With January well underway, most business owners are busy setting goals for the year ahead. But for those looking to expand it can be difficult to know where to start. This month, we look at 3 actionable steps you should be taking to expanding your business in 2018.
Be Smart With Social Media
Is social media marketing a key part of your business?
If it’s not, it should be. But it’s important to focus on the social networks where your target market hang-out.
This week, as Facebook announces significant changes to the way business pages work on the site, it’s becoming even more important for businesses to rethink their social media strategies in order to stay relevant and make every penny count.
Although Facebook’s changes won’t remove business pages from the site altogether, the network will be strongly favouring that encourages discussion. Good news if ‘guerilla marketing’ is your thing, but bad news if you’re more focused on traditional advertising.
If you’re in the second camp, but want to expand your business, LinkedIn is where you’re going to get the most bang for your social-marketing-buck. Not only through paid advertising, but through valuable networking.
Using LinkedIn for Business
Because it’s not what you know, but who you know. LinkedIn is sometimes likened to a Facebook for business professionals but it’s an invaluable networking tool that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially if you’re looking to expand your business. It can be used to connect with potential clients, follow industry leaders and search for new opportunities.
Try joining LinkedIn groups relevant to your field where you can add something valuable to conversions and discussions. This will help you make industry connections and build awareness around your brand.
Increasing your presence on LinkedIn will help you to forge valuable connections but it’s most effective if you offer a service or a B2B product. If your business is more product based, and those products are especially visual, then selling on Instagram might be more suitable. Instagram is a highly visual social network focused solely on sharing images and video content.
Take away: Do your research and invest your time in the platform where you’re likely to see the best return.
Invest in Business Mentoring
Entrepreneurs, especially ‘one-man-bands’ and creatives, can be guilty of attempting to tackle all aspects of their business themselves. Most of us don’t like to ask for help, either.
But this mindset not only increases your risk of burnout but can prevent you from seeing the ‘bigger picture’. When you are too close to your business, it can be difficult to decide on the most logical next steps.
Finding a business person with the experience and industry know-how to guide your efforts in the right direction, will help you to identify where your energy would be best spent. Your mentor will help you focus your efforts, assess which areas should be expanded to maximise growth (and offer advice on how to go about this) and where you would be better off outsourcing tasks or streamlining the business.
Ready for a mentor, but not sure where to look? Try your local Business Gateway, ask your LinkedIn network or contact your local council to see what support bodies are in your area.
Sell More To Your Existing Customers
Upselling is a tried and tested marketing strategy. Your existing customers are already sold on your business, so make sure you’re offering them everything they want before you go prospecting in new markets. Selling more to your existing customers is likely to be more profitable and also helps foster customer loyalty.
Finding out what your customers want is relatively simple. If you interact with customers in your workshop or on the shop floor, ask if there’s anything else they’d like to see you offer. Most people will be more than happy to share their ideas, especially if they’re already a returning client.
E-commerce businesses can ask for customer ideas on social media or spend some time searching competitors’ customer reviews online. Look up your competitors on selling platforms Amazon or consumer lead sites. Try searching for 4-star reviews because these are more likely to be from customers who have been happy with a service but would like to see something extra added.
Pinpointing where your biggest competitors are falling short will give you an idea of how to better serve your own customer base.
Are you expanding your business in 2018? We’re always finding new ways to help our tenants think big. And sometimes that means taking on additional workshop space, finding a retail unit to rent with ample parking or being able to access to high-speed internet as a part of the deal.
Looking for your next commercial unit to rent in Dumfries? Get in touch with our team for the best deal on commercial property available at Heathhall Business Centre.