Expanding Your Business: A Guide for Small Start-Ups

| March 12, 2021

Expanding Your Business: A Guide for Small Start-Ups

As a result of changing shopping habits over the past decade, the impact of the pandemic, and growing awareness of climate change and the need for sustainable solutions across all sectors, many large corporations, businesses, and brands are discovering that their business model is no longer as popular, or as viable, as it used to be. This has led to the collapse of many well-known high-street brands and negative press for vast corporations who dominate their sector, leaving holes in the market that are looking to be filled.

This has led to an influx of savvy start-ups, attempting to garner loyal customers and fill the void left by out-of-business brands and corporations. Many of these start-ups began by recognising the gaps and shortfalls of ‘big businesses’ in their sector, whether it related to customer service, lack of sustainability or accountability, or not choosing a marketing niche.

Whilst these start-ups have demonstrated quick-thinking and an awareness of market conditions, to continue their success and expansion, there’s a number of steps that can help to increase their longevity and attractiveness to customers.

Going Back to School

Once your fledgling business has acquired a number of loyal customers, spreading praise for you via word-of-mouth, it’s easy to rest on your laurels and feel like you have little to do to improve and expand your business. However, if you wish to see the success of your start-up grow in a targeted and viable fashion, then there are a number of steps you can take to set your business on that path.

Ever heard of business analytics? No? Well, sit tight and listen up – it could transform your entire business. Business analytics is the utilisation of collected data to identify trends and patterns that inform your strategic business decisions. Enrolling in an online msc business analytics course could be the move your start-up needs to reach the next level. It would provide you with the skills needed to use a variety of analytical tools and programs that will make you an effective manager, arm you with information relating to customer patterns and preferences to inform future strategy, and apply this knowledge to your business. So, what are you waiting for?

SEO Tips and Tricks

The acronym ‘SEO’ (search engine optimisation) is everywhere these days. Those in the business, marketing, and blogging worlds – to name a few – recognise that a base knowledge of SEO is vital for any online business to succeed in the modern world. Learning about and applying the principles of SEO to your business marketing strategy can help improve your ranking position amongst your competitors, meaning that your site and any related information will feature higher up on Google’s search pages.

The first step of SEO is to identify your business niche – fashion, lifestyle, home service providers? – to help you choose key words and phrases that are frequently searched for, or in conjunction with, particular topics related to your niche. Too vague, and you will be lost amongst a sea of competitors in Google’s search directory; too specific, and you risk making it too difficult to locate your page, thus reducing your website traffic significantly. It’s also important to look up your nearest competitors and identify their ranking – what key words/phrases have they included? How can you utilise this knowledge to your benefit?

There are plenty of free online SEO tools that help you to choose the most effective long tail and short tail phrases to include on your website, making it less costly to grasp the basics of SEO for improving your website reach. There are, of course, SEO tools that provide you with everything you need, but these are often costly. A way of finding the middle-ground in this respect is to consider employing an SEO expert to monitor and plan for SEO strategy.

Social Media and Marketing

Social media has grown exponentially in the past 15 years, fast becoming one of the biggest tools for communication, news, and business. Appropriately, then, ensuring that your rapidly-expanding start-up has an online social media presence is vital for success in the business world.

Whether you choose to create a Facebook page, Instagram account, or Twitter account (or all three!), it’s important to ensure that you dedicate these pages to achieving and including the following:

  • Working links to your website or online shop, and vice-versa
  • Competitions and marketing campaigns – videos, images, promoted adverts
  • Multiple daily posts interacting with customers
  • Engaging with customers via comment sections

The bigger this aspect of your business is, the more likely it is that you will require a dedicated social media manager to work in conjunction with to produce relevant posts.

Micro- and Nano-Influencers

As you venture into the world of social media, where the group dubbed ‘influencers’ dwell, you will identify new ways of reaching your target audience.

Defined by their relatively small, niche social media following – usually accounts with no more than 25,000 followers, who are incredibly loyal to and tend to interact frequently with the influencer, and with a specific angle, such as sustainability – micro- and nano-influencers are well-placed to choose the marketing campaigns they engage with. Due to this ability to choose what they work on, influencers of this nature lend an air of authenticity to the businesses whose products or services they endorse, making them incredibly valuable resources for businesses’ marketing campaigns.

Visible Values: Embracing Equality and Sustainability

With Gen-Z and Millennials beginning to come of age and monopolise a large aspect of the market, the values of business customers have started to noticeably shift. More of an emphasis on sustainability has been demanded by consumers, due to the growth of awareness in climate change as well as equality, triggered by recent examples of police brutality and systemic racism across the globe. Not only is it important to embrace these ideals for the good of both the world and society, but it is also vital to maintain a principled business that customers see value in. Having clear, obvious, and dedicated values and ideals that are stitched through every aspect of your business is more likely to inspire dedication and loyalty amongst your customer-base. Thus, it is important to ensure that your company’s values are clearly signposted and followed through at every single level of your business.

You’ve already made your first steps towards success and are on your way to achieving more. Follow the steps above to help you identify the various different ways you can continue to grow and expand your business in a rapidly changing world.