In the quest for growth and success, small businesses often seek strategies that are both simple and effective. We’ve gathered insights from a diverse group of professionals, including a CPA and an e-commerce business owner, to share their most impactful tactics. From balancing content creation with customer relationship management to focusing on customer empathy and understanding, explore the top eighteen strategies that have made a real difference for these experts.
Balance Content Creation and CRM
One effective strategy I find immensely powerful is striking the right balance between content creation and customer relationship management. In my years of working with clients in various industries, I have found content creation to be a great tool for boosting online visibility and generating impactful engagement with potential clients.
For instance, provide a proactive content strategy that goes beyond just writing blog posts. We focus on infographics, articles, web content, and even explainer videos that help resonate with the brand’s vision and services. While the substance is significant, the content also has to be SEO-friendly to ensure it reaches the right audience in the digital landscape.
Parallelly, focus on robust customer relationship management to provide consistent customer experiences. The advantage of having a content-focused approach to CRM is that we can take customer feedback, their pain points, and use that to create more meaningful and resonant content.
Another impactful strategy is offering “all under one roof” services that cater to every business or organization’s needs, irrespective of their size. From website maintenance, content creation, certified copy, and compliance guard to corporate kits, seals, registered agent services, among many others, we handle everything. The idea here is to make businesses efficient and seamless, helping them to save time and allowing the organization to focus more on their core areas.
Furthermore, our partnership with Zoho serves as a strategic move, providing every required service, be it invoicing, inventory management, HR practices, digital customer engagement tools, etc. These services, in turn, play a crucial role in nurturing employees, adapting to changes, and making business management efficient and effective. I believe that such a comprehensive service ecosystem proves to be exceptionally beneficial for small businesses that may not have the necessary bandwidth to manage multiple things simultaneously.
Segment Your Audience for Impact
Many businesses make the mistake of trying to be all things to all people, but we found that by segmenting our audience, we have been able to impact our bottom line. Trying to cast too wide a net when trying to attract customers can often lead to watered-down messaging that creates a lukewarm response.
However, by segmenting your audience into smaller and more defined categories, you can hyperdrive your marketing efforts, touching on the aspects of your products and services that meet every group’s needs. This approach resonates better with each demographic and enhances your ability to address their specific pain points. By segmenting your audience, you will avoid weak messaging and better drive your sales.
Implement Regular Financial Reviews
One simple yet effective strategy that I’ve seen small businesses benefit from is the implementation of regular financial reviews.
Determine a regular schedule for financial reviews. This could be monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on your business needs. Then, during each review, examine your key financial statements—the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. These documents provide a comprehensive view of your business’s financial health.
Make sure to look at critical performance metrics like gross profit margin, net profit margin, operating expenses, and others. These metrics can help you understand where your business is doing well and where improvements can be made. Also, compare your current numbers with past performance and industry benchmarks. This can help you identify trends and assess your performance relative to competitors.
Regular financial reviews can provide valuable insights into your business’s financial health, helping you make informed decisions and strategically plan for the future. Despite its simplicity, this strategy can have a significant impact on a small business’s success.
Host Live Online Shopping Shows
One of the most successful strategies we implemented for increasing customer engagement and sales was through a live online shopping show. Being a small business, we thought this would be too expensive to pull off, but it wasn’t.
With two iPhones, some microphones from Amazon, and a YouTube channel, we were able to run a show with over 2,500 people watching. It was so successful that we now run this same type of show each month.
Utilize Client Testimonials and Images
As I help people plan their trips, the most intriguing thing I’ve found is that people become impressed with other people’s experiences. The only thing I ask of my clients after they return is a good recommendation, but only if they are satisfied with all the arrangements and the trip. I put some friendly pictures of them with the reviews so that other people can access them easily.
In this way, others can get a picture of how well their trip can be organized, see the people’s actual experience, and imagine their own picture with all the fun memories. I believe it is effective as well and keeps me motivated to plan better and meet the expectations of their adventure.
Automate Processes with Zapier
A simple yet highly effective strategy that I’ve implemented in my small business is the use of Zapier to automate all manual processes. By integrating various applications and automating tasks, we’ve essentially harnessed the power of AI to streamline operations.
This approach allows us to operate with the efficiency of a much larger team, maximizing productivity while keeping costs low. It’s an incredibly impactful strategy, particularly for small businesses looking to scale and compete effectively without a significant increase in resources.
I highly recommend leveraging automation tools like Zapier to any small business aiming to optimize their workflow and focus more on growth and innovation.
Cultivate Strategic Brand Partnerships
One surprisingly simple yet highly impactful strategy that I’ve employed as a small-business owner is cultivating partnerships with other brands and influencers. By strategically aligning our brand with others that share our values and reach our desired audience, we have been able to expand our reach and gain exposure to new potential customers.
These partnerships have often taken the form of co-promotions, guest blog posts, and sponsored content. This approach not only exposes our brand to new audiences but also enhances our reputation by association with respected brands or influencers.
Despite its simplicity, the benefits we’ve derived from these strategic partnerships have been substantial, contributing to our sustained growth and success in the competitive affiliate marketing landscape.
Trust Your Gut Over External Tools
Focus on what your audience wants, not on what an external tool tells you to do. You know your audience much better than any external tool, so use your own internal data and trust your gut with what they want to hear!
Actively Seek Customer Feedback
As a small-business owner, customer feedback has been crucial for my venture. Actively seeking input from our customers has not only helped us fine-tune our product but has also fostered a sense of community around our brand. The constructive criticism has been invaluable in addressing pain points and enhancing the overall customer experience.
Furthermore, showcasing positive feedback in our marketing materials has not only boosted our credibility but has also attracted new customers. It’s not just a strategy; it’s a lifeline that keeps our business evolving and thriving.
Network Within Your Industry
One simple but effective small-business strategy that I’ve found impactful as a real estate investor is networking within the industry. Building relationships with other professionals, such as real estate agents, brokers, contractors, and property managers, has been instrumental in expanding my business and finding lucrative investment opportunities.
By attending industry events, joining local real estate associations, and engaging in online communities, I’ve been able to tap into a wealth of knowledge, gain valuable insights, and establish connections that have led to successful partnerships and deals.
Now, as a real estate investor and founder of Real Estate Exam Ninja, I spend a significant portion of my time teaching others about the intricacies of the real estate industry. Sharing my knowledge and expertise through educational platforms, online courses, and coaching programs has not only allowed me to give back to the community but has also become a valuable aspect of my business strategy.
Create Localized Website Pages
Creating location pages on your website can be a simple yet effective strategy for small businesses, especially for mental health clinics. As the owner of a small mental health clinic myself, I have found that creating location pages on my website has greatly impacted my business in terms of visibility and reach.
One major reason behind this is the power of Google Maps. When potential clients search for mental health clinics in their local area, Google Maps is often the first thing they see on their search results page. By having a location page with your clinic’s information and contact details, you increase the chances of appearing on Google Maps and being easily accessible to potential clients.
Moreover, creating location pages also helps with SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Use LinkedIn for Personalized Marketing
Leveraging my personal LinkedIn profile for marketing our firm’s legal services has proven to be remarkably effective, particularly because of its ability to humanize my brand and showcase the core values that drive my practice.
I’m not just using the platform to share insights but also to narrate the impactful stories of my clients, highlight key milestones, and communicate the important life lessons that underpin my approach to law. If you think about it, it’s the power of compelling storytelling that leaves a long-lasting impact on the minds and hearts of your audience.
And LinkedIn’s professional atmosphere is particularly advantageous in this regard—your stories are taken a lot more seriously. The platform is also home to several specialized groups, so no matter your niche, you’ll find people keen on hearing what you have to say—which goes a long way for your brand.
Implement Text Message Marketing
One of my mentors recently started a small flower shop, and she immediately surpassed all her monthly revenue goals.
I asked her what she attributes her success to, and she said she uses text message marketing to encourage customers to buy from her repeatedly. She’ll collect their phone numbers during checkout and text them about any specials.
So, I started using text message marketing in my business, and it works much better than email marketing. I currently have a list of over 200 phone numbers, and almost all my subscribers read my text messages.
If you’re a small business on a budget, consider collecting customer phone numbers and marketing to these customers via text.
Scott Lieberman, Owner, Touchdown Money
Document and Improve Processes
I always volunteer to be the person who writes down the process. Not only do I have a particular organizational style, but I also value consistency. My contribution over time is that I have defined the specific implementation of a wide variety of processes in our organization. Not only does this give me a lot of influence, but it also allows me to publicize how I think and open it up to criticism and improvement.
Choose Scalable Solutions
We emphasize scalability in our strategy. When you’re short on cash, time, and know-how, it’s easy to choose fast or cheap solutions. It might seem smart to go for basic solutions that don’t require a lot of money or effort to learn. But things aren’t always as they seem.
Often, the ideal solution might seem too hard and have a steep learning curve. You don’t want to get stuck with a bunch of cheap, inefficient systems that seem cost-effective at first but actually waste your time and money over time.
Build Authentic Social Media Connections
Engaging with your audience makes more of a difference than just posting a lot. Authentic connections to brands, or the willingness to build a community around a brand, are built through micro-interactions and authentic content like UGC and influencer stories.
To gain traction, you need to include your audience not just in your social planning but also in your daily activities running through the app. Think more like a creator than a manager—people don’t want to feel “managed” on social media; they want to relate. It takes real customer stories and reviews; genuine stories are the stickiest substance in social content.
Personalize Customer Follow-Ups
Our small but strong company has seen its share of challenges. From the product’s uniqueness to the one-by-one fulfillment steps, we are constantly building and improving our operation. In this process, we have taught ourselves about a very useful, important, and everlasting strategy. We honor, personalize, and follow up with our current customers.
The acquisition of new customers occurs daily; the holding onto our current customer base seems to occur hourly. We see these two avenues of growth as vital to our success. We frequently strategize how we can effectively reach back to current customers, offering them news about our new product, suggestions for their expanded use of our product, and even the clever use of our product by their so-called competitors.
One example is how we share ideas across the country about how a wedding videographer (which we know to be a local service, generally) is cleverly using our Heirloom Video Books. We may offer this idea to another customer 1,000 miles away. And, as we seek to provide the best in customer service, we offer deep and then deeper discounts on new bulk orders.
We have found these actions to be a great way to develop customer loyalty, brand identification for their service, and even their willingness to post positive reviews and testimonials of our product and service.
Focus on Customer Empathy and Understanding
One simple but effective small-business strategy I’ve used and found impactful is to hyper-focus on customer empathy and understanding. First, it is important to truly understand your ideal customer: go beyond demographics and basic needs. Dig deep into their pain points, desires, and frustrations.
Second, solve a specific problem: Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Identify a niche within your market where you can excel at solving a specific, well-defined problem for your ideal customer. This makes your value proposition clear and resonates deeply with your target audience.
Third, go the extra mile: Customer service shouldn’t be an afterthought; it should be at the core of your business. Remember, happy customers become loyal advocates. Last, build a community around your brand: Create a space where your ideal customers can connect with each other and with your brand. Fostering a sense of community strengthens relationships and increases brand loyalty.