5 Tools That Help Small Businesses Grow: Strategy and Execution

Any business will tell you that growth is important. Without it, you’ll probably struggle to stay in business for very long. However, growing your company isn’t easy. It takes a lot of time and effort—and perhaps even a little bit of luck—to build a business that can thrive over the long term. If you own or operate a small business, you might not have the resources to hire an entire team dedicated to growing the company. In fact, you may not even have anyone on staff who has much industry experience beyond what you currently bring as an individual. That being said, this doesn’t mean that your growth potential is limited or that you should give up on your company entirely. As a smaller entity, there are plenty of excellent tools at your disposal with which you can execute a smart strategy and begin growing your business effectively and efficiently. Let’s take a look at some of them below:

Strategy Before Execution: Know What You Want to Achieve

The first thing that you need to do before you start executing your strategies is to figure out what you want to achieve as a business. How do you want to position yourself against your competitors? What kind of clients do you want to attract? How do you want to set yourself apart from the rest of the businesses in your industry? In order to figure out what you want to achieve, you’ll need to do a lot of research on the industry in which you operate. In fact, this research will likely take up the bulk of your time—especially if you’re a newer business that doesn’t yet have a track record. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent research tools at your disposal to help you get started. One of the most important parts of your research is to identify your target audience. You can do this by conducting competitor analysis and surveying potential customers to figure out who they are and what they want from a product or service. With this information, you can begin to create a marketing strategy that will help you attract the right kind of clients for your business.

Research and Analysis

Once you’ve done your research, you’ll also want to conduct some analysis to see where your company currently stands in comparison to your competitors. This could include anything from financial analysis to SWOT analysis. One way to figure out your current strengths and weaknesses is to create a company overview and SWOT analysis. In this, you’ll want to identify your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This will help you to determine where your company has the most room for improvement. From here, you can figure out what strategies you can implement to improve your overall position in the market. Financial analysis is another important tool that you can use to gain a better understanding of your company’s current financial position. You can use this analysis to project how your business will look in the future, helping you to make strategic decisions based on what’s likely to happen.

Now that we have got all of that out of the way and you know to target and what makes you stand out let’s jump into the tools…

Marketing and Advertising

Once you have an understanding of your target customers and what you want to achieve, you can start to develop an effective marketing strategy. Marketing is about more than just getting your company name out there. It’s about finding the right audience for your business and then attracting them to your brand using the best methods possible. You can start to develop an effective marketing strategy by identifying your target audience and then figuring out where they’re currently hanging out.

From here, you can begin to develop a plan for how you can reach these people with your message. In order to reach a wide audience, you’ll likely need to engage in some form of advertising. There are tons of different types of advertising, though, so you’ll have to decide which ones make the most sense for your business. Advertising is an expensive endeavor, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re picking the right types of campaigns for your business. This way, you can make sure that your investment is worthwhile.

  • Hubspot (free plan available; plans start at $50) – is ideal for creating strategies to market, sell and service your clients in a central location.
  • Sendible (starts at $29)- is great for relationship building as it allows you to nurture interactions with users. It’s a great tool plan, automate and analyze your social media efforts.
  • Buffer (starts at $15) – is a one place solution for scheduling and publishing content.

Web Development and Automation

Once you’ve attracted potential clients to your website, you’ll want to make sure that you’re able to keep them there long enough to convert. This is where effective web development comes into play. Web development isn’t just about making a pretty site. It’s also about building functionality into your site that will help your business run more efficiently.

Web-based automation tools can help you to manage your company more effectively and free up your time so that you can focus on higher-level tasks. Web-based automation tools can help you to generate leads, build brand awareness, and increase sales. Some business owners also use web-based automation tools to replace traditional office tasks (like scheduling appointments or creating reports).

Some examples of tasks you can automate within your website:

  • Answering repetitive questions – Implement a chatbot
  • Need to manage client projects – Setup a client portal that allows you and the client to manage their project
  • Paying for 3rd party appointment tools like Calendy – Implement a booking system

Collaboration Tools

As your company grows and you start working with more contractors and employees, you’ll likely want to implement a more effective way of managing workflow. Traditional tools like email and paper-based systems might not scale well enough to keep your business running as smoothly as you’d like.

In order to solve this problem, you can implement a collaboration tool like Asana or Trello. These types of tools can help you to manage projects, delegate tasks, and keep everyone on your team on the same page with regard to priorities and due dates. These tools can also be helpful when working with remote workers. They’re designed to foster an online environment in which all members of the team can easily share information and collaborate on projects.

  • Asana (free plan available; plans start at $10.99) – allows you to seamlessly collaborate and focus on what’s important. It also has a ton of integrations.
  • Trello (free plan available; plans start at $5) – is very flexible and has multipurpose functions.
  • Slack (free plan available; plans start at $7.25) – is great for team communication and workflow builder

Tools for Building Brand Awareness

Once you’ve gotten your marketing strategy off the ground and you’re generating leads, you’ll want to make sure that you keep them coming to your business by building brand awareness. One way to do this is to start incorporating brand-building activities into your marketing strategy. These could include anything from running an ad campaign to hosting an event or creating a video series. By regularly incorporating brand-building activities into your marketing strategy, you’ll help to bring your name to the forefront of your potential customers’ minds. This can help to make your brand more recognizable and attractive to potential clients, which can in turn help you to generate more leads.

  • Mailchimp (free plan available; plans start at $11) – is great for staying in front of your audience that is interested in your products/services. Share your business culture, new products and how-tos in a weekly newsletter.
  • Chamber of Commerce (membership depends on Chamber) – connects you and your business with your local community and spreads brand awareness.
  • Social Media (determine which platforms your audience is on) – create posts that showcase who you are, how you’re different and how you can help.

Tools for Lead Generation

Once you’re attracting leads to your business, you’ll want to make sure that you’re able to turn them into customers. This can be challenging if you don’t have the resources to dedicate to customer service. You can address this issue by turning to lead generation solutions that can help you to convert leads into sales. Some of these solutions include Hubspot, Salesforce, and Sprout. These platforms can help you to manage leads, track their progress through your sales funnel, and ensure that they actually turn into customers. This can help to reduce your overall workload and help you to focus on higher-level tasks that are important for the long-term growth of your business.

  • Hubspot (free plan available; plans start at $50) – is ideal for creating strategies to market, sell and service your clients in a central location.
  • Landing Page (your web designer can create this) – create a landing page for a specific audience and capture leads with a form for more information, demo, free consultation, etc..
  • OptinMonster (plans start at $9) – convert your website traffic into leads by creating offer, opt-ins for targeted audiences

Bottom-line: Don’t neglect small, smart strategies

While you’re implementing these strategies, you’ll also want to make sure that you’re not neglecting the small, smart strategies that are important for growing your business. These include things like ensuring that you have a strong brand identity, finding ways to improve your customer experience, and making sure that your business is managed properly. These strategies are often overlooked in the rush to implement large, expensive strategies like advertising, but they can be just as important for long-term success.

Summing up

When it comes to growing a business, there are plenty of different strategies and tools that can help. Whether you’re trying to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or simply improve your existing processes, there are lots of excellent tools available to help you do just that. By implementing these strategies and tools, you can help to ensure that your business grows successfully and reaches its full potential.

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