The number of small businesses is constantly growing, making the entrepreneurial landscape extremely fierce. To grow your business, you need to set clear goals, a solid business plan, and a unique employee collective that lines with your missions. Above all, you need to invest heavily in digital marketing and turn your business into a recognizable brand.
Here is where you need to invest in to get your small business off ground.
Build a Comprehensive Business Plan
Without a brilliant idea, your business wouldn’t exist. However, just having a lightbulb moment is not enough to start a company. To do so, you need to build a solid business plan. This comprehensive document will include each aspect of your business, from different employee management strategies to your branding efforts.
The idea behind creating a business plan is simple, it lets you observe your business idea realistically and determine whether it is worth the investment. Most importantly, it should keep you on track at every stage of your business and bring consistency to your business processes.
Now, to create a good business plan, you first need to think of what makes you unique and focus on these characteristics. According to HubSpot, some of the key elements of a business plan are:
- An executive summary
- The description of your business model
- The deep research of your industry’s state
- The explanation of your products/services
- The description of your business operations and management roles
- A deep marketing and sales strategy
- A solid financial plan
- A concise appendix
If you’re not sure where to start with your business plan creation, there are many awesome templates you can find online and download them for free.
Establish a Memorable Brand
In today’s oversaturated marketplaces, customers are looking for businesses they can trust. Brands that will be there for them when they need help. Brands that can help them solve specific problems. Brands that provide exceptional products at competitive prices. Brands that value their loyalty.
This is why we usually choose big brands like Coca-Cola or Nike over their less famous competitors. According to some recent stats by Nielsen, the majority of customers are more likely to buy from brands they’re already familiar with.
Unsurprisingly, to compete with big players in your niche, you need to build a solid brand around your business. Your brand reflects the identity of your business, its mission, values, drives, and goals. It makes your brand more relatable, drives its recognition, increases people’s loyalty, and lets you stand out from the crowd.
Invest in Brand Sustainability
This one is related to the previous section. Standing for environmental, social, and governance factors, ESG has become a key aspect of your branding strategy for a few reasons.
First, it directly impacts your business’ value and profits. According to the 2015 study, there is a strong link between a company’s social and environmental performance and its stock price performance. Another report shows that such businesses also make greater profits.
Second, your customers care about ESG. Most of them love brands with a cause. Stats say that 86% of US customers want a business to act on major social issues. Moreover, 50% of these consumers would boycott a company that doesn’t respect the ESG factors. Moreover, over 60% of customers would spend more money on sustainable brands.
Finally, by establishing ethical hiring processes and building a value-oriented corporate culture, you will manage to attract top industry talent and retain it.
Precisely because of that, you need to audit your business sustainability consistently. Investing in ESG reporting means setting clear ESG KPIs, tracking them regularly, mapping major ESG risks, observing your competitors, and collecting data. Most importantly, don’t let these reports sit somewhere on your computer unused. Instead, use them to improve your business sustainability and mitigate the major problems in your strategy.
Have a Solid Marketing Strategy
The small business landscape is growing impressively fast and, to stay on top of it, you need to promote your business properly.
Start by building a solid website, which is basically your online ID. Invest in a UX design, make you’re your site looks great and loads fast irrespective of a user’s device, simplify your navigation, and choose colors and visuals that reflect your brand values and personality.
Then, start blogging. Creating high-quality content on your site will boost your brand exposure, engage your customers, and boost your conversion rates. Above all, such content will boost your online image and help you position yourself as a credible online resource.
To make your website content and products visible online, optimize them for search engines. There are numerous tactics you should use parallel with SEO, including social media marketing that humanizes your brand, email marketing that grows lead generation, and PPC that increases your brand visibility in the SERPs faster.
The number of your competitors is constantly rising and, to get customers to choose you, you need to keep track of the latest industry trends and refine your business accordingly. Invest in a solid business plan, build a memorable brand, market your business extensively, and grow a sustainable culture that will set you apart from your competition.
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