5 Actionable Tips to Help New Small Business Owners Grow Their Business
Today’s small business owners are forced to compete in new ways more than ever before.
On one hand, it’s never been easier to launch a new business and look bigger than you are by adopting new technologies.
On the other hand, small businesses are playing in an increasingly competitive space—one that demands both speed of execution and an openness to evolution.
There are over 50 million small businesses in North America alone, and the survival rate of 1 out 10 means that there are a lot of components to get right.
Here are 5 practical tips that most new small businesses owners should get started on right away.
1. Build a Website
There are a ton of platforms out there, including Wix, Shopify, PageCloud and many more. Do your research, and decide which is the right match for your technical skill set and the type of content strategy you want to deploy.
Building a website no longer costs thousands of dollars, so the excuse that you can’t afford one no longer exists. If you can’t or don’t have the time to build own yourself, try using a marketplace to get help from experts who can quickly whip something up for you.
Checklist before you launch your website:
- Get a company logo. You can find tons of free online tools such as Canva or Squarespace. If you don’t want to build one yourself then try online service marketplaces such as Fiverr or 99Designs to name only two of the dozens of places online you can easily find.
- Get some photos. Image-rich websites help you show your work rather than simply tell about it.
- Create compelling copy for your site. This typically includes: About Us, Our Services, Customer Testimonials, Contact Us.
Spend a day or two pulling together all of this content before seeking help. This will make the process faster, easier and cheaper.
2. Get found on Google
It’s easier than you might expect, but it will take time, patience, and some work. Here’s how Google displays the Klipfolio business profile:
Another tactic to get found on Google is to have great content on your website. Writing Blog posts and articles (like this one) will put your content in front of your prospects. The more great content you create, and the more a truly engaged audience shares that content, the higher Google will rank your overall domain authority. This is a simplified explanation, but a great way to start thinking about it.
Here’s a checklist to help you understand the fundamentals of getting your small business account listed as a business profile in Google:
Checklist to get started with Google:
- Go here to watch a 10-minute video to help you get started with the basics: https://www.google.com/business/get-started.html
- Make sure your listed address is exactly as it should be. This means paying attention to the finer details, such as St. vs. Street.
- Check that your business hours are correct
- Check that your business is listed in the right category
- Add some engaging photos
3. Generate reviews on Google
Now that you own your Google Business Directory listing from the step above, it’s time to build your online credibility. Not only is this good for your Google rankings, but this establishes a sense of credibility in the minds of those customers who may see your page.
Checklist to start generating reviews on Google:
- On every invoice put a link to how customers can review you on Google
- Offer customers a discount on their next project if they give you a review
- Respond to the reviews you already have. Here is a great article to read if ever you get a negative review.
Jobber’s customer follow up emails are a great way to automate communication to your customer when a job is done. This is a great way to keep the conversation going with your customers and ask for a review.
4. Use Facebook to grow
Facebook is more than just a social channel; it’s where many people find everything they need—from local restaurant recommendations to product reviews.
Don’t use Facebook as a place to sell, use it as a place to share your knowledge, showcase your business experiences through the lens of your customers, and support your local community.
Pro tip: Don’t be shy to share your knowledge. For example, if you build beautiful decks, share tips and tricks you use, the new tools that you have found, etc.
Your first reaction may be that you are giving away your trade secrets. Well, guess what? Those people who do use those tips would never become a customer but those people who enjoy reading your posts but don’t have the time to do it themselves will trust you more. This means you’re building credibility with your targeted audience.
Are you seeing a theme here? Growing your new small business is really about building credibility as quickly and authentically as possible.
Checklist to setting up your Facebook Business page:
Head here to set up your page and follow these tips.
- Choose the best category
- Name your page with your legal company name
- Set up your About section by explaining who you are and what makes you special
- Add a profile photo (this is really important as it helps make you look professional)
- Add a Contact Us call to action button so potential customers can easily get in touch with you
- Link your Facebook Page back to your website everywhere you can
- Offer customers a discount for their next project if they give you a Facebook review
5. Invest in the right tools
There are many tools out there, and many of those that can help you cost a lot less than you may think. These tools span the gamut, from simply using Gmail to create categories for your emails to tracking the real-time health of your new business on dashboards.
Here are five other helpful tools to check out:
- Evernote: This is a helpful app (for desktop and mobile) to help you track all of your notes and also to capture ideas for content that you can add to your website later. And there is a free version that probably meets most of your needs.
- Square: Getting payment from customers is becoming easier and easier. Whether you use awesome invoicing tools like what’s built in with Jobber or would like to take payments (or even down payments) onsite, Square is a simple device that connects to your mobile device and allows you to scan a credit card right onsite. Bonus: Square integrates with your Jobber account.
- Grammarly: If you use Gmail, this plug-in is a free grammar checker that instantly eliminates your grammatical errors and enhances your writing.
- Calendly: Calendly helps you schedule meetings without the back-and-forth emails saving you a lot of precious time to keep on working.
- And of course, Jobber your all in one to help with your scheduling, job tracking, billing, invoicing, quote management, electronic payments, CRM and more!
Bonus Tip: Experiment, experiment, experiment.
I know I said only 5, but here is one last tip: If possible, set aside time to experiment with new tricks and new tools. Change is often the only constant in today’s rapidly growing small business environment, and dedicating time to intentionally think outside of the box may help you be one of those 1 out of 10 small businesses that survive.