30 Insanely Actionable Ways to Grow Your Business Fast

Written by Zoe King ✏️

Last updated June 23, 2024

One of the questions I receive a lot is: “Can you show me how to grow my business online“?

Over the past 10 years, I have helped countless businesses across the globe to expand through various digital marketing strategies.

I’ve seen first-hand what works and what doesn’t. And I’ve distilled the most effective tactics into this guide for you.

Here are 30 actionable and proven business growth strategies for easily driving traffic, getting more customers, and increasing profits.

 

Table of Contents show

 

1. Apply My 4R:4P Appraisal Framework

 

Let’s start by examining your business to see how things are and how you can improve.

You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expect to grow. The world is constantly changing and so are the methods of doing things, including the way business is run.

Entrepreneurship is about exploring new and better ways of providing solutions and making profits.

With that being said, it’s totally smart to apply this little thing I call the 4R:4P Appraisal Framework.

But before I show you the framework, let me quickly give you its background.

The 4R:4P Appraisal Framework is a tool we use at SHiFTCADEMY to help existing businesses easily identify and remove redundancies AND find opportunities for growth. It was developed in-house based on years of experimentation, experience, and expertise.

By implementing it, we’ve been able to help many businesses grow, which is why I believe it can work for you, too.

The 4R:4P Appraisal Framework contains 4 Rs and 4 Ps, and works by matching each of the Rs against a specific P to achieve an outcome just like so:

 

 

Here’s how the 4Rs apply following the 4Ps inline:

💡 Product: Revamp your product into what people want, not off the top of your head but based on real data from well-performed research (“product” denotes any offer you put forward to be purchased by customers, whether it’s a good or service). The outcome will be increased sales, improved customer experience (CX), customer loyalty, and better user reviews.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👧 People: Remove unproductive people and Reward those who perform excellently. If need be, Restructure. The outcome will be increased output and greater productivity.

⌚ Process: Redesign your business processes to favor growth and efficiency. Take advantage of technologies such as automation to improve performance. The outcome will be faster turnaround time, streamlined operation, and improved efficiency.

🤝 Partnership: Renegotiate with your partners (clients, suppliers, affiliates, and investors) for better deals. The outcome will be that you’ll either make or save a lot of money or both.

The 4R:4P Appraisal Framework by SHiFTCADEMY is a simple but incredibly effective method that can snowball any business. Try doing this perhaps every quarter, biannually, or yearly based on your type of business.

 

2. Implement Content Marketing

 

Content marketing is a huge topic and there are several stories of people who have successfully created multi-million dollar businesses using content marketing as their primary marketing strategy.

It’s a super-effective technique capable of generating more leads than traditional marketing yet costing less. This explains why 82% of marketers report actively using content marketing.

What is content marketing? According to Content Marketing Institute:

“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

To break it down, content marketing is when you consistently create and share truly helpful content, not with the intention of explicitly promoting your brand but educating your audience and stimulating interest in your product or service over time.

The content could be in the form of blog posts, online videos, podcasts, whitepapers, long-form guides, infographics, eBooks, case studies, checklists, webinars, and slideshows, just to name a few.

 

Use a tool like Surfer AI or Scalenut to easily produce high-quality content that’s optimized for your audience.

Here are some nuggets for effective content marketing:

  • Create a content strategy. It’s important for defining your goals and building a specific action plan for reaching the goal. This way, you don’t end up doing content marketing impulsively or blindly, which usually impacts the result.
  • Never compromise on the quality of your content. Quality content is relevant, helpful, and valuable to users, answering their questions in great detail. Quality content is better, more in-depth, and more comprehensive than other pieces on the same topic.
  • Promote, promote, and promote. This is the secret to successful content marketing. In short, it’s advisable to spend about 20% of your time on creating content and 80% on promotion.
  • Aim for evergreen content. This type of content revolves around a topic that’s always relevant to readers, regardless of the current season or news cycle. It doesn’t go out of date and can keep ranking or bringing in traffic for years.
  • Be available on multiple platforms (your blog, social media, YouTube, etc.) and try out different forms of content — text, videos, audio, graphics.

 

3. Establish a Strong Online Presence with a Website

 

There are different types of digital marketing you can implement in your business.

 

 

But for your overall digital marketing strategy to carry enough weight, you need to be organized.

And the best way to do that? Owning a website!

A website serves as the hub for all your digital marketing activities. It is the headquarters of your online presence.

It goes without saying that this is for those who have yet to take full advantage of the digital revolution. The age of the digital economy is upon us—there are now well over 4.8 billion internet users.

 

 

If you’re not on the internet in the 21st century, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.

Building a professionally-designed, brand-enhancing, user-engaging website can only allow you to grow your business online:

  • A website makes it possible for potential customers to easily and quickly find information about your company. If I entered your business name on Google, would I find information about YOUR business? What if I want to know your hours but can’t make a call? A good website will answer basic questions about your business right away—which could free up some time if you’re spending a lot of it answering questions on the phone.
  • A website stands you out from the crowd, differentiates your business from the competition, and makes your brand appear more professional and trustworthy.
  • As the best means of *free* advertising, a website serves as the foundation for your digital marketing strategy. It rocks a 24/7 uptime, which means it is not restricted to business hours but can keep showcasing your products and capturing leads even while your competitors are sleeping.
  • A website will let people see your business from anywhere around the world. This is more about global relevance than customer acquisition. Now you don’t have to play local, you don’t have to be limited to just your street corner in sales and show off, operating from your brick-and-mortar space. You can reach the world from where you are through the Internet.
  • The numbers speak for themselves. To start with, 30% of consumers won’t consider a business that has no website, 63% of consumers primarily use a company’s website to start a buying engagement, 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine, and the number of consumers who go online to find local businesses has skyrocketed to a whopping 97%—do the math and you’ll find these are pretty interesting numbers.

 

These days, building and maintaining a website is easier and cheaper than ever.

You don’t have to pay through the nose nor do you need to know how to code or design a thing.

To build a website, you need a domain name (this is your website’s address, e.g. www.example.com) and web hosting (this is where you store your website’s files and data).

For an unparalleled web hosting experience, Cloudways takes the lead as the most reliable choice, providing cutting-edge, performance-oriented cloud hosting solutions.

 

The Ultimate Managed Hosting Platform
When building your website, consider using them together with Divi or GeneratePress to make your website stand out. Divi allows you to build elegant websites in minutes without writing code.

If you’re exploring alternative hosting options, Kinsta and Scala Hosting also stand out as excellent choices, offering robust solutions for your hosting needs.

WordPress—the simplest and most used tool for creating beautiful websites—is completely free, easy to use, and if you need help, there are tons of done-for-you free tutorials and community-based support available online.

Here’s my complete step-by-step guide to creating a beautiful, functional website for your business even if you know nothing about coding:

 

How to Create a Website or Blog In 5 Easy Steps Even If You Cannot Code

 

4. Fine-tune Your Sales Funnel and Optimize Your Conversion Tools

 

A “sales funnel” refers to the journey customers go through to make a purchase. A sales funnel usually consists of some stages including the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel, although these stages may vary depending on a company’s sales model.

A report finds that about 79.80% of online carts are abandoned before they get to the checkout page.

 

 

In other words, most online buyers who attempt to make a purchase do not get to the checkout page, partly because of a chaotic sales funnel.

To thrive in your sales, you need a sales funnel that leads consumers through the buying process without fizzling until they ultimately make a purchase.

For example, if you’re making it so that every potential new buyer has to create an account before purchasing on your website, you’re massively undercutting your sales. A huge percentage of shoppers will abandon their carts for this reason alone.

So why not spend a little time going over your existing sales funnel to check for areas that could use some improvements?

A tool like ClickFunnels will come in handy for creating and automating well-designed funnels.

 

 

Similarly, you need to optimize your conversion tools. Your conversion tools include all the materials and messaging used in getting people to buy from you.

Here’s a list of them:

  • Your website
  • Sales and web copy
  • Landing pages
  • Calls-to-action (CTAs)
  • Contact pages
  • Contact forms
  • Signup forms
  • Incentives

These all add up in some way to your conversion process. They’re the vehicles through which you drive sales. If something is not quite right with any of them, that could cost you lots of sales even without your knowledge.

again, you can use ClickFunnels to create launch pages, sales pages, pop-ups, and other conversion pages for easily capturing and nurturing leads.

One key element of your conversion strategy is your messaging. So you’d want to make it as cogent and compelling as possible. Your messaging should address the user’s pain points and inspire action.

Also, don’t depend only on your abilities to create a sales-producing conversion path. Get experts such as copywriters, designers, developers, and CRO specialists to critique and work your messaging and other conversion tools to a hyper-effective state.

A/B test different versions of your conversion elements — website, copy, unique value proposition, landing pages, social media pages, CTAs, colors, placements, marketing emails — to see what gives you the greatest conversion rate.

 

5. Optimize for Search Engines

 

If your website isn’t properly optimized for search rankings, you’re missing out on a massive amount of organic traffic, sales, and revenue.

Want to see the difference that search engines can make in your business?

In 2012, Google announced they were processing over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.

 

 

However, it is possible Google now processes over two trillion searches per year or even more given that the announcement was made about a decade ago.

In fact, Search Engine Land — an SEO-focused blog — published this screenshotted post four years after Google made the announcement:

 

 

As you’ve seen in the screenshot, the post claims that Google could be processing several trillions of searches per year. And don’t forget to factor in the fact that the report was only published a couple of years back.

Overall, the number of people using search engines is increasing year on year, currently standing at over 7.5 billion searches a day worldwide, according to Internet Live Stats.

 

 

These numbers should put things in perspective for you as to how well your business can benefit from search engines.

By optimizing your website content to rank on Google and other search engines, you’d generate loads of traffic and leads to grow your business. This is called SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

SEO is a complex, in-depth topic with several different tactics for ranking high. But there are some things you can still do even if you are an absolute beginner:

  • Use Surfer SEO to automatically create and optimize content that can rank at the top of Google.
  • Your content should be extremely valuable and relevant to what searchers are searching for. There’s an AI system Google uses to rank content based on relevance. It’s called Google RankBrain.
  • Build backlinks, backlinks, and more backlinks. Google has over 200 factors they use in determining which content to rank higher; backlinks is among the top three factors (together with quality content and RankBrain)
  • Get the basic on-page SEO right — enter the metadata, do some internal and external linking, complete the meta description, etc. If you use WordPress, tools like All-In-One SEO, Yoast SEO, and RankMath will help you a lot on this front.
  • Try to stay as close as possible to Google Guidelines.
  • Be sure to perform keyword research for every piece of content you create. Pay close attention to Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords. In plain speak, LSI keywords are a fancy way of saying “synonyms and closely related words.” They help Google understand what your page is all about so that it’s ranked better. Also, pick keywords with the right intent based on your goal. For instance, to generate sales, pick keywords with commercial intent.

 

Want the best tool for SEO? Surfer SEO, Scalenut, SEMrush, and Ahrefs are great options.

 

6. Fire on with Email Marketing

 

Despite the introduction of social media and some innovative communication tools like Slack, email remains the numero uno in business communication.

With the internet becoming increasingly accessible, the number of emails sent and received globally has increased each year since 2017. While roughly 319.6 billion emails were estimated to have been sent and received each day in 2021, this figure is expected to increase to over 376.4 billion daily emails by 2025.

 

 

In terms of return on investment, $42 is generated for every $1 spent on email marketing. This is an astounding 4,200% ROI, making email marketing one of the most viable marketing strategies available.

 

 

In fact, marketers who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue.

This explains why as many as 87% of marketers use email marketing to disseminate their content.

How should you use email marketing in your business?

  • Email is very effective for nurturing leads until they are ready to buy or following up with potential clients until you close sales.
  • Using email, you can consistently promote your offers to people who are already interested in your solution, implementing repeat sales and getting regular feedback from them.
  • Use email as a channel for distributing content. This lets you drive repeat engaged traffic to your website and stay top-of-mind. Simply share new content published on your blog with your subscribers.
  • Email allows you to take your business beyond your website and social media, letting you build beneficial relationships with both potential and current customers.

How do you start email marketing?

Start by setting up your website and social media pages to capture emails and encourage your audience to join your email list. To entice people to subscribe, you can offer an opt-in bait.

After capturing emails, continually share useful content with them. You’d want to occasionally tip in your offers, or in more fancy words, “exclusive deals.”

Also, apply the 80/20 percent rule where you do 80% educational content and 20% promotional content.

To consistently promote your business, highlight offers, features, promotions, contact details, and news in your email signature block. Just be sure the information you’re providing is relevant and consistent across the board.

Here are the best tools for building great lists and carrying out successful email marketing:

  • GetResponse: The most brilliant email marketing software for communicating with your subscribers and buyers. Create, send, track, and measure your email campaigns with ease.
  • ActiveCampaign: The industry-leading email and marketing automation software with added sales CRM functionality. With ActiveCampaign, you can create automated marketing and sales processes.
  • Moosend: A powerful cloud-based email marketing platform with marketing automation for managing multiple email campaigns, mailing lists, newsletters, and more.
  • Systeme.io: An all-in-one marketing platform that gives you everything you need to create and launch sales funnels, affiliate programs, email marketing campaigns, online courses, blogs, and websites.
  • ClickFunnels: An absolute must-have if you truly mean business about generating BIG income online. Easily build high-converting sales funnels and close more deals without any technical or design skills required.

 

7. Analyze Your Top Competitors

 

You think being a successful entrepreneur is all about minding your own business? Well, you’d have to play spy, too.

How does analyzing the competition help you grow your business?

In the book, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, there’s a key principle that can help you understand this concept of competitive analysis.

Sun Tzu wrote that during times of war, the spy holds the most important position in the army. Once a spy infiltrates the camp of the enemy, the enemy’s best strategies and defenses will be exposed and rendered useless.

According to Sun Tzu:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself, but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

It’s a simple analogy: by finding out what your business competitors are up to, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify their weaknesses and take advantage of those.
  • Identify their strengths and position your brand not to be outstripped.
  • Identify ways to be different.
  • Take from their strategies, designs, and more… improve upon those and be better.
  • Gain an insight into their marketing tactics like their copy, unique value proposition, promotional methods, top organic keywords, backlinks, most used techniques, and everything in between.

Generally, the ultimate aim is to gain some valuable intel on what’s working for the competition and what you can do to reposition your business advantageously. And it is good to do this even before devising and implementing your own strategy.

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” – Sun Tzu

The competitive intelligence tool you use will depend on what you want to achieve.

For instance, you may decide to use SEMrush, an all-in-one digital marketing and competitive analysis suite that covers SEO, PPC, keyword research, social media, PR, content, and more.

 

 

A tool like SpyFu reveals the search marketing strategies of your competitors.

 

 

Sprout Social offers deep social media listening, analytics, and management.

 

 

8. Know Your Customer

 

You’d agree that there’s no business without ‘the customer.’ They are the lifeblood of every business and if you want your business to stay alive, you need them.

With that in mind, it’s best to get to know who your target customer is, and it is good you do this early on.

Why? Knowing your customer is essential for tailoring your product or service just for that person to provide exactly what they want and zeroing in on your marketing activities on just the most promising persona.

This, in turn, is essential for, not just business growth, but also building good customer relationships.

Great customer relationship not only increases trust and loyaltywhich normally results in repeat businessbut also leads to customers recommending you to other people or businesses who might need your solution.

You can use ActiveCampaign CRM to manage the entire customer journey, including tracking and managing all interactions and processes within your business.

The most successful businesses have a customer-first and customer-centric approach ingrained into their company culture. But this is easier said than done. How do you achieve it?

Here are some pointers to help you:

 

Create a buyer persona

 

You may not necessarily be able to know every customer or prospect individually, but you can create a buyer persona to represent each general segment of your customer base.

A buyer persona is a research-based personal profile of your target customer. It is a fictional representation and a generalized description of the personality of your ideal buyer, based on customer data and market research.

Which means it describes who your ideal customer is, what their most important needs are, and what roles they play in trying to meet those needs.

The most effective buyer personas typically detail things like the customer’s demographic information, hobbies, income level, gender, age, education, social circles, motivations, goals, behaviours, pain points, values, fears, buying patterns, and more.

HubSpot’s Make My Persona tool can help you get started.

 

 

With a well-documented buyer persona to guide your decisions and inform your strategy, you’ll be able to create just the right product and stay impressively relevant to your target market.

 

Create a customer journey map

 

A customer journey map is a visual representation of the process a customer goes through in order to achieve a goal with your business — usually to purchase your product or service.

As an example, here’s what a basic B2B customer journey map may look like:

 

 

Your goal with customer journey mapping should be to make the customer’s experience with your brand worthwhile and develop from the initial engagement into a long-term relationship.

Providing your customers with a rewarding experience is the whole point of business.

Try to understand their consumption preferences, engagement habits, and pain points. By doing this, you’d be better positioned to deliver the kind of value that will help you forge a deeper customer relationship.

Research everything you can about your ideal customer and optimize your solution to meet their exact needs. This will distinguish you from the competition and reposition your business for growth and success.

Also, it is important to try to NOT serve every “customer.”

How? Typically, before you can identify ideal buyers, you need to define which buyers you can help and which you can’t. This helps you identify which prospects are the best fit for your solution and who’s only going to waste your time.

 

9. Launch a Proactive Lead Generation Campaign

 

If you want more customers and want them fast, well then, you’ll just have to go get them. The emphasis is on proactiveness.

What some businesses do is sit back and wish for buyers. But, except you’ve already built a powerful inbound marketing system, that’s never going to happen.

The thing is to NOT wait for clients to find you, but go find them.

One widely quoted statistic states that at least 57% of the buying process is completed before the buyer ever reaches out to your company. But this statistic is not quite helpful.

It technically suggests that you should wait around for prospects to do their research and then call you when they’re ready to buy. That’s not selling; it’s order-taking.

Top entrepreneurs aren’t reactive or lethargic. They’re proactive, insightful, and great at finding opportunities.

They know how to prospect for sales, and it’s not sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring. They understand that there are competitors out there. They reach out early, ideally even before prospects know about the need. That’s what forward-thinking marketers do. In fact, 79% of marketers worldwide say generating quality leads is their top priority this year, according to SEMRush’s State of Content Marketing report.

 

 

Let’s say you own an online service business. You have dreams of working with top-paying clients. And let’s say you’ve set up everything you need to start making money online — a beautiful website, payment gateway, professional email, you name it.

Now, you don’t have to sit idly waiting for the right offers to come in, nothing serious may happen. Instead, go out of your way to actually get companies to hire your services. Use proactive lead-generation strategies to land your dream clients.

Cold emails, letters of introduction (LOIs), LinkedIn outreaches, guest posts on big-name websites, cold calling/telemarketing, one-on-one marketing, direct mailing, and even DMs on social media: these are all great PROACTIVE marketing strategies you can use.

When I was a paid writer for online businesses, I sent thousands of cold emails and LinkedIn mails in the form of LOIs and landed several dozens of clients. This was one of my favorite marketing techniques as an independent contractor.

Even better, there’s now LinkedIn Sales Navigator, a powerful prospecting and social selling tool for building trusted relationships and reaching the right decision-makers.

ClickFunnels is another valuable tool that can greatly enhance your lead-generation efforts as an online business owner. It’s a comprehensive software platform that allows you to create and optimize sales funnels, making it easier to convert leads into paying clients.

The internet just makes the whole thing a lot easier. The trick is to find what works for you and bump up on it.

 

10. Don’t Go It Alone

 

If you don’t have the right skills, resources, connections, and technical know-how to grow your business, someone else has them. Forming and fostering critical relationships with such people will help you grow.

 

Create an in-house team

 

A reliable team is the entrepreneur’s secret weapon.

A well-motivated, fully functioning, and competent team is a valuable asset for any business in a world where various different skillsets are required for online domination and business growth.

What could otherwise have taken you a month to accomplish as a one-person squad, a team can accomplish in far less time.

It can be a physical team in a physical office, but it can otherwise be a virtual or distributed team powered by the Internet.

What does this mean?

The concept of remote work has become the order of the day (partly thanks to COVID). A Gartner survey reveals 74% of companies intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently.

That’s because the productivity metric is proving that remote work is working: 77% of remote workers say they’re more productive when working from home.

 

 

In summary, you no longer need to rent office space to build an “in-house” team.

 

Outsource to external independent workers

 

Aside from building an in-house team, another way you can get people to work with you is through outsourcing (a.k.a hiring freelancers).

This is especially helpful if time or skill isn’t on your side. Figure out what you do that turns in the most results, and then delegate the rest.

You can outsource tasks like content creation, search engine optimization, design, data entry, social media promotions, online community management, technical support, customer service calls, and more.

And these days, you can easily find freelancers, independent contractors, and virtual assistants on platforms like Fiverr.

In fact, there are hundreds of millions of freelancers all over the world ready to help with any aspect of your business. To give you an idea, there are over 59 million freelancers in the United States alone, contributing $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy, as revealed in a study by Upwork.

 

 

Hiring independent workers is less expensive than maintaining an in-house team as they’ll be working on an “as-needed” basis and do not require compensation packages and fringe benefits associated with hiring full-time staff.

 

Form alliances and partnerships

 

The idea is to identify companies or individuals and work out how you can help them achieve their goals so that you can achieve yours. Do this with people/organizations who are smarter, bigger, or more resourceful than you in well-defined areas.

They could include investors, agencies, suppliers, industry bodies, marketers, affiliates, companies that sell non-competing products to your target market, companies that have similar products in different geographic locations, experts in specialized professional disciplines, and so on.

Let’s say you’ve successfully created a great software product. You’re stellar in your area of core competency — software development. However, your marketing skills are so pathetic even your mom would laugh.

Partner with someone who has deep domain expertise in marketing and it’s a win-win. Go it alone and you’re likely to go back to your 9-to-5.

Get a mentor/coach/consultant

 

No matter what business you do, a business coach, consultant, and/or mentor can help you to work smarter and progress faster than you could on your own. It’s like having an extra turbo engine mounted on a supercar.

Additionally, coaches/consultants/mentors help you avoid mistakes, provide a much-needed ego check, and help you expand your network inevitably, thereby giving you the tools and perspective you need to go from point A to point B.

Little wonder 84% of CEOs said mentors had helped them avoid costly mistakes.

 

11. Automate Your Business Process and Create a System

 

In addition to building strategic relationships with people that matter, robots and software can also help you grow.

“Wait, aren’t robots supposed to be stealing our jobs?”

Well, if you want to compete auspiciously in today’s business setting, you would actually need them.

There are many business process automation (BPA) tools and AI-powered software on the market for automating different business processes and tasks such as:

  • Email marketing
  • Payment processing
  • Content creation
  • Customer support
  • Invoicing
  • Product/service delivery
  • Social media management
  • Lead generation
  • Sales and order processing and so on.

These are all time-consuming, repetitive tasks but by automating them, you’d be able to:

  • Move work faster
  • Scale your business
  • Cut costs and save time
  • Reach more customers quickly
  • Increase productivity and operational efficiency
  • Remove redundancies and bottlenecks while improving service quality and delivery
  • Free up resources to focus on core areas of talent

This is the art of building an automated business.

Spending on marketing automation solutions, for instance, is justified by the results: conversions are estimated to increase by 77%.

 

 

Also, another study confirmed that automating omnichannel marketing is likely to create a customer retention rate of 90%. The same study shows engagement and purchase rates increase by 250% using omnichannel automation.

But it gets better: Systems.

By definition and according to Business Dictionary, a system is:

“a set of detailed methods, procedures and routines created to carry out a specific activity, perform a duty, or solve a problem…”

While creating a team and automating your business processes, don’t forget to build a system around them, especially for repetitive tasks. It’ll help you advance more quickly.

Check out our tools page to see the tools we recommend for automating any aspect of your business.

 

12. Tweak Prices

 

This works in two ways:

 

Increasing prices

 

Statistically, by increasing the price of your solution, your revenue will increase without additional effort.

It’s a no-brainer, but when increasing prices, you have to ensure that you give corresponding value to the customer.

You might be surprised that your customers are either not as sensitive to price as you think, or would appreciate the added value you could give them for only a small increase in price.

Interestingly, market analysts have discovered something about human psychology — when choosing products, we subconsciously assume the highest-priced item has the highest quality. So we tend to go for items with higher prices.

This is called “premium pricing” strategy and it is used to create the perception that the product must have a higher value than competing products. But ultimately, premium-priced products make companies more money.

 

Here’s a word of warning:

If you must increase prices, don’t bump up the whole thing in one go; it could have a negative effect on your sales. Instead, test it out bit by bit to discover where the price sensitivity lies. Once you find it, snuggle right up to that line.

 

Reducing prices

 

This works in obverse to the idea of price increment. This means by reducing prices, more people will buy your product and this improves your profit margins. This is ideal in a market with multiple sellers of identical products.

In summary, selling at a lower price often increases your sales volume, hopefully making up for your decreased profit per unit by returning bigger gross profits. Raising your prices might increase your profit margins, but often results in a decrease in sales volumes.

It’s up to you to choose the strategy that works best for your business.

 

13. Expand Horizontally and/or Vertically

 

Horizontal integration is expansion into adjacent markets, whether it is a new geographical location and/or a business sector. This is also described as “scaling out.”

On the other hand, vertical growth is expansion further along the supply chain, where you obtain a greater share of the market(s) in which you currently operate. This is also described as “scaling up.”

These growth models can help a business increase its size, reduce competition, achieve economies of scale, and gain access to new customers or markets.

For instance, look into diversifying your offers. What complementary products or services can you bring to the table? What else can you sell to your clients? What new opportunities are ripe within your niche?

Can you build more outlets for distribution, enlarge your geographical coverage, or start a new product line?

What about acquiring a similar business? Acquisition is so effective that it is one of the few permissible tools (alongside innovation, strategic marketing, and a few others) that can be used to outgun the competition.

You may think acquisition is only used by large corporations, but that’s not the case.

As a small business or an online business, you can jump-start your growth by acquiring an already established app, email list, eCommerce store, blog, or website.

Over at Flippa.com, thousands of websites and apps that are already getting traffic and making money are being put forward for sale. Why not find one that aligns with your business goals and purchase?

 

 

It is also possible to purchase a social media account like an Instagram page, a TikTok account, or an already monetized YouTube channel with thousands or millions of users.

This way, you grow your business instantly without having to build a following from scratch.

 

14. Adopt the “Red Carpet” Strategy

 

Here’s the fact:

If you target smaller clients, you have to put in a lot of time and work into MANY DIFFERENT projects to be able to earn a livable income.

But if you target bigger clients? You’ll spend less time working but actually earn more money.

Why? Because bigger clients have bigger projects and better pay.

To illustrate, an online business owner with numerous small clients who are paying $50 per hour would have to work several hours to earn enough money.

But if he decides to apply a “red carpet” approach by finding the biggest, most important people willing and able to pay $500 per hour, not only will he make MORE money working with just a few VIPs, but will also spend LESS time on admin, marketing, invoicing, emails, and client-side operations.

How about $5,000 per hour? Sounds like red carpet treatment?

You want to free up some of your time (while earning more) to do some other useful things like starting a new project or spending time with your family.

Build up your clientele gradually and drop the smaller clients as you grow.

This same strategy applies if you sell or recommend products. For instance, instead of getting $11 per sale in commission as an affiliate marketer, you could focus on promoting high-ticket products that pay commissions of $100+ or more per sale. With this approach, you can earn significantly more income.

 

15. Plow Back into Your Business

 

If you’ve already started pulling in some profits, it’s time to start investing back into the business.

One mistake I find entrepreneurs make often is pocketing whatever money their business makes, considering any company profit to be their salary.

But that’s a wrong approach towards business growth. Instead, you need to reinvest some of that money into your business to increase revenue, position the business for more growth, and sustain it for long-term success.

How should you earn?

Let the business pay your salary — just as a regular staff — and only increase your salary as the business income increases.

I recommend bridling your salary at around 25 to 30% of the total earnings. This might not be easy especially if your business is not yet making a lot of money, but no matter what, don’t spend everything your business generates.

Note: It should NOT be you paying yourself the salary but the business paying you. There’s a difference between the two.

Here are some ideas for reinvesting in your business:

  • Invest in online marketing campaigns such as paid ads, SEO, email marketing, viral giveaway campaigns, and the like.
  • Purchase new hardware, software, or services that can help with scaling the business, making work easier, improving quality, increasing productivity, and what have you.
  • Hire (more) team members if necessary or at least hire experts to do things like critique your product, get you a better UX design, create better marketing copy, and so on.
  • Develop more (or better) products.
  • Invest in things that can improve your brand.
  • Rent an office space. Again, only if necessary.
  • Upskill yourself by taking benefit-oriented paid courses
  • You might even want to incentivize your target audience to get certain information from them, like what they really want or what you can do to improve your product/service.

It’s worth keeping in mind that investing isn’t just money-based — your time, tools, and experience are also valuable. Imagine outsourcing some tasks to freelancers and reinvesting the time into value-added, growth-focused activities.

 

16. Use Online Paid Ads

 

Ever seen a post on Facebook that looks something like this?

 

 

What about this one on Google Search?:

 

 

Or the video ad that plays on YouTube besides the main video?

These are all online paid advertising.

Whenever I get the question “Can you show me how to grow my business online?”, one of the easiest options I often recommend is paid ads.

There are several forms but below are just some of the most popular ones:

 

  • Display ads: These are ads placed on relevant third-party websites in the form of banners, images, and text — basically every visual ad displayed on a third-party website. Ad placement could be brokered directly or through a display network such as the Google Display Network.
  • Pay-per-click (PPC): This is a paid search advertising model that allows you to pay only when your ad is clicked. You’d have to create ads and then bid on specific search phrases. The ads are then displayed on the search engine results page, targeting searchers who search with the same terms you bade on.
  • Retargeting: Sometimes called behavioral retargeting, these are online ads triggered by a user’s online activities. To illustrate, when someone visits your website and looks at a specific page or product, a tiny piece of data called ‘cookie’ is added to their browser. When that visitor leaves your website, your ads can follow them all over the Internet, displaying to them when they visit an ad-enabled site. This is great for reminding people of products they’ve already expressed interest in.
  • Video ads: Video advertising involves displaying ads within online video content, either before, during or after a video stream — known as pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll — or as standalone ads. It’s an extremely effective advertising method. Online video consumption has been on the rise with the average viewer spending nearly 8 hours a day watching digital videos. In fact, statistics show that over 93% of global Internet users worldwide watch digital videos each week. The combination of audio, visual, and motion means you can appeal to multiple senses, passing more information to users within a short time.
  • Native ads: These are paid ads that match the feel, look, and function of the media format where they are hosted. Unlike display ads or banner ads, native ads don’t really look like ads but are more like part of the editorial flow of the page. As a result, native ads are non-disruptive. They expose the consumer to ad content without sticking out like a sore thumb.
  • Social ads: Pretty much all the major social networking sites — Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat — offer advertising services with which you can reach as many users as you want depending on your budget. You can even set parameters for the kind of audience you want to reach based on demographics, interests, location, age, behavior, and more.

 

How does online paid advertising work?

You pay the owner of a digital real estate (a high-traffic website like Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or even just any relevant website) in exchange for the use of their space for the promotion of your business. That’s the baseline, but I hope you get the point.

As this is payment-based advertising (as opposed to owned or earned advertising), it’s sort of “purchasing” or “renting” traffic. This means you need to keep paying for the rented space if you want your ad to continue occupying it.

The global digital ad spend reached $491.70 billion in 2021, rising from 204.01 billion in 2018. It’s expected to hit $785 billion by 2025, a proliferation marking the effectiveness of digital paid ads.

 

 

Although you’re required to pay for online ads, it’ll never cost you more than you have to spend. If you have a budget of $5 per day, Facebook ads, for instance, will never cost you more than $5 a day.

However, there are a number of factors that will affect how far your budget will stretch and the success you’ll see for your money.

What you should think about is how you can make your budget deliver the best results for your business. For example, if you sell a B2B solution, LinkedIn ads will probably be the best choice as 80% of B2B marketing leads from social media are reported to come through LinkedIn alone.

The platform has a one-of-a-kind audience — a professional audience in a clutter-free environment.

Generally, online advertisement is very attractive because it’s measurable and highly sophisticated with regard to targeting.

This means it’s actually possible to target a very specific part of your demographic for more effective marketing.

Let’s assume your company sells products targeting millennials; you can configure your ads on, say Facebook, to reach only twenty-somethings.

Or let’s say you’re targeting people with certain interests who are based out of a specific geo-location, you can configure for that, too.

 

17. Reach Out to Influencers

 

Influencer marketing has become mainstream. The global influencer marketing market value has more than doubled since 2019, standing at around $13.8 billion as of 2021 and now over $16 billion this year.

 

 

Think about all the good stuff that can happen to your business if you reach out to an influencer with a strong social following within your domain, to post about your awesome product.

That’s what influencer marketing is about — someone or a brand with an attractive fan base talking about or outrightly promoting a solution. They have a massive followership that can easily trust whatever they say. As a result, if an influencer mentions your brand or posts about your product, users will more likely trust and potentially buy from you.

And FYI, this is not hard to pin down. You can literally get influencers talking about your solution. You just need to get your act together.

Ideally, you should be paying influencers, but offering products or services in exchange for their promotion is another viable option.

Now, it’s also important to realize that the ideal influencers are those whose target audience is reflective of yours.

So say you own a cosmetic product label, you can reach out to a beauty YouTuber with a good number of subscribers or a beauty Instagrammer with good followership.

And talking about “good followership,” a successful influencer marketing campaign is not necessarily about the biggest names out there; it’s more about relevance.

In other words, you can get a higher ROI looking out for micro-influencers that have at least 1,000 followers that are HIGHLY engaged, not necessarily one with 1,000,000 users that are stretched out.

Why? Because influence is not just about the size of the following but more about engaged followership that is relevant to your offer. And these kinds of influencers do not ask you to break the bank.

 

 

Outside of direct social media outreach, here are some other ways you can get featured on popular websites or get promoted by an established name:

  • Write guest posts for authority sites within your niche. They’ll likely share it on their social media pages and on their email lists.
  • Send out press releases.
  • Do an expert roundup post and get the featured influencers to share it.
  • Do something awesome then get interviewed by blogs.
  • Interview a big name, create a blog post, podcast, or video on it, and encourage them to share it.
  • Do blogger outreach, where you strategically ask established bloggers to share your content with their readers.

Hint: Always offer something helpful or valuable if you want to get a response.

Do NOT go like this:

Hey [influencer name],

 

I noticed you love green fruits and have managed to get 600k green fruit lovers to like your page.

 

I just started a company that produces green fruits and want you to share the demo video of my concept + a link to my website with your followers.

 

Looking forward.

 

Jane Doe

Instead, say something like:

Hey [influencer name],

 

Zoe here. I’ve been following your content on smart home tech for a while now and totally love what you’re doing. Hats off!

 

I recently created a 10-step guide to automating any home and wanted to mention that I included some advice I picked up from one of your videos and also linked to it.

 

Here’s the link to the guide: [your link goes here].

 

Best,

 

Zoe K

 

PS. The guide can also benefit your audience greatly. If you share it with them, not only will you make my day, you’ll also make my year 🙂

18. Become Accessible on Mobile

 

Mobile internet usage and adoption is not just on the rise, it has actually overtaken desktop usage.

As far back as 2016, mobile and tablet devices accounted for 51.3% of Internet usage worldwide, surpassing desktops (48.7%) for the first time.

 

 

“This should be a wake-up call, especially for small businesses, sole traders, and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile-friendly. Many older websites are not,” commented Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter’s CEO.

The mobile device industry has been growing steadily, in market size, models, and suppliers, without any signs of slowing down in the foreseeable future.

To see what I mean, look at this report from Statista:

 

 

CNBC even reports that “almost three-quarters (72.6%) of internet users will access the web solely via their smartphones by 2025…”

What do these trends mean for business?

It means more and more people will be accessing content and websites via mobile.

As a forward-thinking entrepreneur, you ought to key into this trend by implementing a strong mobile marketing strategy.

There are 3 major ways to do this:

 

1. Mobile advertising

 

“Mobile Marketing” as a term is defined as a digital marketing method that uses various channels to reach a specific audience on their smartphones, feature phones, tablets, or any other related devices through websites, push notifications, emails, SMS, MMS, social media, or mobile applications.

One particularly riveting subset of mobile marketing is mobile advertising.

Mobile ads are a type of digital advertisement that appears on web pages and apps on high-end mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

This type of ad is dominating digital advertising with about 72% of all digital advertising budgets being spent on mobile ads.

With this, you should be able to tell that implementing “mobile advertising” in your business isn’t just good, it is the advertising method of the 21st century.

 

2. Mobile-responsive websites

 

Mobile-responsive design allows visitors to view and use a website conveniently using their mobile devices. This allows them to take actions like buying, making payments, signing up and more without any hassle.

But beyond that, mobile responsiveness is important not just because of user experience and growing traffic, but SEO as well. How? Google favors mobile-friendly websites in its rankings.

To show you how important this is, Google started switching from desktop-first to mobile-first indexing in 2018. This means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of your site for indexing and ranking.

They’ve even announced that mobile-first indexing is enabled by default for all new websites (new to the web or previously unknown to Google Search).

Thus, you ought to implement some mobile-first best practices to ensure your website does not miss out on Google’s organic traffic.

 

3. Mobile apps

 

Imagine having “your business” installed on someone’s device and they go everywhere with it. That’s what a mobile app can do for you.

This is especially important if your business is SaaS-based, an online tool, or even a website.

You can create the app yourself (if you can code), use a low-code or no-code development tool, or hire a developer.

With over 7 billion smartphone users across the world and another 1+ billion tablet users worldwide, you can begin to see how impactful having a mobile app for your business can be.

 

 

Study shows the average mobile user checks their device at least every 12 minutes, 10% of people check their phones once every four minutes, and generally, consumers check their phones at least 80 times a day.

What’s everyone doing on their mobile? Well, 90% of mobile time is spent on apps.

 

 

So building a valuable mobile app for your business would indeed be a remunerative business move.

Mobile apps provide a direct access point from the home screen of a mobile device to your business. Plus, a native app experience is typically slicker and more agile than a comparable web experience.

 

19. Blast Off on Social Media

 

Another option for those who ask “Can you show me how to grow my business online“? is social media.

When I say blast off on social media, I’m not talking about posting pictures of you and your chihuahua. Instead, this is about using social media strategically to drive growth for your business.

Whether it’s on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, Reddit, YouTube, Snapchat, or any other social place, you can reach and connect with new and potential customers.

Over 4.55 billion people are active on social media. Another study found that 1.3 million new users joined social media every day.

 

 

No matter what your business does, your potential customers are on one social media platform or another. In fact, 54% of social browsers use social media to research products.

Your best move? Detonate your business all over the place. Blow up the whole social thing.

Depending on the platform and your type of business, you can choose to chiefly promote your products. This option is great for social stores.

The other option is to follow the 80/20 percent rule where 80% of the content you post is informational or educational while 20% is promotional. This option allows you to avoid coming across as too salesy.

Also, I recommend you do a mix of organic postings and paid promotions.

 

20. Get Recommended

 

Chances are that you know people who happen to know some other people who may be interested in what you’re selling.

Your job should be to get the people you know to recommend you to people they know, through word-of-mouth marketing.

Study shows word-of-mouth marketing drives 13% of all consumer sales on average, representing $6 trillion in global annual consumer spending. Nielsen reports that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than advertising.

 

 

Word-of-mouth marketing happens in two major ways: organically and through the use of artificial campaigns.

Organic word-of-mouth marketing occurs when people naturally talk about a product or service positively because they are happy with it. It could be person-to-person or through online communities.

Artificial word-of-mouth marketing involves launching campaigns designed to get people to talk about and share your product or service.

A good example is affiliate marketing programs. This involves getting people or businesses to promote your product or service to their own well-defined audiences. The affiliates earn a piece of the profit as a commission for each sale they generate. This strategy is most useful for full-on companies looking to reach as many customers as possible.

If you’re a one-man business, you may choose to directly ask your contacts for referrals. Your clients, friends, former colleagues, and family members are all people you can ask to refer clients to you.

Beyond getting the sales, also aim at creating a buzz for your product or service—get people talking about you enthusiastically all over the place.

Research shows that 78% of people rave about their favorite recent experiences to people they know at least once per week.

 

21. Give Out Something Valuable

 

To be even more effective, you can combine the above strategy (recommendations and referrals) with incentivization.

By giving out an incentive, you’d easily be able to:

  1. Get your target users to opt into your email list
  2. Increase referrals

 

The first benefit works well for online businesses. The second works for both online and offline businesses.

So if you’re targeting online buyers, you can give out something valuable for free to get people to buy from you or to opt into your email list. It may be a free trial of your solution, free consultation, free shipping of a physical product, giveaways, discounts, or even free invaluable content.

For referrals, you can reward anyone who refers new customers to you.

Suppose that an existing customer refers their friend who ends up buying, you can give them (the existing customer) a discount on their next order.

Or you may decide to give out a gift card, a voucher, or say $50 in referral credit.

A typical example is this strategy called “viral loop.”

A viral loop is a marketing technique designed to drive continuous referrals for continuous growth. It can be used to go from zero to thousands of users in a very short time.

Here’s how it goes:

  1. Someone uses your product.
  2. You offer them a valuable incentive to share it with others.
  3. They accept and share with their network.
  4. New users sign up, get to know about the incentive, and share it with their networks.
  5. This cycle repeats itself until the product goes viral.

 

So basically, a viral loop allows you to get your existing customers to refer others to your product. There’s then an inbuilt mechanism within the product that allows those new customers to tell even more people about you.

This creates an unending loop that can potentially lead to exponential viral growth.

 

 

Tech companies like Uber and Dropbox have been using the viral loop technique — Uber offers $$ off your (and your friend’s) next ride for a successful referral, and Dropbox rewards users with 500 MB of storage space per referral and up to 16 GB if they keep referring.

 

 

It’s reported that Dropbox managed to attain 3900% user growth in 15 months using this technique.

Whatever incentive you plan to give away, the point is that you’ll grow your business. Usually, this pays for itself several times over.

 

22. Get on Popular Online Marketplaces

 

There is a reason why marketplaces have been around for centuries: they offer a location for sellers and buyers to easily find each other for business.

Marketplaces have evolved so far and some of the biggest ones are now web-based. Think Alibaba, Amazon, and the like.

Consumers spent $2.67 trillion globally on the top 100 online marketplaces in 2020 alone.

 

 

Putting your product or service on a high-traffic online marketplace only guarantees getting more eyeballs to your business and ultimately getting a chunk of that money.

Unlike social media (which mostly creates a buzz for your brand), marketplaces let you get your offers right in front of highly qualified leads at a crucial moment in time—when the urge to buy is tickling their wallets and they’re eager to punch in their pay card numbers.

When looking to sell on a marketplace, you would want to find the one that is relevant to your business in terms of location, product types, target customers, and so on.

For instance, Etsy only supports handmade or vintage items and craft supplies; Amazon’s FBA service is great for businesses selling products online; AirBnB is good for renting vacation homes; and you might find a few good clients on Upwork if you’re selling skill-based services.

 

23. Track and Analyze Numbers

 

As a business owner, one of the key things you must do is to keep records of your business metrics—investments, sales, traffic, views, profits, and all.

There are so many things you can do with this data, including presenting to potential investors, generally knowing where your business stands, and tracking your goals.

But perhaps the most important thing you can do with it is improve your business as you go—the data you collect helps you see what’s working, what needs changing, and where to focus your efforts for better results.

It is about being flexible in your strategy.

Flexibility in your business strategy helps you implement improvements when needed. A business that operates a flexible strategy is better equipped to navigate through turbulence and grow faster than one with rigid structures.

It is even easier to track and improve online metrics, so let’s talk about that for a bit.

If you have a web property (whether it’s a full-fledged website, an app, or even just a social media page), it is bound to attract an audience. However, your ability to get the most out of that audience depends on how well you optimize the web property for the right metrics.

Your best bet is to track and analyze user interactions. There are some measurement solutions that provide insights and data analysis capabilities that you can use.

Certain social networks such as Facebook and Instagram offer Insights sections that can show you some data about your audience, content, and trends. You’d want to actively seek data from these tools or even use a more sophisticated third-party social analytics tool such as Sendible.

 

 

For analyzing websites, my go-to analytics tool is Google Analytics. I find it remarkably helpful and easy to use with desirable features.

Google Analytics is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google as a part of the Google Marketing Platform. It tracks and measures website traffic among other metrics.

Google Analytics allows you to get valuable insights such as where your website visitors are coming from, their behaviour, what they did on your web pages, their conversion path, which content they viewed, and so much more.

 

The metrics you find let you make adjustments or improvements for better conversion and growth.

And here’s something:

When tracking metrics, track to the profit; don’t stop at traffic and clicks. In other words, don’t confuse revenue (sales) with making money (profits).

Here’s a practical example:

A business owner starts a marketing campaign in which they successfully increase their web traffic by 250,000 new visitors over a 90-day period. That sounds like successful marketing, right?

Well, don’t be so excited just yet.

If you stop at just the number of people who signed up for a trial (or visited your website or clicked on your ad), you’d be getting half-baked numbers.

What you ought to do is track conversions all the way through your ads, through your funnels, through the payment phase, through the refund period, all the way to profit.

Out of the 250,000 new visitors you received, you’d be surprised that only about 3% might end up buying, which means in reality, you only had 7,500 real customers.

24. Educate Your Potential Customers

 

There are two ways to do this:

1. Highlighting the benefits of your product or service

 

Copywriters have been using this technique for decades. They know if people know the value they’ll get out of a product, those people will be more inclined to take action.

So go ahead and create a list of the benefits your solution offers (note: not a list of its features but the benefits of those features).

 

Talk about your biggest strengths and how you are different. Then weave that into your messaging and watch people click on your CTA like it is black Friday.

SIDE NOTE: You can turn this into your unique selling proposition (USP). USPs usually revolve around these six attributes: Your product or service is Faster, Cheaper, Superior, Easier, Scarcer or Greater.

2. Teaching or demonstrating how to use your product or service

 

One thing that makes buyers choose a solution over another is “ease of use” or “user-friendliness” — people don’t want to spend eternity trying to figure out how to use your product or how to order your service.

So you’d definitely want to show them how and make it look simple.

If you are in the software or tech industry, demo videos are awesome for this.

If you sell a service, consider creating a “Process” page on your website to give potential clients a bird’s eye view of how you work or what to expect during the running of their project with you. It’ll go a long way.

 

25. Retain Customers

One research conducted by Bain and Company shows that increasing your customer retention rates by just 5% can increase your profits by between 25% to 95%.

To boot, several other industry studies show that it can be five to 30 times more expensive to get a new customer than to keep an existing one.

As a matter of fact, the probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60% to 70% compared to 5% to 20% for new customers.

 

But beyond the profits and expenses, retaining your current customers does the following for you:

  • Repeat business and return purchases (without further marketing efforts).
  • Good brand reputation (arising from the big picture people get about how your old customers are still buying from you).
  • More word-of-mouth recommendations.
  • Better feedback from well-engaged customers who truly understand your business.
  • Saving on marketing costs and time.

All of this can impact your bottom line immensely. So what steps can you take to ensure that you retain existing customers?

  • Great, long-term customer relationship is a valuable asset. Customers spend 67% more in their 31st to 36th month with a brand than in their first six months of the relationship.
  • Excellent customer service is a sine qua non for retaining customers. 89% of companies say excellent customer service plays a huge role in customer retention.
  • User experience optimization (UXO) for your websites, blogs, and apps can be the difference between a customer choosing to stay with you versus going with your competitor.
  • Regular communication with your customers (whether or not they’re currently using your service/product) can prove potent, too. It keeps your brand “alive” in their minds. Email newsletters, social media connections, personalized birthday wishes, and letting them know about promotional events ahead of time are just some of the tactics you can use.
  • Creating a customer loyalty program — which offers benefits and incentives to repeat customers who demonstrate loyal buying behaviour — is also a great idea. 83% of people say joining a loyalty program will keep them making purchases at that business.
  • After-sales services and support designed to assist a customer in using your product correctly can ensure customer satisfaction, generate repeat customers, and develop brand loyalty among buyers.

 

Have strategies in place to keep existing customers. At the same time, look for opportunities to get more buyers. This gives your clientele the “ant hill” effect which keeps heaping and heaping.

 

26. Don’t Forget “Offline” Digital Marketing

There’s been a hot debate in the marketing sphere as to whether or not traditional advertising is dead. Most of the minds who support this notion mostly base their opinion on the fact that “the internet is taking over.”

Yes, the internet is making rounds. But does that invalidate the effectiveness of offline marketing?

Well, data proves that people are still spending time on traditional media (even though they do so more on digital media).

 

Depending on your type of business, you might want to explore digitalized offline marketing strategies as there is still some traction on it.

One misconception associated with digital marketing is that ‘digital marketing is done only on the internet.’

But the truth is digital marketing is not entirely online; it can be done offline, too.

By explanation, digital marketing is any form of marketing, promotion, or advertising carried out or delivered through digital electronic channels.

These could be channels such as social media, mobile applications, email, web applications, search engines, websites… or could be traditional tools like electronic billboards, television, and radio.

As long as the channel is digitalized, it is digital marketing.

So, online marketing (or internet marketing) is only one part of this but not the whole thing (although the greater part).

Now, don’t miss this:

This is not to say that ALL traditional marketing methods practiced in the past still hold sway today. No, most forms of traditional marketing have become worn-out and dead over the years. But there are still some techniques that are useful, especially for certain models of businesses.

Let me give you some ideas per some good traditional marketing strategies you can still use to grow your business today:

  • First off, get your hands on the major physical marketing instruments — business cards, brochures, etc. (Fun fact: the term “business card” is the most searched business-related term on the web).
  • Implement offline paid advertising — television, radio, and print. It can be expensive but also very effective for targeting a local audience.
  • Start a flyer campaign. You can have your folks distribute the flyers directly to individuals or drop them off at strategic public locations like hostels, post offices, reception halls, and so on. Remember to target only the places where your potential customers go to. Also, ask around first for the legality of flyer distribution in your city or within your target locations.
  • Attend trade shows and exhibitions. Trade shows are still one of the best ways to simultaneously market your business and network with other companies.
  • Direct mail is still effective. Its open rates can reach up to 90%, according to reports. In fact, 70% of consumers say direct mail is more personal than online interactions. No wonder direct mail spend—at $38.5 billion—accounts for the largest portion of US local advertising spend.
  • Persuade the public with huge billboards. Again, check with the authorities first for proper execution.
  • Attend networking events (or turn any event into your own personal networking event) and build connections.
  • Open a physical office or distribution centre

 

27. Address Negative Cash Flows

 

A negative cash flow is a situation where the cash OUTFLOWS during a given period is higher than the cash INFLOWS during the same period in business.

Some businesses can really be profitable but the problem is they have a cash flow issue. A business needs to bring in more money than it spends so that it can stay sustained and as well have the cash to do the things it ought to do, like funding growth.

A business that attempts to spend more money than it can take in will end up with inadequate cash on hand to pay off debts and handle other operating costs and ongoing expenses.

This may result in problems like loan delinquency and slackened revenue, and may eventually cause business failure.

CB Insights — a business analytics platform with a global database — names cash flow problems as the top reason startups fail.

 

But there are ways you can reverse negative cash flows in order to grow your business.

Here are some tips for you:

  • Get financial education. This is always the first step towards financial freedom and positive cash flow.
  • Increase sales. As cash flow depends on total revenue from sales, increasing sales can increase cash inflow. So do epic launches, close major deals, and sell more products.
  • Cut down on unnecessary costs. Do you really need those paid monthly membership subscriptions?
  • Restructure your business. Remove unneeded workers to save money and automate your business processes. This can result in a more efficient business operation with less headcount to take care of but more money in your account.
  • Do your cash flow records to the bone. You want to get to see everything that’s happening. Traditionally, cash flow is recorded in the cash flow statement, separated into three categories viz, Operations, Financing, and Investing.

 

28. Consider Licensing Deals or a Franchise Model

In the context of business, the term “licensing” refers to a business arrangement in which, for a specified fee, one company (licensor) gives another company (licensee) permission to manufacture and sell its original product.

It works by inventing and licensing a promising product to an established company that already has a large footprint in a certain market for the purpose of your product achieving market saturation more quickly.

Licensing deals can help you grow your business and generate consistent profits but without doing the heavy work that is usually associated with taking a new product and turning it into customers’ delight.

How? Licensing gives you instant access to the production, distribution, and marketing systems that other companies may have spent years building. In return, you get a percentage of the revenue from products or services sold under your license, which can add up quickly over time.

On the contrary (and if you don’t have a unique product of your own), you may decide to flip the book by doing a franchising deal.

It is estimated that there were some 753,000+ franchise establishments in the United States alone in 2020, outputting about $670 billion and employing 7.5 million people.

The franchising model involves producing and selling a product or service in the name of an already established brand.

This has so many benefits, one of which is that you don’t have to start from scratch. A viable concept has already been put in place and now all you have to do is replicate the formula to generate a profit for yourself.

The only initial demanding work is that you must complete a [sometimes] rigorous evaluation process to be approved to run a franchise operation, which usually includes paying a royalty and an initial fee for the right to do business under the name and system.

But notwithstanding, franchising could make all the difference if you’re looking to gain quick growth, revenue, and recognition.

 

29. Join the “Anywhere/Anytime” Revolution

 

Remote work has burgeoned in recent times. Before the pandemic, about 66% of companies offered remote work options and 16% were fully remote, according to a recent study.

A recent Gartner survey reveals that over two-thirds (74%) of companies have permanently shifted employees to remote work post-COVID.

 

In a study conducted by Buffer, 99% of remote employees say they would like to continue working remotely, at least part-time, for the rest of their career.

 

Also, 98.3% of remote workers say they would recommend working remotely to others.

 

This only goes to show how big the concept of working remotely has become. Aside from the pandemic-induced lockdown situation, this escalation is due to the benefits of working remotely:

 

You can allow yourself and your team the opportunity to work remotely, without compromising your company culture or business model. And this allows for an opportunity to do your best work in a flexible way.

We’re now operating in the digital economy!

You can work from anywhere and at any time, as opposed to the traditional 9-to-5 commuting system. This gets rid of bottlenecks resulting from absenteeism, makes things move faster, and drives growth.

How does this work?

Technology is at the center of it all. Cloud-based services can be accessed from anywhere in the world with just a laptop and Internet connection. This means your team can remotely access documents, communicate with each other, and do pretty much everything you need to make work move.

No need to wait until your team lead returns before you can start the project and grow your business.

Interestingly, 90% of remote workers say they’re more productive when they’re working from home.

 

 

30. Work Better and Faster

This is about raising your personal performance standards.

It’s easy to get a little slack when it comes to driving your own daily performance at work, particularly if you work alone and/or from home.

You relax too much, coast through your daily routine, and even function at a sub-optimum level.

It shows in little ways…

  • You arrive a little late to work (home office or not)
  • You flounder at negotiations
  • Customer satisfaction doesn’t matter that much to you
  • You delay in responding to client emails
  • The proposed marketing campaign can wait
  • You start the project late and don’t meet deadlines
  • You let the kitchen sink syndrome creep in
  • Your business’s online social networking sucks.

…and then before long, your bottom line starts de-escalating. These “little” missteps look like nothing, but they’re in fact your reason for not moving forward.

What should you do?

1. See the need for speed

 

Ever heard the saying that ‘time is money’? Yes, it’s true.

Whether you’re selling a service or a product, the quicker you work, the more money you will make.

Take for instance two guys who run different web design businesses. They both have eight projects each lined up from different clients.

Imagine that the first guy takes a month to complete one project and the other guy scoots through to seven projects in one month. Who do you think will make the most money?

 

2. Be laser-focused

 

First off, don’t spread yourself too thin by aiming to do everything; you’ll likely end up achieving almost nothing.

It’s safe to apply the 80/20 percent rule here again — identify the 20% core activities that if you focus on, will produce 80% of your business results. It is called the Pareto Principle.

 

You may decide to outsource the rest or let junior workers take care of ’em.

 

3. Define and stick to the project scope

 

One thing I find to be keeping most business owners long on a project without commensurate compensation is “scope creep.”

Scope creep (also called requirement creep or kitchen sink syndrome) in project management refers to changes, continuous or uncontrolled growth in a project’s scope, at any point after the project begins. This can occur when the scope of a project is not properly defined, documented, or controlled.” ~Wikipedia

Ensure that you’ve clearly outlined the project scope in writing. If a client wants more things done in a project than initially agreed, don’t be afraid to charge for those changes.

Put it in writing even before the project begins, plus the terms and conditions surrounding it. Don’t let scope creep cut into your profit margin or take the time you would have otherwise invested in other projects.

 

4. Be excellent

 

Take a step back, evaluate your performance, and if you find it lagging, make a conscious decision to recommit to personal excellence.

When you, as the owner of the business, decide to lift your performance level, you’ll find everyone around you (staff, suppliers, clients, etc.) lifting theirs.

 

Make Good Stuff Happen!

Good stuff don’t just happen; they’re made to happen. Growth is good stuff, you’d agree.

If you want your business to gain the right traction, you have to apply the correct strategies and take the right actions.

The old cliché that says  ‘Good things come to those who wait‘ is not entirely true. In reality, good stuff happens if you want it so bad you can’t sit still.

Be a go-getter. Be the dynamic, arrant self-starter who steps up and gets @#&! done.

Nope, you don’t need to implement all of these business growth strategies. Begin with a few ones you find alluring and applicable to your business.

As you grow, you can do the “metrics analysis” thing to see what’s working, what needs improving, and what more you can adopt.

And BTW, after implementing a growth strategy and you’d like for me to see it, email me at [email protected], and I’ll take a look.

Who knows? I might just hand you some extra relevant tactics to help optimize your strategy!

Editorial Disclosure

Every piece of content we publish is developed by knowledgeable professionals with real-world experience and undergoes rigorous research and fact-checking processes.

About the Author

Zoé King is a successful digital entrepreneur and creator who founded SHiFTCADEMY.COM as a way to help awesome people like you find legitimate and future-proof income ideas so you can make money and shift your life forward!

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