If you own a business that just isn’t getting the results you want, the easy thing to do would be to chalk it up to a challenging business environment. But you didn’t get into entrepreneurship because it’s supposed to be easy, right? We’re living in a new paradigm, which means there’s a whole new world of opportunities for those who are willing to think creatively, dig deep and make it work! MARIELLE REUSSINK shares her top tactics to grow your business and increase sales.
#1 Assess your situation
The more you understand the problem, the easier it will be to start actually solving it. Begin by doing a mini audit on your marketing strategy. How does it hold up in a world where people are buying anything and everything online? Do you have a strong digital presence? Is it easy for people to find you online? How is the experience on your website?
Once you understand where there is room for improvement, you can begin prioritising changes that will make an impact and grow your business.
#2 Look for ways to evolve your business lines
Are there certain aspects of your business that just don’t make sense anymore? Perhaps you’ve been dependent on wholesale partnerships with retailers that aren’t open anymore; or maybe you’ve always counted on events to sell your services.
Consider how you could adapt these aspects of your business to fit into the digital world. Could you ramp up your digital marketing to sell more products through your website? Is there some way you could deliver your services virtually instead of in person? Then again, could your business survive or even thrive if you cut out certain offerings altogether?
Rethinking the way you’ve always done things could reveal an even better, more profitable solution for your business in the long run.
#3 Follow the data
You may be facing some tough decisions at the moment. But chances are that some of them can be made easier by looking at the data. If set up correctly, your analytics can tell you who your highest yielding customers are, where your traffic is coming from, what products or services are most popular, and what aspects of your business just aren’t making any money.
This information can help you understand where to focus your resources, and where to cut your losses. Don’t be afraid to cut out what just isn’t working right now. If it’s not making money, it’s probably not worth it.
#4 Expand your audience through collaborations
Look for opportunities to collaborate with other brands to co-promote your businesses through a joint offer, a giveaway, a virtual event or a campaign. I love collaborative partnerships because they not only allow you to reach new people, they always seem to spark creativity, and you never know what will come of it – but you need to structure them strategically!
Choose a brand that’s either in your niche or loosely related to what you’re doing, and take care to consider how your brand values and target audiences align.
#5 Offer something of value for free
Now is a good time to approach your business with a service mindset. What can you do to make things easier, more fun or more accessible to people? Consider offering a version of your offering for free to give people a taste of what you do.
This is a great way to differentiate yourself from other brands and get people to really engage with what you’re doing; plus it gives you an opportunity to collect contact information for future marketing campaigns.
If people get value out of your free product or service, they may become paying customers one day. Or at the very least they might be willing to help spread the word for you. Good will can go a long way!
#6 Reassess your goals
If you’re disappointed with the results you’re getting currently, it may be because the goals you’ve set are no longer realistic. Give yourself attainable mini-milestones to work yourself toward goals that make sense in the current environment.
One of the advantages of the shift online is that it becomes easy to track your progress with data, so make sure you put numbers behind your goals so that you can really see how you’re doing week by week or month by month.
#7 Look for inspiration
While you never want to copy other brands, it never hurts to keep an eye on what other businesses are doing for inspiration; that applies even if they’re outside of your industry or niche. Identify strategies that companies you admire are using to adapt, and consider how you could use these insights to come up with a unique idea of your own.
For example, hundreds of restaurants have shifted to takeout service, but this isn’t the only industry that could do this. Perhaps a spa could create a “takeout” version of their services with a personalised selection products for a customer’s skin-type, and step-by-step instructions to do a treatment at home.
This is just one example. If you spend some time exploring the new and innovative things that are happening in the world, you just might find that the ideas start rolling for your own business.
Have you used any of these strategies to help your business grow during these difficult times? I would love to hear from you! You can email me at email@example.com or follow me at the-emms.com/blog for more marketing and entrepreneurship advice.
Marielle Reussink is a marketing professional, entrepreneur, advisor to start-ups, and founder of The Emms. Follow her at LinkedIn and Medium.
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