Small business growth strategies

Growth concept.
3 minute read  

In the blink of an eye the summer is already winding down. With the holidays just around the corner, it’s important to keep your eye on the ball during the back half of the year to ensure your business continues to grow and thrive. With new technology and trends in the small business world emerging constantly, it can be challenging to keep up. Here are 4 business strategies that can help you stimulate growth and stay on trend in the small business world.

4 strategies to help your business grow

Go mobile! The mobility of your service platforms is becoming increasingly important—particularly in the retail space. ComScore, a cross-platform measurement agency, found that more Canadians (56%) are using mobile platforms for their internet browsing than the traditional desktop. Social media marketing and mobile optimization will be key players in the growth of small businesses for this year. Social media browsing accounts for 35% of Canadians’ time spent on mobile devices. Facebook was the most popular platform for 2016, with Instagram and Twitter falling much lower on the list. Ensuring you have a strong, brand appropriate presence on these platforms will help you make an impression with your demographic.

While mobile-optimized websites are important, the digital shift doesn’t stop there. Small business owners could benefit from the implementation of mobile payment options as well. 17% of Canadians make retail purchases via their mobile devices more than once a week.  It may also be wise to consider introducing a mobile app for your small business: the increase in mobile usage means that apps have become a key player in the online marketing game.

Content is key. The importance of a strong content marketing strategy in combination with a traditional marketing strategy is a great way to help your business stay competitive. More specifically, expert blogs and video content are growing in influence and popularity with Canadian consumers. Blogging is a way to connect with your consumers rather than simply selling to them. Publishing content on subjects that your company has expert insight on can help build trust with your consumer demographic, which can lead to them being much more comfortable doing business with your company over a competitor. Implement an editorial calendar to keep your blogging strategy organized and on schedule.

Diversity in the type of content brands produce and publish is also becoming more and more important, with video leading the way. Popular streaming platform YouTube reports that mobile video consumption increases 100% every year. ComScore found that 64% of users are more likely to purchase a product online after watching a video, and according to Forrester Research, email newsletters that contain video content produce 200-300% higher click-through rates. When reviewing your 2017 marketing spend, and when you begin developing your budget for next year, it may be beneficial to place a focus on video content production.

Take corporate responsibility. The benefits of being a socially responsible business are vast and can certainly help stimulate growth. A study found that 84% of consumers say they seek out responsible products whenever it’s possible and 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for socially responsible products. It goes beyond consumer benefits as well: 60% of employees tend to be more engaged when they’re proud of the company they work for. There can also be financial benefits to shifting your business operations towards a greener future. Savings from cutting down on things like packaging and energy usage can add up quickly.

Embrace the millennial generation. Businesses seem to have a bit of a love-hate relationship with millennials, but there’s no debating their significance in the consumer world. 30% of Canada’s population was born between the years of 1981-2000 and they make up 21% of the total national income earned at an estimated $237 billion a year. Their main areas of spending are luxury fashion, travel and fine dining. This is a consumer demographic that is leading the way in not only Canada, but worldwide. It’s important that your business targets them effectively. While the above tips can be useful to any small business, they are particularly useful when targeting the millennial generation.

Millennials are hooked on mobile devices. 81% are mobile phone users, checking their devices up to 110 times in a day. This generation is also known to have an aversion to traditional advertising techniques making content marketing very important in reaching them. In fact, only 1% of millennials said they could be influenced by an ad, while the rest are inherently skeptical of them. In comparison, 33% of millennials will rely on brand blogs before making a purchase. 50% of them will take action after watching a product video or ad on YouTube. They’re also big advocates for social responsibility: 89% of millennials said they would be more likely to support a brand or company that in turn supported solutions to specific social issues.

There are many ways to keep your business growing and evolving, but these 4 strategies can be a strong start. The small business landscape is ever-changing and it’s important to ensure your business keeps up with the new trends each year brings.

This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information.