Successful growth strategies require effective leadership, marketing, design and product management. There’s no way around that.

But growth strategies aren’t a one-size-fits-all business.

Growth strategies have to be tailored to your product, the problem you solve, and your target audience. That ensures short- and long-term growth for your company. 

Below, we’ll explore 4 growth strategies that produce immediate bumps in ROI. All of these strategies take less than five minutes to start.

1. List your business on Google My Business 

When it comes to improving local SEO and helping prospective customers find you, the first thing you can do is register with Google My Business (GMB). 

GMB makes your business more discoverable both on- and offline. Like Yelp, GMB informs potential customers about locations, opening hours, contact info and more. 

Because GMB listings display at the top of search results, they’re immediately visible to searchers.

A solid Google My Business listing means more “warm prospects”—consumers that already want to buy what you’re selling—see your business.

Look at it this way: users looking for “Oregon French bakery” or “French bakery near me” want to buy French pastries and other bakery products. They’re ready to hand their hard-earned money to the folks they think offer the best services and products. 

That’s all potential customers are looking for.

So being front and center to warm prospects at this critical moment could mean serious returns—if you run a French baker. You want to be front and center in your vertical.

Optimize your GMB listing so it’s easier for prospects to find. 

  • Include your location, contact information, opening hours and website. 
  • Create a business description. Make it clear what you’re selling so customers can easily decide whether to buy. 
  • Add photos of your venue and products. GMB listings with photos perform much better than those without photos. 

If you’re serious about growing your small business, then get it listed on Google My Business as soon as possible. 

2. Partner with other businesses 

Combining resources with other local companies increases your reach. Mutually beneficial relationships get your business in front of a wider audience.

More people means more leads. More leads mean more customers.

The key to this strategy lies in carefully picking businesses to partner with.

Identify a crossover between your audience and that of a non-competitor. Then, find ways to tap into that crossover in a mutually beneficial way. 

Here are some examples of relevant collaborations: 

  • A coffee shop offering 50% discount vouchers to the next-door auto shop customers.
  • A hairstyling salon offering complimentary hair treatments to a beauty salon’s clients, and vice versa. 
  • A local florist offering 25% discount vouchers to a particular wedding planner’s customers.

Start by listing other local companies your customers use.

After that, the sky’s the limit when it comes to business collaboration. As long as you choose carefully, you can expect to drive more ROI and grow your small business at a faster rate, too. 

3. Offer free consultations or trials

SMBs often face a major dilemma early on—how to set themselves apart from their competitors.

Free consultations let you prove your knowledge and expertise. When prospects get a taste of what you’ve got to offer, they’ll be more willing to consider your products or services. 

Provide value, then deliver what the customer needs. It’s that simple.

Advertise free consultations on your website, social media pages and GMB listing.

If consultations don’t fit your business model, consider offering trials or other discounts for new customers. Discount buy-in generates leads and boosts word-of-mouth advertising. 

4. Start a referral program 

Don’t overlook the power of word-of-mouth advertising as a growth tool. Referral programs reward existing customers and compel prospects to join in the fun. They also ensure your current customer base feels appreciated and valued. 

Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective forms of advertising.

Consider what type of rewards would benefit your existing strategy… while also offering value. If a deal isn’t worth it to your customer base, they won’t refer their friends, and your customer base won’t grow.  

Examples of referral programs include:  

  • Get 10% (or $10) off when you refer a friend, and your friend gets 10% (or $10) off their first order. 
  • Refer a friend and get a free month of service.  
  • Enjoy 20% off and get $10 off your next order when your friends sign up.  

Bringing it all together. 

These growth strategies increase ROI almost immediately. If you’re looking for a quick boost, these are some of the places to start.

  1. List your business online to reach warm prospects.
  2. Partner with other businesses to make deals for local shoppers.
  3. Offer new customers discounts to get them in the door.
  4. Start referral programs to encourage word of mouth.

At the end of the day, your goal is to create long-term value for your company and promote continuous growth.

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