make sure your content is relevant, yet engaging. You want people to see your content and be inspired to follow your page, click on links to your site, or convert into customers. Whatever you do, don’t be that company that only posts some advertisement like ‘call us today to get our service’ with some cheap image. No one likes them and you’ll be more likely to turn people off from your service than anything.
Instead, try to make your posts relevant to your business, but more “real” or likeable. Something like and impromptu on the job picture or a customer making use of your services. But sometimes the most interactions come from images completely unrelated to your business. Think something along the lines of showcasing some vacation picture from an employee.
6. Showcase Your Credibility Via Customer Reviews
One of the most important lessons in small business growth is learning how to prove your credibility to consumers. You can't expect people to spend money on your brand if they doubt your products or services. They need to see evidence of your quality, which can be found through the eyes of other consumers.
Encourage customers to leave you a review on your site, social media page, or on Google Reviews. Then, when other consumers need verification that your products or services are legitimate, they can read the reviews and testimonials. If you blow customers away and inspire them with amazing services, they'll leave reviews that motivate other consumers to invest in your brand.
One KEY point to make here that is often overlooked: Don’t just blindly send out your review link. You’ll want to qualify your reviews first. What we mean by that is you’ll want to make sure that you are only asking those whom you know are going to give you a positive, helpful review. If you toss out review asks all willy nilly, then you’re likely to eventually ask someone who is not your biggest fan for one reason or another.
7. Make Sure Your Website is Designed to Convert
You might have a fair amount of traffic, but you find struggling to get the website sales you need to achieve your growth milestones. It is highly likely that your website isn't designed to convert. Once a user lands on your website, what strategies do you have in place to generate leads and ensure sales conversions?
Do you have a sales funnel? Do your blog articles have internal links leading consumers to your products and services pages? Do they end with calls to action? What about incentives?
In general, what activities are you designing into your website that are strategic to motivating consumers to purchase your products, invest in your services, or subscribe to your email list?
It might be time to look at your overall layout, aesthetic, and or strategic design. Often small businesses have great looking websites that fail to convert. You can easily have both.
Are You Ready to Smash Your Business Growth Goals?
While this list is not exhaustive, if you can tackle these 7 your business will be significantly poised for success. Depending on your own personal workload, all these items are easy enough to do on your own. However, if your time is soaked with the day-to-day many of these can be offloaded to a skilled employee or an outside resource.
Either way, if you’re ready to move your business to the next stage, this is where you need to start!
If you want to achieve maximum business growth in 2022, we can help. Check out our services. We offer business coaching, marketing services, executive coaching and more. We look forward to working with you to achieve your business goals.