Growing a small business from a creative streak and a laptop into a trusted company isn’t what it used to be. With competition fiercer than ever and the cost of everything from supplies to marketing on the rise, bootstrapping isn’t really an option. What can you do then if you have a vision but very little capital to bring it into being? Check out these four ways to grow your digital business from Synergy Personal Development.
In a Small Business Trends survey, small businesses were asked about how clients learned about their design services. The answer wasn’t surprising, as it mirrored the one from a decade earlier: word-of-mouth.
According to the results, 85% of SMBs claim that word-of-mouth is the number one way they acquired customers. While you might think that this percentage would go down with time thanks to search engines, the opposite seems to be true, as the rate was up 2% from 2005. Search engine acquisitions came in second, at 59%. No other method even came close.
The point of sharing this data is that networking is crucial to your small business’s success. Networking can be as simple as sharing your name and business information with the person behind you in the grocery store or as complex as attending industry events. For female entrepreneurs, who continue to experience unique challenges, seek out and network with like-minded professionals and get involved with organizations like Women Impacting Public Policy and the Women’s Business Development Center.
A middle ground would be to join your local chamber of commerce, which costs you nothing in some cases, but can connect you with high-paying leads. Regardless of how you choose to go about it, make sure to practice your strategy before you start handing out cards.
2. Ask for Referrals
If you feel confident that you created something special for a client, don’t hesitate to ask for a referral. Most consumers are willing to refer a business with which they had a positive experience, yet a minority ever end up actually doing so. This is because many consumers assume businesses have processes in place for garnering referrals. Don’t let this assumption hurt you, and just ask.
3. Establish an Online Presence
Whether you have a home or outside office, you need to establish an online presence. Why? For starters, according to a Verisign survey, the majority of consumers (84%, to be exact) agree that a business website helps a brand appear more credible. Additionally, 93% of consumers use the internet to view portfolios or research services and prices before making a purchase, and 91% use the internet to look for local businesses. A website also gives you a way to showcase your best work or services, establish social proof, and encourage customers to contact you.
Now that you know why you need a website, it’s time to explore how you can get one. Setting up an online storefront on Shopify or WooCommerce can be easy to do, John did this entire site, including our store, by himself. However, if you need help, hire developers for the project. A developer can help you pick an appropriate theme, add product images, manage customer orders and track user analytics. You can find developers on job boards or through referrals.
4. Use Coupons
People love coupons. It’s a fact that’s backed by numerous studies. In fact, a MarketTrack.com study pointed out that coupons are so effective that they have the power to sway as many as 80% of consumers to switch brands or businesses. Additionally, 80% of consumers say they feel smarter when they shop with coupons. As for purchasing power, 28% of shoppers who enter a store armed with a coupon end up spending more than shoppers without. If you want to convince people to give your products or services a try, attach a coupon to your offers.
Making a name for your small digital creative business and growing it into a design powerhouse is not going to be easy. However, with the right strategies in place, it is possible, and the results will be well worth your effort.
Synergy Personal Development is a consulting and training solutions design studio that helps our clients enhance their communication abilities.
Whether you are talking face to face or delivering your message to millions via the web, we can help. Book your free initial consultation today!