Startups and small businesses (SMBs) embark upon their journey with energy and passion. It gets them off the starting block and into the market. However, it only gets them so far. At some point, they need to consciously consider small business growth channels they will use to grow and succeed in a competitive marketplace.
It’s essential that startups and SMBs invest in their businesses early, making use of various small business growth channels. That way, they can grow and develop in the best way as soon as possible. This prevents stagnation and the scourge that causes many young businesses to falter.
There are a plethora of choices when it comes to different small business growth channels, so which are right for your business? Take a look at the different options below and build your own strategy which suits your business.
1. Market Penetration
Chances are that your startup has gone to market serving one particular segment in one particular way. An obvious route to growth is to increase your market share using your existing product or service or to shake things up with a new or related product. This is where startups move from being a newly conceived entity to a growing SMB.
Within this, you’ll be able to do things like bundling products together and offering packages. You can also lure in bigger orders with large order discounts. Remember to always keep your eye on competitors.
2. Social Media Development
It’s imperative that you grow and refine your social media presence if you want any hope of growth in the digital world. Indeed, of all the small business growth channels available to you, social media is perhaps the most imperative. Identify the channels which are best for you and then ensure you are using them expertly.
Every social media network suits different purposes and should be approached as a unique channel for brand awareness and growth, depending on your client’s core business. Here are some social media facts that can help you to pick the best platform for your business. #SocialMedia pic.twitter.com/kEvYOEf1DF
— Campaign Masters (@MastersCampaign) June 16, 2021
For example, learn how to monitor Facebook ads comments using a tool like Napoleon Cat, ensuring you retain control over discussions evolving about your product. Or uncover what influencer marketing can do for you.
3. Develop Your Market
Developing your market differs slightly from penetration and represents another of the available growth channels. Your onus here is on taking existing products or services and offering them to a wider reach, usually geographically. This gives you a larger customer base, enabling you to grow your SMB, enabling profits to expand, by exploiting new areas.
This is particularly useful if you have saturated one area, or need time to develop your next product line. Startups need to quickly move beyond their starting block.
4. Know What You’re Doing with Content Marketing
Content marketing for small businesses can be particularly powerful and is one of the easiest growth channels to capitalize on. It enables you to develop your brand personality and carve a place as an industry authority. Your audience’s loyalty expands, and for relatively low cost and low effort input, you can ensure your SMB competes on a more level playing field with the big guns.
Content marketing isn’t about short-term gains. It’s a long-term commitment that drives your brand awareness and business growth through customer relationships.
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.”
👉 : Quote by Andrew Davis pic.twitter.com/ampm4RDmxo
— EQ Digital Agency Naperville (@eqagency) March 16, 2022
Learning about effective content marketing and how it can be used should be one of the main endeavors for startups and SMBs. It can be expanded as time and resources allow, and it goes on giving long after the investment has been made.
5. Uncover New Small Business Growth Channels
How do you sell right now today? What’s limiting you to that single growth channel? For example, if you are selling only through one digital platform, what’s stopping you from using Instagram or Facebook for selling? Or even, what is stopping your startup from opening a physical store? Easy channels to open up and use include email marketing, your own business website, and social media.
At the end of the day, potential customers will expect to be able to find and interact with you in multiple different ways and places and this is an excellent argument for different growth channels. Additionally, they will experience multiple touchpoints with your business before buying. So create multiple small business growth channels for them so that you are right where they are.
If you’re unsure where to start, creating a new website is always an excellent starting point. Find out how to choose a team of web development experts. It’s worth getting the experts on board from the beginning so that you can scale your site with ease over time.
6. Expand Product Lines
One great product or one limited service will only go so far. To grow, you need to expand your product line. For some businesses, in reality, this may be adding new features. For example, many SaaS startups and SMBs start with a great idea and good functionality. Then, they expand this out with smarter features as time goes on.
As you do this, you’ll attract greater numbers of interested buyers, and encourage loyalty in the ones you’ve already won. Moreover, make sure to update your website pages to include your new products. You can look at some SaaS examples from top companies for some inspiration.
7. Learn About Your Audience and Customers
Where many startups and SMBs overlook potential knowledge to help them grow is in terms of uncovering insights into what’s going well, what’s not, and why. Without insight into your business, how can you know which are the best growth channels for your business?
The good news is that in the digital space, gaining business insights has never been easier. It’s possible, with so much data, to be overwhelmed. Hence, it’s worth knowing which are the most actionable and useful insights and working with these.
8. Events and Networking
As we begin to emerge into a new ‘sort-of-normal’ post-pandemic world, startups and SMBs are now able to consider using events and face-to-face networking. That can do that in that way that they haven’t been able to up until this point, opening up another of the available growth channels, once more.
SMA understands that networking in-person matters. Putting a face and personality to the fine print on your resume and testimonials on LinkedIn allows you to really build relationships with professionals. We are excited about our first in-person event post-pandemic on March 25th. pic.twitter.com/eU8i5VNx8I
— Schulich Marketing Association (@SchulichSMA) March 22, 2022
Getting your product and name out there is possible again, and it’s a chance for you to discover what your business can do away from the digital space. It’s really exciting watching businesses born behind closed doors of the pandemic discover that entirely new opportunities exist for them outside of the digital landscape.
9. Reviewing Business Structure and Models
Sometimes the best and most sustainable growth comes from realizing that what’s worked so far won’t continue to work in the long term. This is often the point at which startups and SMBs open their minds to partnerships, working alongside other businesses to get greater success for everyone.
This can lead to things you need like extra resources or manpower, or safer risk mitigation. The idea is to find complementary and non-competing businesses that enable you both to gain access to each other’s customer base and market.
Once you’re off the ground, you’ll need to shake up your advertising approach. Making new decisions within digital and offline arenas, you should be able to make better decisions with your advertising because you’ve now got more data to run tests with and see what works and what doesn’t. Advertising takes effort, and it takes a constantly renewed approach as the business grows.
Finding the Best Small Business Growth Channel for Your Business
Injecting new life into your business in multiple different ways is how to ensure it grows right when you need it too. There are many different growth channels available to startups and SMBS. Using startup loans to rapidly take advantage of new opportunities ensures that your business can scale and grow with ease and with success.
There will be some trial and error involved: not every business is the same. But knowing that you can invest in the business to exploit new growth channels is vital. In this way you’ll grow your customer base and audience and develop the brand, priming it for long-term success, putting you ahead of the competition.