AdviceMotivation

28 Entrepreneurs Explain How They Grow Their Businesses

Scaling a business requires considerable effort, support from the right team and several other factors. Long-term thinking will help remind you of your why and motivate you to go for it. In today’s world of dishonest businesspeople, credibility will enhance your customer retention rate and facilitate the growth of your business.

We asked entrepreneurs and business owners how they grow their businesses and here are the insightful responses.

#1-Regular Facebook live show

Photo Credit: Aby Moore

One of the main strategies I use to build my business is doing a regular Facebook live show. I go live every weekday morning to motivate my audience to start their day on their terms with a tip, trick or a dose of motivation to move their businesses forward. This helps me attract new audience members and helps people get to know, like and trust me. They often then join my free group and from their often join my paid membership.

Thanks to Aby Moore, You Baby Me Mummy!


#2-Search engine optimisation

Photo Credit: Alex Vale

A significant proportion of our sales (90%) come from referrals and inbound sales so we lean into that momentum significantly. A huge tactic of ours is SEO (search engine optimisation) which we use to target very specific search terms that we know our potential users are searching. An example of this would be ‘deal flow management’ – we know that people searching for that term want a deal flow management solution and so we put a lot of resource into ranking on the first page for that term. Another way we’re working on doubling-down on this strategy is through content creation. Google loves content. If you want to show Google you’re a real player in a space then you need to produce quality content that people searching for your terms would love to read. We’re currently in the process of creating both a ‘premium’ and ’SEO-optimised’ series. The premium series will be outstanding articles created to give readers quality that they come back for. The SEO articles aim to rank for common searches like ‘deal flow definition’ to reinforce Fundstack as a resource for pipeline and relationship management and attract customers who may have never heard of us.

Thanks to Alex Vale, Fundstack!


#3- Hiring

Photo Credit: Jerryll Noorden

It is a terrifying idea to be responsible for the income of a person and their family. But great way to grow your business is to hire people, divide and assign the workload so you do not have to do everything. The more a single person can focus on one task, the efficiency of that task performed will drastically increase. Note, the only way hiring makes sense though is that with the hired help you make more profit than doing it alone.

Thanks to Jerryll Noorden, Sell My House In Connecticut!


#4-Get in touch with your sales pipeline and marketing

Photo Credit: George Schildge

As entrepreneurs and business owners, you need to be hungry and selling all the time. Your pipeline is the lifeblood of your company and marketing is oxygen. I have found that profitability can be enhanced through a more focused sales approach when aligned with account-based marketing and technology like marketing automation. An aligned marketing process model is a tool for diagnosing specific bottlenecks in the way of greater usage of – and loyalty to – the brand. The application of a rigorous understanding of the bottlenecks along this funnel – and their underlying causes – enables marketers to develop creative, targeted approaches to overcome obstacles to growth. Most importantly, this understanding allows you to target spending to eliminate the highest-value bottlenecks in the highest-potential segments. As a result, they can build sales quickly and effectively. For example, many new brands face bottlenecks at the awareness stage (top-of-the-funnel), particularly for new entries and micro-brands due to in the sufficient intensity or creative appeal in marketing communications.

Thanks to George Schildge, Matrix Marketing Group!


#5- Three tactics

Photo Credit: Stacey Brown Randall

I believe the tactics we deploy to grow our business change as our business grows. Early on I did more networking, 1-on-1 meetings and would speak for free to groups with my ideal client in the audience. As my business grew I added different tactics and removed ones I no longer needed. Three tactics which have had the largest impact include being a guest interviewed on podcasts, publishing my book (Generating Business Referrals Without Asking) and launching my own podcast (Roadmap to Grow Your Business). I still do speaking engagements at conferences and to companies, it is just not free anymore. What I love about guest interviewing on podcasts, having my own podcast and my book is that potential client (prospects) opt-in to receive my message. It is permission-based marketing meaning they seek out the message by opting in to buy the book or listen to the podcasts. The platforms allow for my potential clients to feel more connected and get to know me better. I have also found that all three tactics allow for greater credibility – whether through the host of the podcast you are being interviewed on or the greater reach of a published book.

Thanks to Stacey Brown Randall


#6- Expanding core audience and employee diversification

Photo Credit: Andrew Goren

To grow a business, leaders should consider hiring individuals with varying backgrounds that specialize in specific niches that will help a business scale. At Harmony Helper, every employee has a diverse background ranging from specializing in developing sound algorithms to professionally performing on Broadway. This diversification of talents brings in unique creativity and capabilities that allow for innovation and growth. Another strategy leaders should consider is expanding their core audiences based on shifting market needs. Under this strategy, a business can cater to new audiences, and as a result, achieve a greater footprint through growth.

Thanks to Andrew Goren, Harmony Helper!


#7- Hiring a professional marketing agency

Photo Credit: Katie Schmidt

I started Passion Lilie, my fashion company, as a fair trade company with a mission of providing dignified employment to artisans in India. While this meant I was always working with others, it took time for me to learn how to rely on others and their expertise. One strategy I’ve used to grow my business is to hire a professional marketing agency. I have plenty to do, from coordinating with partner groups in India to handling the business side of things and creating all of our designs. A professional marketing agency can give its attention and expertise to my marketing needs, while I can focus on the business and creative work that only I can do for my company.

Thanks to Katie Schmidt, Passion Lilie!


#8- Several ways

Photo Credit: Dan Goldstein

The starting point for growing any successful business is an exceptional product or service. In service businesses, you have to start with talent.  Don’t skimp by trying to save a few dollars in salary. Hire the best people for every position. Invest in solid training — not just in the services you offer, but in customer service and relationship management. Teach your staff how to wow your customers at every turn. You also need to invest in solid software infrastructure. While a small company with ten or fewer employees can get by without it, you will never grow the company unless you have a solid infrastructure and clearly defined processes for your staff to follow. Only then should you invest in marketing and selling your services.

Thanks to Dan Goldstein, Page 1 Solutions, LLC!


#9- Three steps

Photo Credit: Jeff Butler

In my experience here has been the development process of building a business from a sales perspective. 1. Build out a profitable outbound strategy. 2. Take those funds and figure out a PPC strategy that is profitable. 3. Go long tail and provide content to customers in the right places in order to build trust and brand awareness. You need to start making money someone, best to go from the lowest barriers to entry (outbound) and master that before getting fancy (inbound).

Thanks to Jeff Butler


#10-Ask for referrals

Photo Credit: Ashish Goswami

Drawing in new clients to your business is always a proper methodology. One of the most straightforward approaches to do it is to approach your present customers for referrals. Having great products and good client service and merely expecting that your customers are passing the word about your business won’t do a lot to build your client base; you need to look for referrals effectively. During or after each sale, inquire as to whether they know any other individual who might be keen on your products or services.

Thanks to Ashish Goswami, Zestard Technologies!


#11- Targeting users on Facebook and leveraging hard stickers

Photo Credit: Peter Maglathlin

Our company’s growth is centered upon convincing American tradespeople to download our mobile app. Given all the noise that exists in the market today, competing for people’s attention is challenging. Therefore, it’s imperative to reach your customers/users in locations they frequent with content / messaging that is uniquely resonant. The two tactics that have been most successful for us have been 1) Targeting our users on Facebook with content that is unique to construction – jokes, memes, situations that only a construction worker would find interesting. 2) Leveraging Trade Hounds hard stickers to drive word of mouth on job sites. It’s probably not obvious to most that tradespeople value hard hat stickers – this is because it’s one of the few ways a tradesperson can personalize their job site appearance. Delivering free stickers results in a ‘surprise and delight’ moment for our users and typically compels them to hand them on their job site.

Thanks to Peter Maglathlin, Trade Hounds!


#12-Double down on what works

Photo Credit: Shirag Shemmassian

Focus on what’s already working and table the rest. When I started my business, I wanted to develop online courses to help students prepare standout admissions applications. After taking a step back and looking at the numbers, I realized our 1:1 medical school application consulting plans were by far our most popular and most profitable services. Instead of chasing shiny objects, I focused on meeting the high demand for those customers and grew my business exponentially.

Thanks to Shirag Shemmassian, Shemmassian Academic Consulting!


#13- Maintaining a strict work schedule

Photo Credit: Alexis Schroeder

Businesses are grown when you treat them like a business. As entrepreneurs, many of us create our own schedules, which may leave a lot of flexibility. With this kind of flexibility requires discipline to grow a business. This means showing up as you would at a regular job, i.e. maintaining a strict work schedule, such as 9AM-5PM, with a lunch break and no distractions. This has been key to growing my business at 25 years old and a recent college graduate.

Thanks to Alexis Schroeder, FITnancials!


#14- Focus on differentiators

Photo Credit: Bernard May

The fact is this: there are (most likely) dozens, hundreds or even a thousand competitors/alternatives to your product or service – so standing out in a saturated market is challenging. Focus on your unique approach, testimonials from your clients, key wins your clients have seen in their business (due to your unique approach) by providing case studies that feature real clients (not hypotheticals) and messaging that features real growth statistics that show how your model makes a greater impact on your clients. Just listing features doesn’t cut it. Proving your worth, building trust, and being a valuable resource are some of the only sure-fire ways to stand out and help your brand grow.

Thanks to Bernard May, National Positions!


#15- Long-term marketing strategies

Photo Credit: Chloe Brittain

I started out marketing my freelance services with cold emails, which I think is a great way to gain new clients in a hurry — especially if you offer services that everybody needs, like freelance writing or marketing. Over the past few months, I’ve taken a cue from my competitors and begun to focus more on long-term marketing strategies like SEO. Specifically, I’ve been growing my site’s authority by guest posting on a few quality websites in my niche. Apart from building awareness about my services, it’s been helpful in increasing my site’s rankings in Google. As a result, I’ve seen an increase in traffic and leads via organic search.

Thanks to Chloe Brittain, Opal Transcription Services!


#16- Wide content coverage

Photo Credit: Daniel Dailey

Growing a business is an easy task on paper but a complicated endeavor in practice. Everyone knows the basics: Trim the fat, implement tech to improve productivity, remain relevant. Getting content produced that keeps you relevant in an era where content is so commonplace that it is generally disregarded is the issue. Of course, there’s social media, but when it comes to a company like MaxSold it isn’t enough to just be a useful service. To convince others that you are the best for estate sale auctions, you have to know how to present your place in the public beyond the data. In that way, coverage is only more important. Coverage in a prominent publication means validity in the eyes of the readers; That means clients which becomes income that you can invest back into the company.

Thanks to Daniel Dailey, MaxSold Inc.!


#17- Authenticity

Photo Credit: Allie Park

You are your best business branding asset. Once you realize the power you hold, everything changes. To grow your business you need to stand out. You can leverage your personality to make sales buy getting yourself in front of the crowd and taking to the stage. When you use your personality, you can take the awkwardness out of selling. Be yourself! Also, don’t forget to make your pitch second nature. If you want your words to come across like you’re speaking to a friend, get used to saying them. All this advice can be summed up in one word: authenticity. If you build a brand around your true personality, the sales will follow naturally!

Thanks to Allie Park, Driven Inc.!


#18-Never say no

Photo Credit: Carly Brasseux

Take meetings, attend events, but never say no. Fake it until you make it does hold true when you’re an entrepreneur and business owner. You can learn as you go, but I’ve been extremely successful in taking on projects and clients even when I’m not 100% perfect at the job needed.

Thanks to Carly Brasseux, Carly Brasseux Consulting!


#19-Culture over sales

Photo Credit: Danica Kombol

Call me crazy, but when it comes to business growth, I focus on culture over sales. Growth does not happen in a vacuum and it works more magically when the entire team is invested in it. Big growth years at my agency have always been accompanied by a culture soul search of sorts. As CEO, I stop and ask: Is my company culture one that fosters and welcomes growth? Have we adequately invested in the human power needed to sustain rapid growth? Is the biz dev team working hand in hand with our account team and together are they firing at all cylinders? If any of those pieces are broken, growth will suffer. When culture is thriving, growth will thrive.

Thanks to Danica Kombol, Everywhere Agency!


#20-Have a brand purpose and stick to it

Photo Credit: James Lintern

The best, most straightforward way to continually grow your business is to stay true to your brand purpose. Your brand purpose is completely different from a company value or a marketing strapline — it sets out what it is that you hope to achieve with your business, and is for you and your staff to refer to when making any kind of work-related decisions. Asking yourself whether the outcome of any decision you make will help you achieve that brand purpose — or at least remain true to it — will make your life 100x easier, and help you stay focused on growing your business in the right way.

Thanks to James Lintern, RotaCloud!


#21-Take advantage of free or inexpensive platforms

Photo Credit: Darcy Cudmore

There is nothing wrong with using available resources when you are just starting out. I took advantage of GenM when I was fresh and was able to meet so many young, smart Digital Marketers. They helped my social media platforms grow immensely, and I ended up hiring one of these young Digital Marketers long-term. Don’t be afraid to seek out some help!

Thanks to Darcy Cudmore, Powerful Outreach!


#22- Referrals

Photo Credit: Kenzi Wood

I grow my business largely through referrals. Word of mouth is old-fashioned, but it’s still the most effective way to find new customers and increase revenue. I simply ask my favorite clients for referrals. It may not happen immediately, but even if it pays off six months from now, it’s worth asking. The key is to provide outstanding service and going above and beyond for each client; that builds brand loyalty and increases the likelihood of a referral.

Thanks to Kenzi Wood, Kenzi Writes!


#23- Two strategies

Photo Credit: Wendi Spraker

In the past year, my business has quadrupled. There are a number of strategies at play in this growth but number one is that I began listening to exactly what it is that my customer wants and I started providing that. Regardless of what I thought they needed or what I wanted to produce, I’ve produced what they want and it has paid off handsomely. A close second to this primary strategy is to provide for customers with humility and gratitude. After all, they could go to another source for their needs.

Thanks to Wendi Spraker,  Loaves and Dishes!


#24- Networking

Networking is a crucial part of growing your business. Don’t think you can just stay in your office every day, doing online research and sending emails to potential clients. Don’t get me wrong, this is a crucial part of my everyday work flow, but you must accompany the online strategies with in person networking. People need to start putting a face to the name in order for you to start getting noticed. And consistency is key. I attend networking events at least every two weeks. Each time, I meet someone new that I can build a valuable relationship with. We work together to help each other grow, and potentially bring each other business. You never know who you’re going to meet that believes in what you do, and wants to work with you. The more people get to know who you are as a person, the more likely they are to trust you and recommend you to potential clients.

Thanks to Jacklyn Kelley, Luna Lynn Creative!


#25- Perfecting on customer service

Photo Credit: Michael D. Brown

I think one of the most potent ways to grow your business is to stop sending prisoners to the frontline and calling them customer service. Your customer service is the personification of your brand, the first point of contact with the customer. Therefore amputating them of every bit of autonomy would be disastrous introducing a gargantuan bulk of bureaucracy in customer satisfaction process. Such undue bureaucracy starves your employee of the spontaneous intelligence to satisfy the customer QUICKLY. You shouldn’t chain your frontline employees to the textbook or constitution. Allow them a bit of inventive autonomy to challenge themselves and solve customer problems promptly; without having to call the upper line who would again call its upper line. While global wealth is increasing, we are seeing a global bankruptcy when it comes to patience. Customer wants solutions FAST; even faster than Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes!

Thanks to Michael D. Brown, Fresh Passion Institute!


#26- Build a client loyalty program

Photo Credit: Keith Rooney

Loyalty plans are great ways to improve sales. It requires up to three times more funds to get new customers than it does to sell something to a real buyer. Other sources pin this number anywhere from four to 10 rates more. However, nevertheless that you slice it, getting new customers is costly. Building a client loyalty program will help you learn customers. It might also help you bring new ones as well. If there’s a definite reason to pay more funds with you, it’ll pay off in the long run. Build an engaging loyalty program and make it available to your existing clients and watch sales boost over time.

Thanks to Keith Rooney, Depositpp!


#27- Lead nurturing

Photo Credit: Kamil Rejent

At Survicate, we use both our own survey tool and Intercom to nurture leads and take them further down their buyer’s journeys. We put a strong emphasis on personalizing communication and only send CTAs and surveys that are relevant to each lead’s onsite behavior and our previous interactions. For example, if we notice a lead visiting our comparison to competition or pricing pages, we may decide to send them an invitation to a Free product demo or a discount for the first couple of weeks. On another note, we also put strong emphasis on activating our Free account users. If they haven’t logged in to their accounts in a while, we send them an email offering any guidance they might need to achieve their goals with our tool. All in all, the above strategy helps us drive conversions to paid subscription plans and note constant growth.

Thanks to Kamil Rejent, Survicate!


#28- Three ways

Photo Credit: William Forshaw

First of all don’t grow your business too quickly but instead let it grow step by step and organically. If you are trying to do too much too quickly, things can easily spiral out of control and all of the sudden you will have to do some serious crisis management. Instead take very calculated risks and make sure you see the return of investment. In terms of growing your business it also helps to not only sell on your website but also sell on Amazon as it will open your products up to new audiences. If you have the budget invest into a PR and Marketing team to further introduce your company to more people. This will pay off in the long run and enable you to grow the business even more.

Thanks to William Forshaw, Maxwell-Scott!


 How do you grow your business? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our #IamCEO Community.

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This is a post from a CEO Blog Nation writer. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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