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15 Business Growth Strategies Used by Successful Entrepreneurs

7 Mins read

To help small businesses identify effective growth strategies, we’ve gathered fifteen unique insights from founders, CEOs, and other business leaders. From hosting regular free workshops to using short-form video for connection, these proven strategies offer a wealth of knowledge for any small business looking to expand. Dive in to discover the strategies that have worked for these successful entrepreneurs.

Host Regular Free Workshops

One business-growth strategy that has been a game-changer for our small business has been hosting a free, live workshop every eight weeks for the past three years. Our signature event, the Marketing Methodology Workshop, has enabled us to enroll most of our coaching clients by the end of each workshop. 

By spending an hour each day with us live on Zoom and learning to create an entire marketing strategy for their business, we can build the “know, like, and trust” factor for multiple prospects at the same time. We purposely crafted this workshop to be as valuable as a paid course so that by the end, participants are saying, “If this is what they offered for free, I can only imagine how incredible their paid program is.” 

It may seem like a great deal of work to run a five-day workshop every eight weeks, but it isn’t. Instead of constantly creating, we use the “rinse and repeat” strategy of building it once and then running it repeatedly with exceptional results.

Deirdre Harter, Co-Founder, CPA, Business Strategist, Encore Empire

Focus on High-ROI Marketing Strategies

The one business-growth strategy that has worked for my small business is to focus on the cheapest, highest-ROI marketing strategies first. Most small businesses at the start are very under-capitalized and need to operate with a very lean model. 

For my company, the focus was on SEO, Facebook Marketplace ads, and classified ads for marketing. By focusing on these three marketing strategies first, we could keep costs incredibly low per lead, maximize the return on every lead, and then have the funds available to reinvest into more expensive marketing channels to scale.

Sebastian Jania, Owner, Ontario Property Buyers

Adopt a Consultative Selling Approach

It can often feel like it’s all about the latest whiz-bang marketing tool or strategy, but people forget humans buy from other humans. 

Local businesses can often be successful, even when they’re more expensive than the big-name national brand. 

At our company, we prioritize getting on calls with people and use a consultative approach to sell our product. 

Instead of saying, “This is what you need,” we’ll ask, “Okay, what are your expectations? What are you doing now? What goals do you have, and why is that important?” From that base, we’ll simply put our heads together to see if it’s a good fit. 

About eight out of ten times, the person on the other end of the conversation will throw out ideas and use cases we would’ve never considered. 

We close a healthy percentage of prospects by simply putting their interests and goals front and center.

Daniel Ndukwu, CMO and Co-Founder, DoxFlowy

Implement Targeted Pay-Per-Click Ads

The problem with most small businesses is that they don’t have widespread name recognition. Brand-awareness advertising campaigns can be prohibitively expensive, especially for new businesses. Running highly targeted pay-per-click ads has been beneficial for growth. 

Generally, people aren’t searching for a business’ name, but they are searching for products and services. These are leads that need to be captured. It’s not rocket science, but running PPC ads has really helped small businesses grow.

Temmo Kinoshita, Co-Founder, Lindenwood Marketing

Make the CEO the Face of Company

A growth strategy that has truly worked wonders for us is making me, the CEO, the face of our company. I’ve built strong connections with our customers and stakeholders just by putting myself out there and being visible and vocal. I engage on social media, attend industry events, and appear in relevant interviews to share our mission, values, and expertise. 

This personal touch has helped to humanize and, importantly, showcase our expertise. Clients appreciate knowing the person behind the business, and it has significantly boosted our credibility in the market. Being approachable and actively interacting with our community in this way has helped to drive our business forward.

Harry Morton, Founder, Lower Street

Leverage the Power of Client Referrals

The power of client referrals was instrumental in launching our business exponentially. From the beginning, the aim was to run the business on customer service excellence, founded on realistic expectations and communication. The unexpected bonus was the flood of support and referrals that resulted from this strategy.

Ritual, a wellness and supplement brand for women, was one of the first brands we worked with. Over a year of collaboration, we helped them overcome their performance plateau and grow their website and sales in several ways, including an increase in traffic value by over 1800%.

The results achieved for Ritual became our selling point to at least five or six other referred brands that quickly followed after the completion of our contract. These contracts led to new referrals, which led to more business, and before long, we found ourselves as one of the top-performing agencies in the digital marketing space within just a year or two.

Kevin Miller, Founder,

Target a New Audience

One business-growth strategy that has proven highly successful for our small tech company is targeting a new audience. In the beginning, our focus was on catering to entrepreneurs seeking to enhance their funding pitch using our AI tool. However, as we continued to evolve and improve our product, we recognized its versatility and potential for a broader market.

Expanding our target audience to include individuals looking to enhance their sales pitch was a game-changer. This strategic shift not only opened up new avenues for growth but also allowed us to tap into a larger customer base. By diversifying our audience, we could leverage our AI tool’s capabilities to address different pain points and meet the needs of a wider range of customers.

Luciano Colos, Founder and CEO, PitchGrade

Embrace a Customer-Centric Culture

As a small business, one effective growth strategy we have employed is embracing a customer-centric culture. By prioritizing customer needs and interests over short-term business goals, we have reaped significant benefits. 

One key tip for success is operationalizing customer empathy by encouraging employees to research and understand customer needs. This approach has provided valuable insights and allowed us to make necessary product adjustments. Moreover, facilitating direct interaction with customers across all functions has improved our products, strengthened customer relationships, and increased satisfaction and loyalty. 

By putting customers first, we have achieved sustainable business growth.

Samuel Fletcher, Co-Founder, SupplyGem

Create a High-Quality Website

Even though you might have a rinky-dink business that is barely off the ground, if you have an ultra-modern, killer website, you can compete with anyone. 

I am a huge believer in sinking a sizable portion of your initial capital into an amazing website. If and when people find you online, you want them to think you’re the industry or local leader in whatever it is you do. And don’t be afraid to oversell yourself! Even if you’re a team of one, you’re still a “team.” Sell that! Convince people you have a reputable organization with tons of positive reviews, and make your company seem larger than life with an amazing website experience. 

You want to inspire confidence in consumers and validate their purchase decision. And the best way to do that is with an investment in an insanely good website for your business. That was our early growth strategy, and it worked wonders.

John Ross, CEO, Test Prep Insight

Invest in SEO for Visibility

Most contractors get the majority of their customers through word of mouth. However, when people move from other places and have limited connections, they search the internet. We invested in our SEO and started managing our reputation a couple of years ago, and have been earning several new customers from organic searches every week since then. 

So, if you’re a home service that lives off of word of mouth and are debating investing in SEO, you should. The people new to the area need to find you easily, and see that you do great work.

Rick Berres, Owner, Honey-Doers

Share Case Studies with Potential Clients

When speaking with a potential new client, many want to know why they should partner with me instead of another SEO writer. 

I like for my results to speak for themselves, so I share case studies and quick stats showing what I’ve achieved for other clients. This helps to put my services into perspective and demonstrate the value I bring before a client commits. It’s a great way to build confidence and trust, plus it reduces their risk when partnering with a new-to-them freelancer.

Alli Hill, Founder and Director, Fleurish Freelance

Prioritize Customer Retention

Concentrating on customer retention and fostering strong relationships with our existing clients has proved to be a successful business growth strategy for our small company. We have been able to cultivate customer loyalty and repeat business by placing a premium on customer fulfillment and continually exceeding their expectations.

We actively engage with our customers through personalized communication, feedback solicitation, and prompt response to their requirements. This not only aids in customer retention but also generates positive word-of-mouth referrals, which have been crucial in attracting new consumers.

In addition, we have implemented customer-loyalty programs and incentives to reward recurrent business, thereby reiterating our dedication to our valued customers. By positioning the customer at the center of our growth strategy, we have experienced consistent and long-lasting business expansion.

Michael Callahan, Founder and Director, The Callahan Law Firm

Ask for Advice to Open Doors

Don’t underestimate the power of asking for advice or for help. It is amazing the number of doors that have been opened in my business when I did just that. People receive so much honor when you ask for advice or help. It creates a situation where people want to help and go out of their way to do so. My business has grown significantly using that strategy; my clients’ businesses have grown that way, too. 

Brent Hafele, M.A., Acc, Head Coach and Owner, Vibrancy Unlocked

Develop a Unique Selling Proposition

One growth strategy that has proven essential is the development of a unique selling proposition (USP). In a field with various approaches to self-development, our USP, a holistic approach encompassing all aspects of one’s life integrated into a comprehensive, customized three-month coaching program, sets us apart.

This holistic program targets everything from mindfulness and emotional well-being to self-awareness, relationships, and finding purpose in life. By emphasizing this unique approach, we’ve appealed to a niche market seeking this blend of disciplines in their self-improvement journey.

This strategy has not only differentiated us from competitors, but also significantly driven our business growth.

Bayu Prihandito, Psychology Expert, Life Coach, Founder, Life Architekture

Use Short-Form Video for Connection

Often, when I have introductory calls with prospective clients, they say, “I feel like I already know you.” This is all thanks to short-form, vertical video creation—which now drives 50% of my clientele. 

Video marketing (and specifically, talking directly to the camera) has been an incredible strategy for my business. This format allows me to connect with my audience on a deeper level; it’s like having a FaceTime call with a trusted friend.

Additionally, because so many social media platforms are shifting their focus toward this format, I can now create one video and upload it to multiple channels (TikTok, Instagram Reels, Instagram Stories, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts, Pinterest, etc.). This helps to broaden my reach and get my business in front of different audiences that might not have known about me otherwise.

Megan Gersch, Owner + CEO, Megan Gersch

Brett Farmiloe is the founder of Featured, a Q&A platform that connects brands with expert insights.

Growth stock image by oatawa/Shutterstock

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