I was recently invited to appear as a featured guest on the Tweetchat #MillennialTalk hosted by social media Influencer Chelsea Krost on Tuesday at 8pm ET. She asked me to talk about growth strategies for millennial business owners. They were a lively bunch. I thought this information might be helpful for all my loyal readers, so here are my questions and answers.
- Moving too fast can hurt you more than help you. How do you know when it is the right time to take the next step in growing your small business?
It’s time to grow when you are really clear about your target customer, product/service offering, profit margins and have the right team in place. If you grow your business without a strong team, you risk damaging your brand and creating a high-stress situation for yourself. You also need to have the funding or a strong line-of-credit in place to manage the growth and expansion.
- What are the different types of small business growth strategies?
You can upsell your existing customers or launch a new product or service. You can buy a competitor and expand your footprint or become an affiliate marketer. You can add an additional salesperson or a sales team to increase your sales. You can also expand digital products and services which will allow you to test different content marketing strategies.
- How can we determine which growth strategy is the right fit for our business?
You must research your market intelligence, look at your existing customer base, and your ARR (annual recurring revenue). Talk to your customers. Review your own records to determine which products or service sell the best, and at the highest margins. Test your growth idea first, give it at least 3-6 months to see if it’s working.
- What if we are feeling stagnant in our business and don’t know how to define goals or strategic objectives to grow?
if you feel stagnant in your business it’s time for a fix, grab my book Fix Your Business to develop a new strategic plan for your business. You can also hire a business coach to help you turn things around, but make sure you are working with someone who is more successful than you.
- What external factors should we take into consideration when putting together our growth plan?
You should look at any regulatory changes, industry trends and the competition.
- What if capital is holding you back from growing your business? How can we work around this barrier?
Self-funding business growth can be tough. It’s best to borrow money before you need it. Get a line of credit from a bank, if you can. Make sure you have a good business credit card that will help float expenses as well. Look for CDFI loans before pursuing alternative lenders. if you do borrow money make sure you know exactly how you will triple what you borrow.
- If our objective is to source more leads what are your top tips for generating more quality leads online?
Create an irresistible FREE offer on your website to generate leads. Publish relevant content consistently, and use online ads to promote your FREE offer. Use pop-up graphics on a delay to collect emails as well.
- How can we leverage corporate sponsorships to grow our small business?
If you have an audience that is engaged, corporate sponsors will pay for access to your audience. Pick 1 or 2 platforms where you are going to build your audience i.e. IG, FB, Twitter, SnapChat, YouTube or your own blog. Publish unique content consistently and engage your audience to leave comments and share.
- What 3 things would you tell a person considering starting a business today?
Figure out what you want in life and why first. Save your money, since you’ll need to supply your own start-up capital. Figure out who your niche target customer will be, and learn everything you can about them starting with where they spend time online.
If you enjoyed this Q&A, stop by #Smallbizchat every Wed at 8pm – 9pm ET live on Twitter where I answer people’s small business questions. Here’s how to participate http://bit.ly/1hZeIlz