AdviceMotivation

25 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-Build an effective loyalty program

Photo Credit: Gintaras Steponkus

Loyalty programs are the best and efficient ways to grow business as it increases sales. It is challenging to increase the number of new customers, and it takes almost three times more money to improve the existing number of customers. However, Loyalty programs not only help in retaining existing customers but also attract new customers. All that is required for this is to build an effective loyalty program and make it accessible for those who are already your customers, these existing customers make the loyalty program a complete success and then the business goes up like a skyrocket.

Thanks to Gintaras Steponkus, Solid Guides!


#2- Have patience

Photo Credit: Erik Rivera

My biggest piece of advice to entrepreneurs seeking to grow their business is to remember that time cannot be accelerated – sometimes, you just need to have patience and allow things to grow. No matter how hard we work, some things can’t be rushed, and it takes time to build great things. When we’re just getting started with a new venture, it can be really difficult to hang in there when results aren’t showing up as quickly as we want them to. This makes perseverance and grit even more critical to success. If you believe in the product, give it the time it needs to become something great.

Thanks to Erik Rivera, ThriveTalk!


#3- Test out direct reach-outs

Photo Credit: Jason Davis

I own a SAAS company and found the cold emails I was sending weren’t getting much traction, so I tried my hand at finding the CEO’s of businesses I wanted to work with and connecting with them on LinkedIn. Once connected, I started sending LinkedIn messages to them with specific, direct information on how I thought my company could help them. These reach-outs have led to countless signed contracts and have been instrumental in growing my business.

Thanks to Jason Davis, Inspire360!


#4- Relationships!

Photo Credit: Kimberly Rath

I took this lesson away recently from one of our client partners. Dr. John Timmerman, VP Operations, Mercy Health, who reached out to me recently from his LinkedIn network. He started by reaching out to 15 people in his network or individuals he wanted to get to know on a weekly basis — just to simply begin a conversation. When John and I connected it provided an opportunity to share ideas and struggles one leader to another. In that intersection, I connected him to another leader who might have some insights on opportunities John was trying to solve. 1 + 1 = 3! I have begun to implement this same strategy. I will call an individual if I am already connected to them or begin a LinkedIn conversation with them. I have collected an entire bouquet of ideas. Mostly, I have gained so much support and love from talking to other leaders. We are all in this together.

Thanks to Kimberly Rath, Talent Plus, Inc.!


#5- Two ways

Photo Credit: Rahman Hussain

Firstly we continuously make improvements and efficiencies, this gives the capacity to do more with the same resources. Secondly, we have a blue ocean strategy as part of our long term plan. Having a good understanding of our strengths & weaknesses allows us to grow. We focus on building while things are down, and during good times we are laser-focused on our best opportunities. Our goals are long term, and our strategies encourage long term growth. We are dynamic and able to adapt fast to any change.

Thanks to Rahman Hussain, TicketsToDo!


#6- Put clear role descriptions and minimum performance standards

Photo Credit: Amber Duncan

Building is one component. Growing is another that looks completely different. When the business outgrows your model the way you know it, a good business owner must pivot and look at the roles within the organization. Place minimum performance standards on those roles so you can properly scale them based on the demands of the business at the time. It can be tempting to hire and staff because you have gotten busier but that method can quickly turn into a dinosaur and eat you. When a company gets busier, don’t overlook the basics. This is actually the time to reflect, simplify and put clear role descriptions and minimum performance standards in place so there is a dignified formula for future hiring based on growth.

Thanks to Amber Duncan, Newborn Consulting!


#7- Three ways

Photo Credit: Nikola Roza

First, I produce valuable content that solves users questions, problems and dilemmas. I also target long-tail keywords because they’re less competitive, and because they bring me highly targeted traffic that is lucrative for my business.These are the people that know exactly what they want and my business caters to them. Second, I build links. These go to my homepage which raises my overall domain strength; and to individual pages which helps me rank faster for my target keywords.And since I target less competitive terms it is often the case that one good link can shoot me up in the SERP’s so I rank in a matter of weeks, and once I ranked three days after I got a solid link to my page. Third, my content that ranks also earns me money via affiliate links. I invest that money back into my business because I want to scale. I used to be a one-man team. And it was hard. Now it’s much easier as I have two employees to help me. I’m looking to expand even more and for me it’s crucial to focus on sustained growth and not not expand too quickly.I’m still learning but I also made significant improvements. I remember this time last year I was exhausting myself with 15h-work days, and was barely staying afloat. Now I’m calibrated much better and can achieve 3x better results with 2x less work.

Thanks to Nikola Roza


#8- Content marketing

Photo Credit : Paige Arnof-Fenn

I am a big fan of Content Marketing and regularly share quality content based on my experience personally and professionally. It is a great way to build your brand, increase your visibility more broadly, raise your profile and attract more clients. Activities like writing articles, hosting podcasts and webinars, blogging and building your following on social media all contribute to increasing your awareness with potential customers and building your credibility with a larger community. Start with small media outlets and publications then move up the food chain to reach bigger audiences.

Thanks to Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls!


#9- Putting the focus on one thing

Photo Credit: Devin Miller

Putting a full-time focus on my business really helped my business grow. In the beginning just starting out, I had a full-time job and worked early in the morning, at night, and on weekends. Eventually, I was able to get my business to where I could do it full time and was really able to focus my time and energy on it. At that point, I saw business growth. Also, consider trying many different things. Don’t fall into the trap of getting stuck on one thing that works and not being willing to venture out and try something new. When you try lots of different ways to grow your business, you may be pleasantly surprised at how successful that can be.

Thanks to Devin Miller, Miller IP Law!


#10- Be obsessed about your business

Photo Credit: Greg Wood

Growing your business starts with one word, obsession. You can’t start growing your business until you are 100% focused on solving your customers’ problems. Then you need to be prepared to continue to solve them — you won’t succeed if you can’t keep the clients you already have. Customer-obsessed companies are proven time and again to be more successful. Focus on providing the best possible service at the moment, and the rest will naturally follow. The same mindset goes for your own staff as well. If you look upon your staff as an appliance to simply plug in and do a job, you will struggle to keep them. Your staff are individuals who have their own dreams, desires and personal needs. Leaders need to commit to engaging the individual, to empathize with their personal needs and to really think about how the employee can grow within their role. Whether your staff are highly in demand or not, a sincere and empathetic approach can help bring them to work smiling. Don’t let humanity get lost in our blizzard of action items. Be obsessed with people — your customers and your team — and you will travel the road to success together.

Thanks to Greg Wood, MASV.io!


#11- Embrace failure and uncertainty

Photo Credit: Brad Smith

Some things I have learned over the years to help my business grow are, number one, embrace failure and uncertainty. You don’t want huge failures that could take you out completely, but don’t be afraid of taking critical feedback and getting in front of customers or clients. You can’t just sit behind a desk and try to build something without figuring out whether people actually want it. Secondly, I took note of how successful businesses grew and followed their example. I spent a long time doing the wrong things such as NOT specializing in a specific niche and not building systems or processes for contractors and employees to follow. Lastly, make cash flow a priority, and focus on the stuff that makes you the most money in the beginning.

Thanks to Brad Smith, Codeless!


#12-Collaboration not competition

Photo Credit: Robert Farrington

Networking with others in my industry has been key for me in helping my business grow. There are two pivotal moments in my business that really helped it take off, both of which involved connecting with others. The first moment was when I connected with an online blogging community. This was a great opportunity for me to learn and meet others. This really accelerated my online growth. The second pivotal moment was when I went to conferences and met with people in person. Face-to-face connections are hard to replace, and that’s something you just can’t get online. There is an underlying theme here though: Collaboration is better than competition. Don’t look at other people in your niche or industry as competition, but rather see how you can work and learn together.

Thanks to Robert Farrington, TheCollegeInvestor.com!


#13- Three ways

Photo Credit: Jack Wang

Be diverse with what you offer: You may be known for one product or service, but you should also be diverse with the options you offer. This way, you hit a wider demographic of potential clients. Know your customers well: Know their likes, dislikes, and quirks. Understand them as if you would someone you’re trying to woo. This way, you will be able to deliver your message in the clearest, most effective way. Study the competition: This doesn’t mean you’ll stalk and note everything down. It is mainly to give you an idea of what your competitors are doing and see what you can learn from them.

Thanks to Jack Wang, Amazing Beauty Hair!


#14-Pace is everything

Photo Credit: Jonathan Faccone

Don’t spend money on operational efficiency tools when lead flow does not presently exist. Spend the money where it matters, that is marketing. No leads equal no money and I was spending precious, limited capital on tools I was not ready for. I learned and decided to grow operationally as lead flow dictated. There existed another problem on the opposite end of the spectrum. I didn’t want to spend so much money on marketing that I could not support the influx of potential lead flow. How would I service these leads since I was a one-man operation? I didn’t want to shoot myself in the foot, not being able to deliver the quality of customer service that would be essential to lead conversion. I didn’t want to tarnish my business reputation right from the beginning. Plus, I didn’t have endless sources of capital to risk on marketing. The second lesson learned, start slow and steady on a marketing budget and expand as revenues dictate over time. The problem I see with many new and not so new investors is that they struggle to find the right pace. Sometimes entrepreneurs start too slow (on the wrong things) and begin enthusiastically working on their prospective business instead of investing their energies into where it counts, and that is marketing. This is what I did. Sometimes investors want to grow their business too fast that they find themselves stretched thin. Often, this results in delivering poor customer service and overleveraging their business.

Thanks to Jonathan Faccone, Halo Homebuyers LLC!


#15- Make the business about people

Photo Credit: Avinash Chandra

Business, in my opinion, is about people – people it is meant to serve and people who are serving them. Hence, we make sure that our business strategies are created around fulfilling the needs of our consumers the way they want. Another thing is that business is not only about having a long-term goal. But many short-term goals lead you to your long-term goal. So, we focus on building a strong team that caters to our customers’ needs & help us achieve our long-term perspective. We also focus on driving new customers with our innovative ideas. But adding new customers doesn’t mean overlooking the old ones. Client retention is also an important aspect of our business policy. And we make sure none of our customers, new or old, ever feel dissatisfied with our services.

Thanks to Avinash Chandra, BrandLoom!


#16- Forming strategic partnerships

Photo Credit: Deborah Sweeney

One of the best ways to grow a small business is by forming strategic partnerships with other like-minded businesses. By creating these partnerships, you’ll be able to best serve customer needs and establish a mutually beneficial partnership that works for each company and its customers. This is thanks to these key ingredients: engagement by partners, customer engagement, and mutual benefit for the parties.

Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation.com!


#17- Think outside of the box

Photo Credit: Badr Berrada

Consumers’ attention span has decreased. They’re impatient and won’t give you a second chance. Outspending your competitors is expensive, and rarely works. Outsmart them instead by creating unique products built on purpose and passion. You can always incentivize your customers with special deals & discounts. No matter what business stage you’re in, smart growth is key for guaranteeing a solid future for your company. After all, while increasing revenue streams can add to your income, it also requires internal expansion within the company itself. Don’t be afraid to fine tune your positioning if something needs to change. Hire people from diverse backgrounds to create a healthy mix of ideas and experiences.

Thanks to Badr Berrada, BBN Times!


#18- Increase your visibility

Photo Credit: Gems Collins

Biggest tips I can suggest for business growth, especially during start-up, is to increase your visibility and become known as the go to person for what you do in your industry. Increase your visibility by sharing valuable information, to the correct target audience via video, podcast and blogs – not only on your own platforms but other peoples’. Write in publications for sites who share the same audience but not the same offering, become an expert speaker on podcasts and interviews.

Thanks to Gems Collins


#19- Build a sales funnel

Photo Credit: Sanjay Patoliya

Scaling your business is hard. It takes considerable effort. The first way to quickly grow your business is by building a sales funnel. If you don’t have a sales funnel, you’re making a monumental mistake. Sales funnels can help to automate your business. It helps you to scale and grow quickly and easily. Sure, there’s some front-end work involved. Obviously. But, once those processes are in place, it’s smooth sailing from there.  Every sales funnel needs to be carefully conceptualized before it’s created. Consider the different funnels first and foremost. Whether it’s a free-plus-shipping offer or a high-ticket coaching funnel, it’s important to build your automated selling machine to quickly scale and grow your business.

Thanks to Sanjay Patoliya, Teclogiq!


#20- SEO and Local SEO

Photo Credit: Jamie Bacharach

The key to growing my acupuncture clinic business has been customer acquisition. Through SEO and specifically local SEO, my acupuncture business has been able to expand its reach and grow far beyond what would have been capable through traditional advertising and marketing methods. SEO has allowed my business to get found by the right customers in the right locations, and is also a sustainable method for success. Unlike with Google Ads or more traditional marketing methods, the effort invested in SEO will retain value for years, whereas ad campaigns provide no value as soon as they end or see their budget reduced.

Thanks to Jamie Bacharach, Acupuncture Jerusalem!


#21- Work ON your business

Photo Credit: Laura Licursi

Growing a business takes planning, persistence, and learning how to delegate effectively. There are many moving parts to owning and running a successful business, and some of them are areas you might not like to do or know how to do. We only have 168 hours in a week, and if you’re trying to do everything yourself, your growth is limited to the time you have to offer. Consider work/tasks that only you can do, and anything else that is repetitive, teachable, or can be documented as a process can be delegated to someone else. The key is not to work harder but smarter, which means carving out time consistently to work ON your business instead of IN your business.

Thanks to Laura Licursi, Elite Virtual Assistants!


#22- Consistency

Photo Credit: Anh Trinh

I grow my business like I would a tree. You need to water it daily, give it enough shade, and protect it from animals and people from trampling it over. It’s a slow and arduous process and you need to be careful as it grows. But if you do your job well, this tree will eventually grow into a big money tree that will sustain you for life.

Thanks to Anh Trinh, GeekWithLaptop!


#23- Always track ROI

Photo Credit: Alec Lynch

If you’re a SaaS business, make sure you focus time and effort on tracking lifetime value. You’ll need to understand this at the most granular level (what churn looks like, how do different cohorts of users behave, what product features are driving usage and retention) to know if any marketing spend you have is profitable or not. If you’re not a SaaS business, understanding the unit economics of your business (average order value, contribution margin, etc) will help guide both marketing and product decisions.

Thanks to Alec Lynch, DesignCrowd.com!


#24-Investing in my team

Photo Credit: Samuel Kane

I am a strong believer that the success of my business is in the hands of my workers and I have always believed that through investing handsomely in my team, my business’ success is guaranteed. Investing in my team goes a long way beyond hiring a highly-competent team. To me, I have to provide my competent team with a conducive environment that would enable them to work better and strictly focus on producing the utmost results. Do I provide the necessary tools? Do I pay at the right time? Do I communicate effectively with my team? those are some of the questions that motivate me to ensure my team always stays on the right lane as I want. It has been six years since I started implementing this tip and it has worked healthier.

Thanks to Samuel Kane, TheMoneyPig!


#25- Zig when others Zag

Photo Credit: Donny Gamble

Let’s face it, growing your business is tough these days. You have to be innovative, persistent, patient, and being able to pivot on a dime when your business faces adversity. Don’t worry because there is hope and room for disruption in order to take and grow your business to completely new heights. One of the ways you can do this is by zigging when everyone else zags. Essentially when everyone in your industry is doing the same thing like Facebook advertising, you do something completely different like Youtube ads. By going against the herd, allows your business to standout in an area that your competitors aren’t, which gives you the ability to thrive and that competitive advantage you need in order to grow your business.

Thanks to Donny Gamble, Retirement investments!


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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