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8 ideas for business growth you might not have considered

Written by Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce | 15 Oct 2019

As the owner of a small business, growing your company is always high up on your agenda. From building a sales funnel to tracking competitor activity, you’ll constantly be thinking about the necessary steps required to grow your business.

But there are other ways to grow your business that are perhaps less obvious. Here’s a list of ideas you might not have considered.

1. Present at events

Presenting at events is a great way to gain exposure for your business and demonstrate your expertise. Look to associations, groups and organisations in your local area and offer to present or host workshops on a topic on which people could benefit from your knowledge. Consider hosting webinars too - they can be a captivating way to showcase your expertise without the need to attend events.

2. Hire an intern

Hiring someone with little experience as a means to grow your business may seem counter-intuitive, but actually, interns can offer a number of benefits.

Interns tend to come with a lot of energy which can add tremendously to the culture of your company. Plus, they bring a fresh perspective and can help you to look at your company in a new light and come up with new ideas. And you never know, your interns may turn out to be some of your best full-time employees.

3. Volunteer

Volunteering is not only a great way to give back to the community, but it’s also a great means for building connections with people in your local area and raising the profile of your business.

When you volunteer, you give yourself opportunities to meet like-minded business leaders, entrepreneurs and even politicians who could help you take your business to the next level. Perhaps your new contact can help your business in an area you don’t have the time or resources. Of course, you may also meet potential future customers of your business.

Volunteering can also generate publicity for your business. If local events you’re involved with are picked up by the media, you have the potential to be exposed to an even wider audience.

4. Improve your website homepage

As the face of your business, your website is one of your most important assets. Your homepage in particular is where people will often land when searching for your company online.

Few small businesses have big budgets to spend on their website, but it’s important that it delivers everything it needs to. The good news is there are some simple principles to follow to ensure your homepage is working as hard as it can.

  • Ensure it clearly conveys who you are and what your business does
  • Ensure your copy/messaging is easy to understand and up to date
  • Keep your layout clean and easy to navigate
  • Make sure the look and feel reflects your company
  • Include high resolution images
  • Include engaging call-to-actions (CTAs)

5. Blog (or blog more!)

Blogging helps to drive traffic to your website, raise awareness of your brand, and expand your customer base. If you haven’t yet started a blog for your business, although it might sound daunting, it can bring a lot of value to your company. Especially when you consider that 76% of UK consumers will conduct research online before investing in a new product or service.

If you already have a blog, could you be blogging more? The more blog posts you publish the more chance you have of bringing traffic to your website and gaining authority in your industry.

Stuck on what to write about? Think about the questions your prospects and customers would want answers to and use these as the basis for your blog posts. Or, share your thoughts and opinions on trends and hot topics in your industry.

6. Invest in your people

Your people are the heart of your business. Without them, you simply couldn’t operate. Therefore investing in your people is one of the smartest things you can do to grow your business. This means giving people responsibility, enabling them to make an impact, and offering opportunities for learning and development. These are the things that make people feel valued, motivated and committed to the business.

Since your employees are the ones in contact with your customers, how they think and feel about the business is a far stronger representation of your company than all your marketing and advertising could ever be.

But it’s not just a case of happy employees, happy customers. When it comes to attracting new talent, people don’t want to work for companies that don’t treat their employees with warmth and respect. In fact, the top three things millennials look for in employers are people and culture fit, career potential and work/life balance.

Ultimately, by investing in your people, you’re investing in your business.

7. Address the skills gap

Never has there been a time where companies have found it so hard to find the right people they need to grow and succeed. Digital skills in particular have become increasingly important to the operation of UK businesses, but many companies are facing a shortage of these skills in their workforce.

A skills gap analysis can help you identify the skills your company needs and how well your company is operating against them, as well as to determine strategies to bridge those gaps. We’ve written a blog post taking you step-by-step through the process of how to do a skills gap analysis. You can take a look here.

At the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, we offer a range of benefits to help support you as a business owner to recruit and train the right people with the right skills. By becoming a Chamber member, we can equip you with the right tools and knowledge you need to address the skills gap and access the right talent. To find out more, contact Justin at the Chamber.

8. Partner with other businesses

Teaming up with other businesses can allow you to reach a wider audience quickly. Look for companies that are complementary to your own and propose opportunities to work together.

This is where networking events to meet other professionals in your area is so valuable. By getting to know other business leaders in your community you can build relationships which may eventually lead to partnerships if and when the time and need is right.

If it makes sense for your company, collaborating with a third party can help make your growth goals a reality. At the Chamber, we host regular networking events and workshops where you can connect with other professionals in your local area.

The Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce offers a range of benefits to support business owners with their growth prospects, including events, networking and peer-to-peer support. You can see a full range of member benefits here.

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