25 Small Business Ideas to Accelerate Growth
You did it. You made the leap and started your own business. Your new company has been registered, your products are ready to market, and your ducks are all lined up. But wait, do you have your marketing sorted?
Marketing is the lifeblood of modern businesses; therefore, it’s best to brainstorm marketing ideas for your small business and create a solid marketing plan before the launch.
Where to start?
For a new entrepreneur, it can be overwhelming and confusing. Like other small business owners, you are probably multi-tasking and working in different departments to keep the lights on, some of which might not even be your area of expertise.
In such a situation, marketing is another ball to juggle. Most entrepreneurs try to put it off for another day, but that is a big mistake. Marketing is essential and must come first. If you do not have a budget to invest in a marketing strategy, do not worry. Below are 25 free and sure-shot tips to accelerate growth for your small business.
1. From Business-centric to Customer-centric
First things first, if you are running your business and not keeping it customer-focused, you are making a big mistake.
Your business philosophy must be ‘customer first’ at every step. You need to organize your departments in a way that all of them are working together to achieve one goal: enhance customer value.
Yes, businesses are made for profit, but today, you must ensure that your business is creating shared value for you and your consumers. If the business is not value-adding, your consumers will move on to easily-available alternatives.
How to become customer-centric?
- Use customer data to personalize experiences, interactions, and offerings.
- Collect and address customer feedback
- Be accessible – quick replies and quick solutions
- Work with the consumer to enhance the buying experience
2. Expand your Customer Data Collection
The kind of customer data you collect is important when thinking of ways to market ideas for small businesses. Customer data is divided into:
- Brand/Product Conversations
The first three types of customer data are traditionally collected by businesses for marketing purposes. Now with the introduction of digital marketing, businesses are looking at what customers are doing online and specifically mining social media interactions for more insights.
Knowing your customer helps you serve them better.
3. Enhance Customer Experiences
Research shows that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.
As a small business owner, this information should be of the utmost importance to you; design your business to provide superior customer experiences as compared to your competitors, and growth is assured!
When looking at out-of-the-box marketing ideas to accelerate growth, delivering a satisfactory customer experience is the best. We say that often but as a small business owner, you need to understand what that means.
Your customers will ask you how your brand, product, or service fits into their life. How easy it is for them to find information, buy, and get post-purchase customer services. How are they treated at every touchpoint, and what elements make the whole process delightful for them.
- How can I make it easy for my customers to learn about my brand and products? Hint: maintain a website, social media presence, Google business listings, etc.
- How can I make the buying process easy for them? Hint: easy-to-navigate website interface, multiple payment options, safe transactions, quick follow-ups, etc.
- How can I add value for my consumer? Use consumer data to provide personalized perks. Hint: discounts on birthdays suggest products the customer is likely to purchase, value offers on lifestyle events that are important to the customer, etc.
4. Automate Your Sales Processes
Automating routine processes can be a game-changer for small businesses. It is impossible to do everything manually. Having a system in place that can automate some sales processes will allow you time to focus on more important tasks.
You can use automation software and tools to improve your sales process to get better leads, nurture and convert them. Some tools that you can consider for automation are customer relationship management software or CRM, automatic reporting, automatic emails, etc.
5. Focus On ROE
As a business, you are looking to increase your Return on Investment (ROI). But you should be looking to increase your Return on Engagement (ROE). Your ROE is the engagement you get from your customers when you implement marketing strategies. Your ROE can come in the form of different values like:
- Informational Value
- Convenience Value
- Social Value
- Entertainment Value
- Inspirational Value
- Community Value
6. Implement Agile Marketing
Agile Marketing is a marketing strategy that consists of small, impactful marketing business ideas. Traditionally, marketing has been carried out using the ‘Waterfall Approach,’ which is extensive and implemented over a long time.
What we need now is fast, efficient, and done over short spurts of time. Agile marketing gives results quicker and uses cross-functional teams to brainstorm marketing ideas, test and implement them quickly.
7. Use Social Media Marketing
Are you effectively using your social media handles? Are they giving you results that your business needs to grow? If you answered no to these questions, then you need to reexamine what is going wrong.
Social media marketing provides you with the perfect platform to engage with your customers. You can display not only your products or services but also obtain immediate reaction and feedback.
8. Invest in a Business CRM
A customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is an effective system that manages your customer engagements. Without a central place to record all engagement, it will be very hard to scale your business.
A CRM system will provide you with a sales pipeline so that you can record every step of engagement with your customer during the sale process. This will help you create an effective machine that can be used and tweaked according to specific customers.
A CRM is an all-encompassing solution through which you can enhance your sales processes, marketing campaigns, and business operations. What is more, you can get industry-specific CRMs, so you only get the functions you need!
9. Humanize Your Business
The last thing you want to do is come across as informal and impersonal. Adding human touches to your business is important to build relationships with clientele.
To do this, you can offer customer loyalty schemes or cards to past customers. This will help to build a relationship with your customers that is more than just transactional-based.
Educate and bring useful content to the table rather than always concentrating on selling. Here out of the box marketing ideas will help you stand out from the crowd. Creative ideas such as user-generated content, collaborations with communities, collaborations with artists and non-profit organizations, etc. can help you build a very real and human brand.
10. Focus on Established Revenue Streams
When you are looking to expand your growth as a small business, it is important that you look at what your established revenue streams are and concentrate on those. Instead of always focusing on gaining new clients, you must try and strengthen your existing relationships.
Your current clients can be important resources when you are starting a business. They will be your referral system, and building a relationship with them can be essential to getting a new start in a market where you are new.
11. Reduce Business Risks
As a small business, you must minimize any business risks that you be exposed to internally and externally.
Internally you should have an insurance plan in place in case of employee data theft etc. These incidents can affect your brand integrity, and as a business, you should be prepared to counter them. A good insurance plan is something that every small business should take the time to look into.
12. Invest in Your Business
In the beginning, when small businesses start to make a return on their investment, often those funds are not optimally. In euphoria, businesses start spending on areas that may not pay returns and end up losing money.
As a business owner, you should always make an effort to invest your revenue in areas that will accelerate your growth and propel the business forward. These purchases should be thought through.
13. Research Competitors
When looking at marketing ideas for small businesses that accelerate growth, it is always good to see what your competitors are doing. We learn some of our best lessons by looking at what other companies have done and failed, failed to do, and excelled at.
Take a moment to research your market. That is not to say that you should copy what they are doing, but it will help you gain insight into your customers’ choices and industry practices. Look at what they are doing, and then do better.
14. Adapt to Changing Situations
Businesses need to change and adapt to changing circumstances. You need to be able to dodge bullets and be flexible. If you want to go to the next level, then you need to learn new things and be ready for anything.
What makes a great business from one that is not so great? A business that knows how to adapt itself to the changing market trends.
15. Add Entertainment Value
One of the ways to add value to your business and pique some interest is to add some entertainment value to your brand. Have a competition, or do always give after a contest. This type of gamification is always something that customers find interesting.
It adds entertainment value to your business, and if you choose the right marketing idea, it can lead to massive amplification of customers. In this era of Instagram and TikTok trends, one right marketing idea can make you viral.
16. Create a Community Platform
Setting up a community platform or forum where customers can come together to engage can help accelerate your growth and is a good small business marketing idea.
Bringing value to your customers through this kind of platform can lead to many new customers looking at your business. Referral programs, loyalty programs, Facebook groups, etc., are the tactics that can help you build a platform that grows sustainably.
17. Create a 360 View of Your Customer Views
Having a holistic view of your customers is important when trying to formulate marketing business ideas. Taking into consideration structured and unstructured data of your customer will help you create a picture that you can use when making a marketing business strategy.
If you have a good CRM that collects all of this data, you can easily go back and reference it. Using traditional forms of data and combining them with social media insights, customer intentions, and brand conversations will give you a 360 perspective.
18. Hire Top Talent
Recruiting the best is never a bad idea. If you are looking to hire new talent, always look for individuals who are experts in their field or have the potential to become so.
Hiring a talent agency is always a good way to find the right person for the job. Consider it an investment. Having the right team that clicks can make all the difference when accelerating growth for your business.
19. Start Blogging
Getting the word out about your business is a great free marketing idea for a startup or any business for that matter. Blogs help to establish your brand identity and can be used to explain how your products and services will be beneficial to new customers.
Blogs use SEO techniques like backlinks, so the chances are that someone will find your brand and take an interest in your product or service. You can use WordPress to create your blog and promote it through your social media platforms.
20. Host Local Events
Hosing physical local events is a great way for people to connect, network, and get to know more about your business. It is especially good for new startups who are looking for free marketing ideas.
You can even join local events to highlight your business; business expos, trade fairs, and conferences are a great way to showcase your business to your target audience.
21. Grow Your Email List
Growing your email list is an important task that every business should do. If you encourage people to subscribe to your email list, it will help in spreading awareness about your brand.
Providing subscriptions forms on your email and sharing your newsletter on your social media handles is a good way to capture emails. You can also use the good old sales promotion technique to grow your email list; offer discounts and value on a subscription!
22. Generate a Positive Work Culture
Create a positive work culture where your employees value the brand and enjoy working for you. This is something that does not happen overnight and can take time. You want to be able to create an atmosphere where individuals are not afraid to speak out and voice an opinion, where creativity flourishes, and employees are valued. Where there is positive work culture, the organization’s employees are some of the best brand ambassadors.
23. Interact With Industry Influencers
Creating ties with industry influencers is a great way to create buzz and focus on your brand. You should network and have your brand marketed by brand ambassadors and supporters. This can accelerate your growth and bring your business to the forefront.
Startups can utilize this strategy to promote their brand quickly. Collaborate with micro-influencers on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok to gain access to your target audience. Even one recommendation from an influencer can increase your brand visibility, traffic, and ROI.
24. Focus On What Makes Your Business Different
You should be able to focus on what makes your business different from others and highlight it in your business marketing strategy. This ‘secret sauce’ element should be something that you reinforce through messaging and content. With so many competitors, customers need to be able to pick your brand from the lineup.
25. Plan Ahead
Plan out your long-term strategy to improve your chances of accelerating growth. As a small business owner, you cannot be short-sighted but must think ahead.
To do this, your business should have a vision and mission statement. You should encourage team members to contribute to the organization’s long-term plans so that they feel invested.
Moreover, create an exit strategy; where do you see your business in the next 5 years? Set a realistic goal, and then work towards it!
25 Marketing Ideas for Accelerated Growth
So there you have it; 25 marketing ideas for small businesses that you can implement today to accelerate your business growth. What works for your small business will depend on your kind of business and what you want to achieve.
Taking your small business to the next level requires hard work, persistence, and faith. Accelerated growth does not happen overnight, but with consistency, it can happen more quickly than you think.