It’s been over a year of “unprecedented times.”
That said, we’ve got your back. Lowkel’s dedicated to helping small business owners not only grow but survive. Let us help make running your small business easier.
Here are our 3-I Lowkel Growth Phase Framework and Checklist to Grow a Local Business:
Phase 1: Improve
Before you start looking for a quick fix, we suggest you first examine the systems already in place.
How can you take whatever you have going to the next level? We know it’s often exciting to add something new. That said, we encourage you to first focus on what you have. Often current inefficiencies can detract from your business’s growth. And adding something new won’t help either!
So first, let’s streamline what you’ve got. A few places to begin looking are listed below.
And if you don’t yet have one of these systems – make sure to note it! You’ll want to explore how to best invest it in Phase 2.
Your Business Plan
How long has it been since you’ve looked at your business plan? If you have one, here’s a great moment to go back, identify your metrics of success and what growth looks like to you.
Is growth simply continuing to do more and reaching more customers? Or are there untapped networks or markets that you’d like to explore?
Once you’ve identified how you want to grow, reread your business plan. What tools and systems that you have in place can be revisited for expanded growth? all these questions will help grow your local business.
When’s the last time you updated your website? Does your website’s aesthetic match your brand’s tone and ambition?
Your website is often a customer’s first impression. What can you do to help that impression be everything you want it to be? How clear is the route from Home Page to Sale Conversion? Have you optimized your website for speed and responsiveness?
Give your website a thorough interrogation. It might lead to a transformed customer experience and company growth. Your website is your digital storefront; make the customer experience on the website as easy as possible to increase the number of online sales.
How are you managing your clients, leads, and potential growth opportunities? When’s the last time you went through and updated your system? Are there any routines or systemized behaviors you can add to expand sales?
Give your current CRM Software a quick look to see how you might be able to amplify and expand your sales. It always begins with the customer experience.
Customers & Business Proceedings
How do your customers find your business? Once they find your business, what is their user experience like? Explore what your business might be like as a first-timer. Use that knowledge to upgrade your business operations for increased customer satisfaction.
Phase 2: Invest
In this phase, we encourage you to expand your toolkit. Our emphasis is on exploring new strategies to grow your business.
At this point, you’ve exhausted the quicker and cheaper fixes. Everything that you have gone already, you’ve brought up to its maximum efficiency.
Now it’s time to invest time and brainpower to keep growing.
New Brand Business Partners
Look around your community. Are there any business services that might help you grow or scale your business? Are there any tools that your competitors are using?
Refer back to your updated business plan. What tools, apps, and services can help you hit your success metrics?
What new services or styles of service would you like to offer? Is there an app or tool to help you?
At this moment, make the leap and invest. While investing always costs more than we may want, please remember that you’re investing in your business for future growth.
This also might be the moment to invest in a business rebrand. For some, this might mean revolutionizing a website. Others may reimagine their brick-and-mortar storefront.
We again encourage you to return to your business plan. Find out what new clients or audiences are you hungry to meet? How might your business aesthetic change to attract them?
Lastly, this might be the moment to bring someone onto your team. This might be another business that offers a good that can amplify your business. This also might be a consultant or social media manager. Basically, as you look for growth areas, begin to explore if you can support these areas of growth. If not, welcome new members to your team and to your vision.
Now that you’ve improved and invested, it’s time to reach out.
What are your main ways of interacting with clients? How might you streamline these? How can you announce to your clients your new improved business?
Digital Marketing & Social Media
This is the moment to amp up your social media game. Reach out, create collaborations, and spread the word. Now that you’ve updated your business, share that news with the world.
As you create a bigger web presence, your business is sure to grow. Along with an organic social media presence, two ways we recommend accelerating your business’s digital presence are:
– Collaborating with Influencers
Websites like influence.co and other influence solutions can allow you to pair with local influencers, advertisers, and entrepreneurs to put your business and product in feeds, before eyes, and in the hearts of your future fans.
By pairing with local entrepreneurs you’re strengthening your local business ecosystem and collaborating with go-getters and the next generation of advertising stars.
– Targeted Ads
While we wish the internet economy was a meritocracy, we all know that a bit of advertising can go a long way. In addition to influencer collaborations and organic growth, we strongly recommend taking your content and posts that are performing well and using them as the basis of targeted advertising.
Use platforms like Google, Facebook, etc., to run ads and reach your desired audience that is more likely to convert. If you are not equipped with the knowledge to do this or don’t have enough time to run the ads yourself, consider hiring someone to do that for you.
Attend & Host Local Business Events
You don’t have to only share your business online. Create a business event and invite customers or fellow businesses to it. By creating community and a gathering, you’re positioning yourself as an industry leader. And by leading, you’re putting yourself in control of your business’s future.
In addition, we recommend searching for and attending local small business events to network with other local small business owners. By expanding your network and meeting other entrepreneurs, you can swap stories and insights about how to grow and empower your business to flourish.
In the Portland Area we recommend exploring:
- Prosper Portland
- Portland Incubator Experiment
- Oregon Entrepreneurs Network
- Chambers of Commerce
- Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs
- Business for a Better Portland
- TIE Oregon
There’s plenty of opportunities in our and your local neighborhood to grow and expand your business. We look forward to seeing you at some local events!
Be Part of Your Community
Community creates community. Show up at local events. Sport your local sports teams. As you become a key community player, your brand will become known. By becoming a community ambassador, you will not only grow your business but also our local small business ecosystem.
We know firsthand the benefits of being a community connector, and encourage you to likewise do the same. By aiming to support your community, you’ll discover surprising partnerships, growth opportunities, and exciting new ways to also take your business to the next level.
At Lowkel we believe in growing our local community. Whether you’re a business looking for the next way to scale your business or a shopper wanting to shop local, we’re the place for you. Join us and Let us help you grow your business, support your community, and improve your day-to-day life. Shop Lowkel.