More than 97,000 businesses are created in Canada each year—and more than 89,000 close their doors. Those that don’t fall into the latter category understand how important it is to grow their small business to the next level, and then the next, and then the next.
There’s a lot that goes into planning for that growth. Hiring, training, marketing, sales, leadership, legal aspects, financial planning—the list goes on. We offer guidance and tips on how to build your small business.
Build customer relationships
Forming solid relationships with your customers can boost sales, provide invaluable word-of-mouth marketing and increase employee morale.
To build strong customer relationships, consider doing the following:
- Welcome all feedback and take it seriously
- Train staff to provide excellent customer service
- Conduct regular surveys and encourage customers to respond with small business giveaways, such as a fun USB drive, attractive wood coaster set or useful file keychain.
- Engage customers with interactive contests and offer sought after prizes like a discount coupon or bamboo lunch container.
Consistently create content
When it comes to content, consistency is key. Regularly producing valuable blog posts, emails and videos helps attract more leads. In fact, 47% of people view three to five content pieces before talking with a sales rep.
When creating content, focus on what your customers and potential customers will find most helpful. What practical information or guidance can you share? By providing useful content, your brand will stay top of mind and stand out to consumers as one that cares.
Optimize for local SEO
Locals love to support small businesses. But your community can’t support your business if they are unaware of it or what it can do for them.
97% of people learn about a local business online—more than anywhere else.
What’s more, 72% of people who do a local search visit a store within eight kilometres of them.
Make sure to have a robust Google® My Business listing so people can easily find you online. Include local keywords in your website and content, such as “cookie bakery in <insert city>” or “sewing shop near me.” Those types of phrases help ensure your business shows up in relevant local search engine results.
Invest in advertising
Expand your company’s reach and increase your brand exposure with paid advertising. People are increasingly receptive to social media ads and impressions have increased 20% year over year. Social media advertising is also the number one paid content distribution method, making it a great place to promote online content.
When crafting company ads, think about the person you’re trying to reach. What are they looking for? How can your business help? What would entice them to click your ad? Thinking through these questions will help you create the most effective ads.
Build strong partnerships
Strong business partnerships can help your business grow much faster than it could by itself. In fact, some partnership programs produce 28% of a business’ revenue. But taking on a partner doesn’t necessarily mean you have to share profits. A good partner can be as simple as another local business owner to collaborate with in order to grow each other’s businesses. For instance:
- Ask a neighbouring business to promote your brand in exchange for a free product sample.
- Promote other local businesses by displaying posters and business cards in your store in return for the same.
- Offer a discount to a partner’s customers (for example, a bakery could advertise 10% off birthday cakes in a party store).
Seek a partner with similar values and business goals and set clear expectations. Once your partnership becomes official, send a small business giveaway to kick off the relationship. Items like a unique coffee mug or a soft-touch journal with pen make a great impression.
Build your business with a bang
With ideas like consistently creating content and building strong business partnerships, you’ll know how to steadily build your small business. Good luck!
- Build personal customer relationships
- Consistently create useful content
- Optimize for local SEO
- Focus building strong partnerships
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