The new year is fast approaching, bringing with it resolutions for weight loss, better time management, and more. It is in this spirit of improvement and positive change that I present to you five broad strategies for growing your business in 2011:
1. Improve your product/service. This one should be a no-brainer; if you improve your offerings in a way that makes your customers happier, they will keep coming back for more, and be more likely to tell their friends about you. For example, if you have a coffee/candy/pastry shop, come up with a line of delightful edibles to celebrate the new year. If you own an event venue/center, offer a more diverse range of event packages, beautify your landscaping, or have your facilities power-washed and re-painted for a pristine appearance. You get the idea…
2. Increase your exposure. Put your business name out there; advertise in the local newspaper, get involved in your industry associations, chambers of commerce, and so on. Send sample products to magazines, blogs, and other media outlets.
3. Make the most of social networking tools. Don’t be a sporadic Twitter or Facebook user. Set aside a few minutes every day to tweet/post relevant articles, links, and other useful information. By doing this you will develop a following of customers, prospective customers, and peers, and you can share updates with them about your product/service offerings, promotions, and sales. Just remember to provide useful information and relevant content; no one wants to see only one-sided “Buy my product” pitches.
4. Revamp your image. Makeover your logo so it embodies the qualities that make your business unique, and give your business card an overhaul too. These two elements are the most important tools you have for marketing your business: the logo defines your image and influences customer perception, and a unique, eye-catching business card is memorable and more likely to be kept for future reference.
5. Promote, promote, promote. Give one of those eye-catching business cards to everyone you meet. Educate prospective customers about your products/services with a great brochure, or mail out postcards with coupons and promotions to bring in new customers. Update your website with current information, and provide a form so your customers can sign up for news, coupons, or promotions via e-mail.
Add any of these strategies to your 2011 resolutions, and be sure to read Freelance Folder’s How to Make Sure Your New Year’s Resolutions Succeed for best results. Here’s to growth and improvement in the New Year!
About Barbara Austin
As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!