Accelerating the growth of your business will be a key priority for every entrepreneur. If you’re in business, you want to grow.
But how can you make sure you give your business the best chance of growing most effectively?
Well, there are three hacks you need to deploy immediately in order to get your business on the right track.
Learn More About Your Target Audience
To really grow, you need to have a proper understanding of your target audience so that you can talk to them in a way they respond to. Understanding your target audience will also illuminate to you, the problems and challenges they need help with.
There are a couple of ways in particular that you can use to get better insights to your target audience. First, you can survey your audience to understand exactly what they are thinking and feeling around the area of your specialism or niche.
There are many tools on the market to help with this but I suggest something like SurveyMonkey. All these tools are very user-friendly and intuitive to use. In terms of what should be included in your survey, well this is really up to you depending on your business, and the products or services you are offering.
If you are not sure about the questions you should ask, the simplest question you could ask to start understanding more about your target audience is:
“What problem do you need help with related to X” (where ‘X’ is your area of specialism.
But what if you don’t yet have an audience but want to know what their pain points are so you can solve via your product or service? Well, in this situation, you ought to look around at what your competitors are doing as they will be targeting the same audience as you.
So go to their websites or stores and identify what they are focusing on for their customers, because no doubt, this will give you a good insight as to what your audience will also want.
In addition to using surveys, you should also be frequenting online forums and Q&A sites such as Quora in order to find out what customers want. Customers in all niches ask questions on the relevant forums in order to get answers to their burning questions.
By visiting these sites and being a regular commentator to help people, not only will you be seen as an authority on the subject, but you will also start to develop a deeper understand of customer requirements. This will lead to a more relevant offering, hence growth.
Have A Strong Online Presence
One of the ways in which many entrepreneurs are leaving a ton of value on the table today, which is hampering their growth, is by having a sub-optimal, or worst still, non-existent online presence.
The fact is, in today’s day and age, people operate online, and more importantly, transact online. Irrespective of the sector your business operates in, as a minimum you ought to have a basic website that explains what your business does and how.
Sites such as WordPress have made it infinitely easier for people from all backgrounds to create a website in no time and for very little money. An alternative to a website is a blog. Here, you provide content that helps to market your business. Blog’s have been around for many years and have grown from strength to strength. They provide a great, cost-effective platform from which you can reach your target audience, and start to engage with them.
Through your blog you can start to add value to your audience, and, over time, build up loyalty. These loyal customers will be keener to engage with your brand and buy from you when the time is right. It is also easier for them to share what you do with their friends and colleagues who may be having the same problems – problems that you have the ability to solve.
If you’re not feeling up to creating a website or blog by yourself, you can try the ready-made solution in Medium. After creating an account, you can effectively start blogging yourself on your area of specialism and start to share in relevant forums so that people can gain familiarity with your work, and understand what you do.
We live in the age of social media and this form of media can help businesses immensely. People are spending an increasing amount of time on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest. And you should too.
The secret is not to get overwhelmed with whether you should poke, tweet, or even snap with potential customers. Identify which of the platforms your customers mainly spend their time on and focus on building a loyal and engaged following on that channel first.
LinkedIn deserves a special mention on its own however. LinkedIn is the one platform I would encourage you to engage with (if you are not already) from the outset. Create a profile and update it with your business details. Then join the relevant groups in your niche to start communicating with potential customers, demonstrating your authority, and building relationships with other professionals in your niche.
Limited resources result in limited growth. You can only grow so much when you are scrimping and saving on every penny which is a situation familiar to many entrepreneurs, especially in the early days / years. Having access to the right capital can really help you supercharge your business’ growth.
The problem is many businesses do not understand the range of funding options open to them. Wrongly, they have preconceptions that hinder their efforts in this area. Doubts run through their mind such as:
- “No-one would want to fund my business”
- “I will have to give my business away to investors”
- “I won’t have ownership and control of my business”
- “I could never raise funding”
- “Companies in my niche don’t get external funding”
But this couldn’t be further from the truth. The businesses you see around you that are succeeding (including your competitors) are succeeding quickly because they are taking advantage of external funding.
Just imagine what you could do with extra funding in your business? Maybe hire additional people; spend on sales and marketing to raise your profile; or launch a new product you know your customers want.
The funding landscape has changed immensely over the last number of years. Many governments provide loans and grants. And in many instances, specific funds have been set up to help specific types of companies grow and succeed.
Crowdfunding means even if your business is just an idea, you have a chance of raising some serious funding, if only you can show some creativity and persistence. Sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo are platforms on which hundreds of business ideas have become a reality, and hundreds more have grown quickly and at scale.
In addition to these, bank loans, angel investors, venture capital and private equity are all avenues ready and waiting to fund the right businesses.
However, the one thing you will need to keep in mind when raising funding is to make sure that you have a sensible Business Plan. It doesn’t have to be 100 pages with lots of detail and take you three months to complete! But it does need to address some key questions and give funders comfort around what you are doing and why.
It’s not easy to grow your business but there are a number of tried and tested steps you can take right now in order to facilitate the growth of your business.
By following the steps that I have outlined above, you’ll be able to add some significant growth to your business fairly quickly, and the results will keep cumulating over time.
These steps are extremely important so give them another read and start implementing them in your own business.
If you would like to know the other key actions you need to be taking in your business right now to supercharge it’s growth, then download my free guide on “The 7 Hacks To Accelerate Your Business Right now” by clicking the button below.
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