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5 Ways to Grow Your Small Business (That You Probably Haven’t Thought of Before)

These aren’t your typical growth tips.

Are you a small business owner with big business dreams? It can take a long time (and a lot of luck) to become the next Amazon, Apple or Google, but there are plenty of strides you can take to grow your business and your bottom line. If you think you’ve tried just about everything to reach new customers and drive more sales, consider these five atypical ideas for growing your small business.


1. Get involved in the community

Before you can grow your business and (hopefully) serve customers all over the world, you need to focus on growing your presence among the local customers you already have. Even if your community is very small, becoming a household name in your city or town is the first step before moving on to bigger markets. The goodwill generated by your involvement in the community will also help you establish a positive brand identity, which you may be able to leverage with new customers in new markets.


Here are some examples of ways you can get involved in the community to help grow your business:


  • Sponsor a local event
  • Donate some of your products/services to the less fortunate
  • Host a community drive
  • Put on a forum or Q&A with other experts in your field


Check out this piece from Infusionsoft for more ideas and a look at why giving is good for your business.


2. Help a Reporter Out

Originally founded as a Facebook group in 2008, Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is an online service that connects journalists and bloggers with relevant expert sources. HARO is reported to be used by more than 55,000 journalists and bloggers—all of whom are looking for experts like you. As a HARO user, you will be able to respond to source requests relevant to your field of expertise. If your pitch is chosen, the journalist or blogger will reach out to you for an interview or a quote. Before HARO, you would have needed a PR firm to garner that much potential exposure.


3. Contribute to a blog, trade magazine, or Q&A website

If you have a knack for writing, you can contribute pieces to blogs and trade magazines relevant to your business. You don’t even have to be an excellent writer to share something. Many times, outlets like these will have editors on staff whose job it is to make sure your writing is “ready for print” (with your final approval).


If you have something to share, and the expertise to back it up, you can find outlets hungry for expert content from small business owners like yourself.


Another option is to contribute to Q&A websites like Yahoo! Answers, Amazon’s Askville and Quora. On sites like these, users ask questions and experts come to share their knowledge and expertise. By answering user questions related to your business, you can increase your authority while also giving something of value without asking for anything in return. That’s what content marketing is all about: more helping, less selling.


4. Meet other small business owners

Oftentimes, one of the most overlooked avenues of growth are other business owners in your area. As you look to build your audience, you should also look to build relationships with others who share your struggles as a small business owner and, like you, are hungry to grow. You may find other businesses that are willing to develop cross-promotions or special bundles that are geared to attract more customers while providing something of value to the customers they (and you) already have.


There are other reasons to build relationships with other small business owners. For one, depending on the type of business you have, you may find other business owners who are looking for the products and services you offer—and business owners usually spend a lot more than the average customer. The extra revenue can help you grow, but so too can the knowledge you may gain from others. Generally, just learning from other small business owners can be beneficial to your own growth experts. What are others doing to grow? What works? What doesn’t?


5. Increase your online presence

If your small business isn’t online, it should be; if it is, you should look for ways to grow your online footprint. According to a study of 2,000 web users in the United States, 36.7% of American consumers learn about new businesses through online research. Increasing your online presence will make it easier for potential customers to find your site and consider what you have to offer. And the best part is, it doesn’t require any investment (other than your time) to grow your web presence.


Here are some basic tactics for improving your digital footprint and making your website easier to find:


  • Make sure your website includes keywords related to your industry or specific to the products and/or services you offer
  • Optimize your social media profiles to include your small business website address, and make sure all contact information is correct (important for showing up in local search results)
  • Develop a blog on your site so you can post content with keywords and phrases people are looking for who may be interested in your business


Of course, there’s a lot more that goes into growing your online presence. To help you get started, check out our primer on search engine optimization and social media marketing tips for small businesses.


Do you have the financial tools needed for your growing business?

As your business grows, so will your banking needs. Cadence Bank offers a full line of business banking tools and solutions to keep your business financially healthy as you grow. If you’re ready to sit down with a banker to discuss your needs or if you just have questions, contact us today.



This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.

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