75+ Entrepreneurs Share Their Favorite Business Growth Secrets
For every business owner, growing their company is one of the top priorities, but it can get challenging to accomplish.
Sometimes the budget for big marketing campaigns falls short or the time to focus on growth becomes a constraint or more.
As a small business owner, what do you do in such cases? Growth-hacking!
Growth-hacking refers to the process of experimenting with product development, marketing, sales segments, and other departments to determine the best way to grow a business.
More than 75 entrepreneurs shared their favorite business hacks with us and we are sharing those with you to help you grow your business, just like they grew theirs.
1. Omiete Charles-Davies, Founder, One Doctor
At One Doctor, our go-to marketing strategy is to optimize our websites for
search engines to crawl, understand, and index our pages. This has worked
very well for us.
We use this method because it sends us only users that are actually looking
for our services, so we don’t need to spend a lot of resources convincing
them to sign up for our service.
This has provided a great return on the marketing efforts we have made.
2. JoshWood, Founder, Bloc
Bloc is a social events app that I run on my own. I created an in-app currency that my users can earn by performing certain actions within the app e.g. inviting their friends.
Once they have collected enough stars they can exchange the currency for real money. This growth hack grew my app from 10k users to 150k within 3 months.
3. JonLove, Co-Founder, Electric Teeth
My business growth hack as a micro-entrepreneur is to be clear on what you are working towards and the standards and policies you operate by. Once you are clear about this, do all that you can to stay on that path.
A clear and consistent focus will help you achieve your dreams with much more ease. Being honest to yourself, your audience or clients helps achieve this as they know what to expect.
For example, be strong about your personal values, your hourly/daily rate. Don’t agree to work on a very short deadline for less money than what you would usually charge, just because the client says it is urgent and they
give your regular business.
More often than not they will then expect this ongoing and you won’t need to have awkward conversations with yourself or your clients in the future.
4. Melissa Blevins, Perfection Hangover
Leveraging YouTube as the #2 search engine to improve visibility and ranking on Google: It’s no secret that Google is the king when it comes to search engines, but did you know that Google also owns YouTube and that YouTube is actually the second most-searched website?
Viewers are consuming more video and audio than ever before, and YouTube search engine optimization is very similar to website SEO.
When you perform keyword research and determine a good keyword with at least 100-1000 searches per month, you can optimize your titles, tags, and descriptions of videos to increase ranking on YouTube and Google!
This brings your channel more views, helping you to reach more clients, monetize your channel faster, get more leads, and make more sales.
5. Elizabeth Harrin, Director, GirlsGuideToPM
One tactic that has worked for me while growing our business, has been partnerships. My husband and I are the only employees of our small business.
What’s made the biggest difference in terms of growing – beyond showing up and being consistent with having a presence on social media, my email list, and my blog – has been working with others. Sometimes they have a bigger audience than I do; sometimes I have a bigger reach than they do.
But there is enough space for us all, and we all bring something different to our industry, which is project management. The most common type of partnership I do is interviewing other people for a blog article.
That helps them promote their products and I grow too from the promotion they do about the interview. It’s really simple and in the 10+ years I’ve been in business, I’ve only had one person say no to being interviewed after I reached out to them.
Partnering like that has benefits too: I am often contacted to give interviews for other websites and businesses, which is great exposure.
And I am building my network of people who know about me and my business, and in some cases making real friendships that have lasted years (and turned out to be quite profitable!)
My tip is to think about how you can partner with others in your space to offer something unique to each other’s audiences, whether that’s a bundled product, an interview, a webinar/event, or simply a freebie.
You never know what will come from it.
6. Nick Wood, WebSeoCoach
For micro-businesses, you need to be taking full advantage of the great automation tools that exist to help you grow quickly and provide outstanding service to your clients.
There are great tools such as Active Campaign, that allow you to automate much of your marketing admin.
You simply create and embed a form with options and then tell the software what to do when a form is completed.
It can send out different brochures, program SMS messages, and create chains of personalized emails.
Fundamental SEO is not difficult to learn. If you have a WordPress site, install YOAST and provide great content and try new technologies such as Vidyard to add a personal touch.
7. Milosz Krasinski, Managing Director, Chilli Fruit Web Consulting
Growth is something that most entrepreneurs and business owners have an eye on, and while it’s essential, it’s also important to not try to grow too fast.
I’m not sure I would call it a hack but, the secret of my success has definitely been down to people.
From the moment that I launched my business, I made a point of not just employing brilliant people but also networking and connect with others within the industry.
As such, I achieved slow but steady growth by constantly expanding my contact base in order to make my name known as a thought leader in the industry.
I did this through proactive link building and a focus on guest blogging – both of which are still very much a part of my strategy.
8. Jack Zmudzinski, Senior Associate, Future Processing
As a software development agency, we’re always under pressure to deliver the product fast.
Since our launch, our business has grown year on year and we’ve achieved this through never making promises that we can’t deliver and supplying innovative and forward-thinking products.
Software advances rapidly these days and our secret sauce is the ability to not just provide what the customer requests but to offer our expertise in making the end product much better.
9. Dima Suponau, CEO & Founder, Number For Live Person
Although my business is still fairly new, it’s grown at a rate of knots and continues to do so.
My growth hack would be to always look further ahead than the next year.
The world moves at speed and you need to constantly be thinking about what your customers might want – not this year or even next year but, as far as five years in advance.
You can then put strategies in place to make sure that you’re always one step ahead.
10. DanielWright, Founder, Monochrome Consultancy
There is one key tactic that tripled my company sales within one year, a very specific approach to asking customers for referrals. My consultancy company has always delivered an extremely high quality of service which has always led to repeat work with our customers but not necessarily generated many word-of-mouth referrals.
Since we started, word-of-mouth referrals were always our best source of work so I tried a new approach to generate these. I simply started listening for times our customer used the words Thank You!
It is a great time to say something like ‘It has been a pleasure, do you know anyone else who could benefit from our services?’. This approach has worked really well as customers are feeling very positive about the service and so often go on to make warm introductions to other potential customers.
We managed to triple our revenue within 12 months and grow from 2 people into a much larger team. I strongly recommend it to other small business owners who are wanting to grow and generate new business from existing happy customers.
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11. Brad Fagan, Founder and Marketing Insights Expert, Wunderbar Marketing
I’ve found it difficult to use traditional methods to build up a client base as Google ads haven’t worked for me.
So we tried contacting businesses directly on their job ads where they were either looking for freelancers, part-timers, or entry-level managers and suggested that a consultancy might be a cheaper and more effective way instead.
We then incentivize by offering free services initially. That has been the most effective way we have found to build a larger client base.
12. Mark Wilcox, Founder, Camping Forge
A growth hack that I like to employ is answering questions on relevant
forums, Facebook groups, and Quora. This establishes credibility and builds relationships.
You often get product and service ideas from it as well.
13. Amit Raj, Founder, Amit Digital Marketing
With marketing, you are always put in front of new challenges. As a small business, you are always on the lookout for new clients.
You need to learn about the paths customers take to arrive at your doorstep. End-to-end tracking is a key element here.
Without proper tracking, you are likely to focus on the wrong issues in the long run. For example, if you get only one or two leads from your website per day you are likely to
concentrate on getting more traffic.
But it might be that your website is only converting one or two of a few hundred. A much better business outcome would be achieved if your site would convert more visitors to leads.
Tracking allows you to identify where you are missing your customers.
14. Sarah Miller, Founder, Homeschooling
The tactic that has helped me most to grow my business the most has been collaborating with other existing businesses that are already serving my ideal customers.
I have been able to build relationships with several other solopreneurs who are also serving the same customers, and we have worked together to share leads.
We have also been able to create some amazing promotions that serve our customers better than we could alone, and bring lots of publicity to our businesses.
Besides, these other business owners have been a helpful source of advice and encouragement as I am growing my brand.
My main source of finding other solopreneurs and small businesses to collaborate with has been in niche-specific Facebook groups.
Solopreneurs can do a search on Facebook for their business niche, and join as many groups as possible where business owners in their niche gather.
If there is not an existing group, a business owner might consider creating one to help grow their brand and provide future opportunities for collaboration.
15. Angie D. Lee, Author, Ellis & Heath Publishing
A business hack of mine that is completely essential for me is delegation. I am a big proponent of self-care and I am truly aware that even though I work primarily by myself, I cannot and do not want to do it all on my own.
I review my daily tasks, I make a decision of what I can essentially complete on my own, and then I hire the experts to do what I cannot do, specifically if my time is better spent engaging in another activity.
This helps me to work smarter and not harder and increases my productivity.
16. Kalu Kenneth, Founder, Innate Business
The best hack I use is to leverage my competitors’ weaknesses and improve on them, thereby making my product 10 times better and more attractive than theirs. This helped me to grow my local business in a small record time.
17. Andrea White, CEO, Elite Business & Career Coaching
The one tactic that has overwhelmingly worked for me while growing my business is not a business tactic at all. My consistent, effective strategy is rooted in mindset and belief.
I use mindset, self-talk, and language to recognize “challenges” as opportunities to pivot, increase creativity, seek out new connections, and/or tweak my goals, objectives, or path.
If I allowed all of the possible thoughts that certainly creep in like second-guessing, not taking action out of fear, comparing myself to others, being concerned about what others might think or say, thinking of excuses, or waiting on perfection, then success is certainly going to be difficult to achieve and maintain.
Success requires an open mind, a dogged spirit, and patience. An open mind that quickly accepts that the success imagined may actually come in a different package, or may come in a much different time frame.
Being open, flexible, and having an undeniable belief that success is mine; and when “challenges” occur that seem to be a detour – I look for the opportunity to create a new, different path to success.
I recognize the importance to stay in action – even if there is doubt, fear, or imperfection. An object in motion stays in motion; thus moving toward what business growth and success mean to me.
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18. Janine Bolon, CEO & Founder, The8Gates Media Group
I am amazed at the amount of business I’ve received in 2020 even with all the difficulties. My business growth has been 2.5 times more than in 2019 all because of a silly little thing I did for 5 hours a week.
Right after shut down and every week since I had been calling people. I know that sounds silly, but during Q2 I would commit an hour a day to calling everyone I had on my client list and all I would say was,
“Hi. This is Janine. How are you doing? Are you okay? I just want to make sure you are alright despite everything going on.”
It is a habit I still exercise to this day because it has been the single best growth tool I have ever used.
I spend an hour a day contacting people and just asking them how they are doing with no intention in my head other than making sure my community is okay.
Since then, I’ve read statistics that the number one reason clients change vendors is that they think the original business didn’t care about them. Our clients leave us because of neglect.
It comes back to that old adage of the-fortune-is-in-the-follow-up, doesn’t it? I recommend that if you want your business to grow, call your past clients and the people you already know and check in with them as often as your schedule allows.
19. Jay Jermo, Hey Honey
I created a little company to produce and distribute specialty flavored honey and honey from around the world. I work at local farmers’ markets throughout the bulk of the year and during the winter, inside specialty markets.
My hack is very simple: stay consistent and cross-market through that consistency. I picked a number of markets to go to and I show up at all of them religiously.
Every product I sell has my website on it and I direct customers to sign up to a mailing list to get information on cooking and recipe pairing. This has grown the traffic to my website by 65% year-over-year.
20. Rio Rocket, Actor-Motivational-Speaker Host, Rio Rocket
For those who intend to remain a solopreneur, freelancer, or are just starting out with 1-2 employees, the most important business hack is to build your foundation upon a business idea strictly based on an already existing expertise or passion.
Authority, credibility, and reputation make the difference between more clients than you can handle and none at all. These components are also the most difficult aspect of your brand or business to build since it can take many years to do so.
Build upon your strengths and what you’re already good at and passionate about. It will shave at least 10 years off your growth cycle.
21. Heinrich Long, Restore Privacy
My buddy and I started our company with nothing. Literally, we’ve never taken loans, we never advertise, we don’t do sponsorships on our website.
It’s all completely funded by reader donations. Funnily enough, that’s the “tactic” I would recommend, depending on the industry you’re in.
For us, it was extremely important to retain our ethics and our beliefs. We cannot be bought, swayed, or influenced, we only report our real, genuine opinions and write about the best products and services on the market.
That was majorly important for our readers because they know they can trust us. We’re not going to double-cross them, and we’re not going to be fake or advertise some random VPN because they paid us to.
That level of trust is extremely difficult to find in this industry, which is why it attracted the volume of readers and donations we receive. That’s allowed us to grow our company, hire some freelancers, and continue to work towards our vision for the business.
Sometimes, you gotta stick to your ethical stance, no matter what, and people will see you and appreciate you more than you can imagine.
22. Alison Knott, Rebrand and Web Consultant, Alison K Consulting
I keep a ‘No Sheet’ to stay focused on my core business goals. I created a simple Excel sheet to notate every time I said no to a business opportunity.
It contains the date, source of the opportunity, what it was, and why I said no. It can be hard in the moment to say no.
But saying yes to everything only results in burnout, not growth. When you revisit your No Sheet weeks or months later, you’ll see decision-making patterns.
This strengthens your vision and messaging. There’s a correlation between the space you create when saying no and the right opportunities being given a chance.
It’s a real eye-opener for such a simple strategy!
23. Peter Thaleikis, Software Engineer, Bring Your Own Ideas
It definitely sounds counterintuitive, but rejecting clients has helped to grow my freelance software engineering business. When I started my freelance business things didn’t always go smoothly.
I’ve had issues with a number of clients having rather vague requirements and weren’t able to communicate their ideas well. After a few projects which resulted in additional rework, I decided to stop accepting work when I had the impression that the project wasn’t the right fit for me.
This is of course rather subjective – what doesn’t work for me might be great for someone else. Rejecting some projects resulted in my personal stress level dropping and I was able to spend more time making my existing clients happy.
They in turn recommended me to other business owners. Over time, this circle led to additional growth and allowed me to increase my hourly rate.
Quite a nice outcome for saying no to clients.
24. Kenzi Wood, Owner, Kenzi Writes
The most effective tactic I’ve used to grow my business is asking my favorite clients for referrals. I also ask for referrals in my email signature.
You’d be astounded how happy customers will go the extra mile to bring in business. Great customers know other great customers!
This strategy alone took my business from being a side hustle to a six-figure business in less than a year.
25. Vishal Gupta, Owner, We Buy Houses In The Triangle
I own a micro-business with my wife, and we began our business in June 2020, amidst the pandemic.
The one single factor or tactic which has helped grow the business has definitely been networking with others in our field.
I have joined many different groups and organizations filled with like-minded entrepreneurs of varying experience.
Forming mastermind groups with people from these organizations, who are in the same field as us throughout the country has been amazing.
The advice, support, and accountability have helped us grow and push forward during the ups and downs, especially during these times. We know we aren’t the first ones who plan to succeed in our field, so we learn as much as we can from others.
Networking has been the best way to accomplish this.
26. David Hellowell, Owner/Webmaster, Refer A Friend
I’d recommend that solopreneurs running a website (or network of websites) try not to be too daunted by the prospect of reinvesting some of the profit from the site(s) on their tech stack (e.g. servers and hosting), plugins, and tools that will help their portfolio of sites grow stably and build a line of support that can be relied on when necessary.
It’s tempting to rely heavily on free or low-cost offerings in these areas but the companies that maintain these services often won’t come running when problems crop up.
Downtime or technical issues can be hugely disruptive to an online business, especially when you’re the sole stakeholder.
Maintaining a healthy budget for premium hosting, plugins and other tools can provide you with a direct line of support to readily available expert help.
This initial outlay could save a lot of money in missed revenue or recovery from more serious issues further down the line.
27. Megan Marrs, Founder, K9 Of Mine
One important tip for growth hacking a small micro business is to start by niching down. Find a small category of your larger industry that you can delve into and be an expert on.
For example, with my dog care website, I started out by writing only about senior dogs and covering everything seniors dogs might need, from beds to stairs to coats. Once I established authority in that area it was easier to expand to larger general dog topics.
Attacking a large subject can be overwhelming, but starting with a smaller niche with limited competition can feel much more achievable and can result in fast growth.
28. LaKenyaKopf, Owner, Kopf Consulting
My most effective tactic for business growth has been my interaction in Facebook groups. Most people do not like to be sold to, they like to be informed and educated (i.e. the Awareness part of the buyer’s journey).
Once they obtain that information, they begin to rely on you as a resource. When I participate in Facebook groups and answer questions (and I mean genuinely answer with no strings attached or product mentions), I inadvertently begin building a relationship with a potential client while demonstrating my knowledge in my niche.
Not only does the potential client see my response, so do other prospective leads who may have questions of their own. This normally leads to website visits, consultation sessions, and eventually new clients.
29. Will Hankinson, IntroCave
I don’t know if you can call this a hack, but I just try to cover the basics. My business is content-based and my resources are pretty limited, so I try to use a single piece of content as many times as possible.
For every new video template that I add to the site, it’s going to show up in a newsletter, a blog post, a YouTube video, a Facebook post, and a tweet. Crafting unique content for all those different channels would take too much time.
By building around reusable pieces of content, I’m able to maintain a presence in a lot more places.
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30. Steffa Mantilla, Founder, Money Tamer
My name is Steffa Mantilla and I’m a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and founder of the personal finance website Money Tamer. I educate women on how to get out of personal debt and build wealth.
I’ve also paid off over $80,000 of debt myself. I’ve personally been quoted in many other top publications including Market Watch, Bankrate, Yahoo Finance, NerdWallet, The Balance, and more.
I am the only employee in my business. Setting a priorities goal list helps keep me on track.
As the only one working on my business, it can be easy to get pulled in all directions. For everything that needs to get done, I place it in a list of priorities.
The tasks I deem as important and urgent get done first and I move on down the line. Focus only on the tasks that are working for your businesses and stop the others.
People say how social media is important for businesses but that’s only true if your customers are searching for you there. Instead of trying to keep up with 6 social media accounts, focus on one or two where your clients are.
31. Grainne Gallogly, Global Communication Works
I would love to connect you with Oliver Zak and Selom Agbitor for this piece. The two 23-year-old CEOs and founders of their brand, Mad Rabbit, provide superior natural and unprocessed products to help improve the healing process for ultimate Tattoo aftercare.
Founding the company in 2019, the Columbus, Ohio natives, who were introduced in their college dorm, decided to put their business-savvy minds together to build a brand and dominate the tattoo aftercare market.
We’re inspired by the tattoo artists that wake up every day to create beautiful art on their client’s bodies – the ones that create art to reflect personality and milestones.
They put in the effort to create your art, so we are putting in the effort to make sure your tattoo maintains its natural vibrancy. Our mission is to provide the best performing line of tattoo aftercare products that meet all of your tattoo needs.
We hope to deliver on our promise to you and keep you excited about all that our aftercare has to offer.
32. Kathe Kline, Founder, Medicare Quick
I’ve found that my number one business growth hack has been to systematize my business from the very beginning.
I’m a solopreneur who uses technology if possible, virtual assistants where I can, and lastly, I still must meet with clients and prospects.
In the first year of my business, I found that I was spending about 2 hours with each client just explaining the same information to each prospective client. That was before I was even able to find out what the client’s needs were!
I was also terrified that I would leave something important out. So I created a video that explained the answers to the most asked questions and information that the prospect really needed to know before talking with me.
I asked my prospects to watch it prior to our meeting. Surprisingly, about 80% actually watched the video before even speaking with me.
Once I systematized that, I found that I was wasting precious time calling prospects repeatedly trying to get an appointment set, and this is after they had asked for one!
In the beginning, I tasked a virtual assistant to make those calls to find a time that worked for both of us.
But over time she became too busy because she was processing applications (my sales). We switched to an online appointment setting system.
Now my assistant only rarely has to call prospects or clients to schedule time with me. We simply send them a link and they can find a time that works best for them.
I have hundreds of these types of hacks. Because of our systems, my office seems much bigger than it really is, and our clients get the service from us that they deserve.
All this simply because we create systems for everything we do. Once we have a system in place, I can better determine how to improve it by using technology where possible, or my tiny team where it isn’t.
That leaves me to do what no one else can do-help people through the complicated world of Medicare.
33. Susanne Grant, Grant Method
The tactic that works best is knowing where to invest my time and when, or as I like to call it energetic time-management.
As a small business owner with a young family myself, it is essential to invest my time effectively to avoid burning myself out.
What works really well for me and my audience is contributing to business magazines and podcasts.
It allows me to show up when I have time (which I schedule around client calls), I continue to establish my brand and reach a bigger audience via these existing platforms – who often have a large following!
My motto is to work smart, not hard to create the impact I desire. By sharing my knowledge via magazines and podcasts, I can repurpose this content for my own social media.
Or as they say: Get two giggles from one tickle!
34. Brandon Crowther, Editor-in-Chief, Affordable Editors
Instead of cold calling or mass advertising, I found far more success by searching for those who were looking for the services I was offering and reaching out to them directly.
In my line of work, I was able to find those seeking clients through social media sites, such as Reddit.
Because they were already seeking my services, I could then query them directly and explore the possibility of working together.
This has been especially useful as a micro-entrepreneur because I need to control my own workflow and can increase or decrease my outreach efforts according to my current level of business.
35. David Reichmann, Owner and Founder, Rawrycat Pet Products
Our business just started in 2020, and we have been leveraging social media as our main method of customer acquisition. One tactic that has changed everything for us is leaning into organic social growth.
Advertising and media buying are tremendously powerful, but for our limited project budgets, we found that uploading a consistent and steady stream of high-quality content was the most cost-effective way to reach new people.
It can be difficult for new businesses to gain a presence on social media, but investing in daily posts and good content is one of the most powerful ways to grow.
36. SydneyMyers, Founder, Dallas Hoops Cast
We’re in a pretty competitive niche with over a dozen competing blogs and podcasts, some of which are owned by large media companies like SB Nation and Sports Illustrated.
Despite that, our blog at dallashoopscast.com was named amongst the top 5 Dallas Mavericks blogs in 2020.
A SWOT analysis is crucial for micro-entrepreneurs. It will help you find your bullseye tactic – the one thing your competitors can’t (or won’t) do that your audience is looking for.
My SWOT analysis revealed an opportunity to earn organic search traffic by publishing highly engaging and informative content.
I might not have the built-in audience my competitors have through social media, email subscribers, or brand equity, but search traffic is open to anyone who can take it.
One year after launching the website, over 80% of site traffic comes from organic search, where we rank in the top 10 for many of our key terms, and the blog was named top 5 in its category. Social media and email marketing are great, but traffic comes first.
Micro-entrepreneurs can quickly build an audience by targeting their audience as they search for topics and areas you serve.
37. Daniel Ede, Founder and CEO, Business And Investing Sherpa
My business growth hack was to create an automated flywheel system using Amazon.
I sold a high-quality product on Amazon and the secret sauce was having great customer service, allowing us to get more and better product reviews from customers and having a robust Amazon Advertising system to drive exposure, organic rank, and ultimately sales.
38. C. Street, Owner, CStreet Creative
As a solopreneur, one thing that I did and continue to do is make time to provide pro-bono services. Pro-bono services are great for giving back and for sharpening and testing your ability to work across sectors.
Additionally, it also helps fill in any potential downtimes you may experience while also adding to your reference list of people, businesses, and or organizations that can speak to your capabilities, and ability to deliver results.
As a micro-entrepreneur, I know it’s easy to get stressed over client and monetary intake, however, establishing and building your reputation is what truly pays dividends and opens doors over the long term. It has for me.
39. Samantha Lane, Owner, Origami Day
Every Friday, make a plan for the following week. It is one of the smallest changes to make in the grand scheme of business that has the largest impact on success.
This small practice will shift days from reactive to proactive and ensure resources (time, money, energy) are best used. Business growth is all about maximizing resources and opportunities and weekly planning ensures that happens.
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40. Jennifer Ledwith, Owner, Scholar Ready
Focusing on repeat business is one tactic that has worked for me while growing my business. Within the last year, 73% of our students were returning clients.
Here are 3 ways I continue to attract repeat business:
1. Set expectations at the beginning of the relationship – While parents hire me to increase their teens’ test scores or grades, I tell them that Scholar Ready is here for their entire college-bound journey.
I joke that I’m running a Distraught Parent Hotline because parents call me to discuss their children’s academic, social, and general adolescent crisis. As I listen and recommend resources to parents, I’m building trust.
2. Be consistent – Scholar Ready strives to keep each student’s tutoring and payment schedule the same throughout the semester.
Scholar Ready’s newsletters, full of tips for college-bound families, are consistent. Clients see this and know that Scholar Ready is reliable.
3. Inform customers about other services that Scholar Ready offers – When a student completes a class, the parent knows the answer to the following question: What’s next?
41. Mike Funkhouser, CEO, Small Business Mentor
I love this question because I think it’s really going to help a lot of entrepreneurs. With the Covid-19 virus keeping in-person meetings on hold, recording pitches and solutions over webcam, and sending them through email has done wonders as of late.
Everyone wants a personalized sales pitch rather than a generic cold call or email. Using a webcam and recording a personalized pitch for each potential client has helped us grow.
It’s been helping so much, I’m not sure I’m going to qualify as a micro-entrepreneur in a month or so!
42. Nicolas Tranchant, Owner and CEO, Vivalatina Jewelry brand
As a solo-entrepreneur, I do not have much time to chase several marketing tactics, so I aim to focus only on one marketing goal and tactic each year.
Back in 2019, I focused on making an audit of my French website and solving all the technical problems that were an obstacle to my SEO efforts, which led me to a 40% revenue growth.
In 2020, I focused on duplicating my number of products available in my boutique.
First, I made a Pareto analysis of my sales from 5 previous years, which showed me that jewelry sales under 500 euros represented 65% of my sales volume for 23.5% of my revenue, while jewelry sales above 500 euros represented 35% of my sales volume for 76.5% of my revenue.
This allowed me to identify low revenue products. I coupled this analysis with another audit of my website aiming at suppressing low volume pages and slow-moving products, well zombie pages as mentioned by Brian Dean here.
So, on one hand, I suppressed all the zombie pages of my website, including product pages with no traffic or low revenue potential and I created 250 more products available online. I choose these products following those criteria:
* decent traffic potential
* priced between 300 and 2000 euros
* jewelry design more original or cheaper than my competition
43. Sunny Ashley, Founder and CEO, Revy Solutions
Our advice for sustained growth has been to focus on evergreen content. It’s the best tool for driving a continuous source of the traffic to our website.
Our method for doing this is to prioritize content that can be used in multiple channels over a long timeframe. For example, snippets from a blog post can be used in social media posts or email marketing in the future.
From there, we can aggregate multiple blog posts to create a whitepaper. Later on, we can then use those same whitepapers as the basis of a new E-book, etc.
This helps you get the most SEO bang for your buck.
44. Meredith Castin, PT, DPT, The Non-Clinical PT
My tip is to automate everything you can. From email sequences to responses on social media, the more you can automate, the more of your sanity you can reclaim!
I used to think that automation meant you’d lose personalization, but instead, it has enabled me to better connect with people because I am no longer spending all day typing the same messages over and over, feeling like I got no actual work done.
Now, I’m able to make meaningful connections in many different ways, all because I have more time to spend making it happen.
In that vein, the more you can automate your business offerings, the better. I used to do one-on-one career coaching but was quickly becoming overwhelmed by the same questions over and over.
I launched a flagship online course and created several smaller crash courses so that people could access the same information we would have discussed on pricey coaching calls for a fraction of the cost. It’s a win-win, and it has worked out so well.
So, broken record here, but automation 100%. In fact, my main goal for 2021 is to do even MORE automation 🙂
45. Tammy Johnston, President & CEO, The Financial Guides
I have been a successful solopreneur for 18 years and my number one tactic that has helped me grow two successful businesses is planning. I make it a habit to set aside regular time to plan my business and my work.
Every year in between Christmas and New Years I set my goals for the year. Then monthly I spend about 15 minutes setting my goals and plans for the month.
Every Sunday I set my goals, plans, and to-do list for the week. This has helped me stay on track and on task so I can move my business forward and not just spend my time reacting to whatever distraction or emergency pops up.
46. John Medina, Owner, John Medina Buys Houses
I always focus on my digital platforms and spend more than 10% of my profit on them. I built my brand reputation on various social media platforms, posted new content on a weekly basis, and optimized them.
These efforts helped me to gain dozens of relevant leads and grow my business.
47. Pooneh Ramezani, CEO & Co-founder, Dr. Brite
A lesson I wish someone taught me before I began leading my company is to not procrastinate especially with decision making.
One tip that I can offer to small business owners is to take every opportunity that comes your way and execute it immediately.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, at Dr. Brite, we pivoted 180 degrees and began producing essential sanitation products to the mass market.
That was a very challenging pivot as our company was an oral care company.
We saw the need, and instead of procrastinating, we viewed it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and executed it right away. We grew our business and customer base astronomically in a short period.
Then we nourished the customer relationship and made it a priority to take care of each new customer we had acquired.
48. Stacy Caprio, Acne Scar
One tactic that has worked for growing my business is posting my products not only on my own website but also on other marketplaces that have their own audience.
The Etsy platform, for example, is the biggest driver of sales other than my home website, and I’ve found that branching onto other platforms is a great way to gain more visibility, customers, and sales.
49. Jason Akatiff, Co-Founder, Boundery
The ultimate small business growth tip is to hire the right people and work hard at employee retention. The challenge of employee retention is a big one in business, especially heightened now in the midst of a global pandemic.
Now more than ever, it is common for employees to experience burnout and go through personal struggles.
Having a low employee turnover rate and maintaining employees that are passionate about the success of your business will take your business to the next level.
When focusing on managing employee turnover, it is vital to make sure your employees feel appreciated and heard.
Employees want to have a voice within the company; they don’t want to be taskmasters; they want to feel valued and needed.
Understanding their needs and developing systems that showcase that appreciation is key to employee retention. Furthermore, managers need to stay on track with each employees’ development.
It is up to the manager to challenge each employee with a steady pace of growth that is pushing them to learn but not at the speed of being overwhelmed.
Besides, leaders need to make sure there is a visible opportunity to grow within the business.
An employee should always have a viable position to be striving towards. It will motivate them to work harder as well as provide a visible success path within the business.
Lastly, integrating core values into the company culture that support the team members and place value on their best interest as well as encourage open communication and feedback.
Starting An Online Business? Build It On .Online!
50. Matt Bonestroo, Founder, Phoenix Mobile Home
The easiest trick to compete in any industry is by mastering online marketing. Over the past 10 years, consumers have been seasoned to believe that every solution can be found on Google – whether it is the best restaurant near me or a top mobile home dealer in Phoenix, AZ.
Businesses that are good at being found will never run out of customers.
51. Jordan Smyth, CEO & Founder, Gleamin
One of the main reasons small businesses struggle with growth is because they are not able to guarantee a return customer. When getting that initial first-time customer sale, you have to focus on speed on all fronts.
Both with the delivery of your product, but the response to any and all tickets/inquiries.
Simply putting attention towards this department and realizing that without a great customer experience, your business won’t retain customers.
At Gleamin, we use Gorgias.io to manage all social & email tickets, that’s something I’d recommend. Other than that – just focus on your customers!
52. Eric Wu, Co-founder & COO, Gainful
When we first started Gainful, we participated in YCombinator. From day 1, YC stressed that the only two things a founder ought to be spending their time on (in the early days) was:
1) talking to customers
2) building their product
While there are some unavoidable exceptions (for example, hiring an incredible team or fundraising), the spirit of this advice really does hold true for me to this day.
Another one of the biggest lessons I learned after starting my first business is that perfection doesn’t exist.
I quickly realized that launching and pivoting along the way brings better results than holding off launch to perfect the product.
The product will never be perfect, but you need to get it in front of customers in order to find out what is really important – which helps you avoid building what you simply think customers find important.
53. Jonathan Bass, CEO & Owner, Whom Home
The best piece of business advice I can offer to a small business to speed up growth and increase the likelihood of success is to run your business like a hotel.
Whatever rooms you didn’t sell last night you will never get back no matter how many rooms you sell tomorrow.
Meaning you should never leave anything you can do today for tomorrow. I have learned throughout my career to finish everything I could before I went home, never leaving it for the next day.
54. Livingood, Founder, Livingood Daily
An ultimate small business growth tip is to avoid starting with success or profit at the forefront of the strategy.
A successful startup should always start for one reason when wanting to be successful long term, and that is to solve a problem.
We have scaled to an 8 figure company in our first two years of business because we made the business about the people we were trying to help.
The problem we looked to solve is how do people get real health solutions and how can we support them to live that out to avoid drugs, illness, and lost life.
The main challenge is to align your message/solution with their problem. Often, we want to talk about our gadget or solution without considering exactly how and what a customer wants from it.
Just listen to the audience and work tirelessly to create a customer acquisition mechanism to meet their needs.
Once you can figure out how to acquire customers, without losing money, who like and use your product, then you have something.
55. Brandon Monaghan, Co-founder, Miracle Brand
The ultimate advice to small businesses in regard to growth is to first focus on profit! I see far too many businesses in the e-commerce space raising money without actionable steps to profitability.
Early on in my business journey my partner now, Justin Kemperman, drilled into me how important profiting first was. Due to that mentality, we have had several companies scale to 7 and 8 figures with no outside capital.
This meant that we had to budget accordingly, put in long hours, and focus on conversions over fancy design and branding. We also placed a lot of focus on ad creatives and funnel optimizations.
Ad costs are always on the rise, so creating content that converts is extremely important. Ads that look pretty don’t always convert.
The most powerful ads are the ones that not only look pretty but also address your target audience’s problems and desires.
When you have an ad creative that performs well, it’s up to the funnel to acquire the customer.
We spent (and continue to spend) a lot of time split testing high converting funnels to support our ad creatives. Mastering these two pieces in Miracle helped skyrocket our business.
56. Alisha M.Pennington, MS, ATvantage Athletic Training
The one tactic I have used to grow my business is market research. I ask my audience what it is that they want/need and make sure I am questioning them prior to committing too much time, energy, or money to developing something.
I do beta testing, give people advanced access, and get as much feedback as possible to warm leads for myself and ensure a great launch.
57. Toby Allen, StartupMill
One of the very early tactics that I used to grow my businesses is to quickly find out where the niche, industry-only audiences are hanging out and tap into that as soon as possible.
For my tech micro ventures, I’m doing that typically with Slack as a starting point as I go and find tons of great slack groups — the modern-day forum — and go through them, connect with experts and sources.
This is one of the best ways for people to learn about your product as they are engaged, clearly qualified, and most likely receptive to giving you feedback or understanding what your product or service is.
58. Chris Lieu, Founder and Editor, Distillery Groove
If you’re launching an online business and trying to build your brand, it can be very challenging if you’re doing it alone.
One tactic that has helped me is joining online groups and forums of like-minded individuals who are also trying to build their online businesses solo.
This is a great place to bounce ideas off people, learn tips and tricks to build your business, and just stay motivated when things aren’t working as you planned.
I have joined groups on sites like Discord where you can chat and see how people are succeeding (or failing) as a new entrepreneur or freelancer.
59. Jeff Dundas, Owner, Talk Central
If there is one business tactic that has played the biggest role in skyrocketing my business growth and bringing me closer to achieving my goals, it is utilizing paid promotions embedded in video content created by YouTubers.
When people think of YouTube advertising, they think of the traditional 10-15 second video advertisements that are integrated into the YouTube platform itself.
Though these ads can be very effective, many people overlook the incredible potential offered by bypassing YouTube itself and paying YouTube content creators to advertise products and services in their videos instead.
This method of advertising comes with many perks, but one of the most noteworthy perks is that it is generally much cheaper than advertising directly through YouTube.
Another significant perk is that you have much more freedom and choice when it comes to identifying and targeting the audience you want to advertise to.
There are over 37 million channels on YouTube across thousands of different topics, so there is unlimited potential to carefully identify and select the best audience to view your video advertisement.
Starting An Online Business? Build It On .Online!
60. Eugene Romberg, Founder, We Buy Houses In Bay Area
As the head of a small business – keeping tasks updated and clear was a hurdle I needed to get over before I could expand.
I would certainly know what I needed to do throughout the day, but if my colleagues didn’t – then we couldn’t be as effective with our time.
The tactic that worked for me when I began to grow my business was to use a task tracker, something to see where a project is at, and how close it was to completion.
Since we are all working remotely, we started using Trello as a means to keep each other accountable for the amount of work each person needed to finish.
Having clear goals leads to clearer paths to success – and I believe that by implementing a task organizer, you can push and accelerate the growth of your teamwork.
61. Sonya Schwartz, Founder, Her Norm
The internet has provided us with so many benefits from providing information to entertainment. We mostly spend our time in the cyber world.
As a founder of a dating website, I found this job an opportunity to help develop relationships through website interactions. What keeps my business growing is building the trust of my customers.
I ensure that whoever lands on my website will be provided with a quality experience where they can freely talk about the experience they had with my service and feel comfortable hanging out with others.
I provide excellent service by answering their questions through live chats.
Through this, I am able to gain and keep my clients; thus, making my business grow.
62. Caroline Lee, Co-Founder, CocoSign
If you are new in the market and tiring to firm your feet, try to gather as much customer feedback as you can. No matter how diligently you design or deliver your services, it is your customers that utilize that.
So, don’t take a step back to gather the feedback and implement them. It worked great in our case when we launched our range of organic skincare.
Also, try to keep your team short yet highly skilled. Having a big workforce that is not efficient will only act as an impediment.
When it comes to marketing, use the social media platform in full swing.
63. Michelle Devani, Founder, Lovedevani
Before I became a founder, I started freelancing as my starting point in this business industry. Freelancing doesn’t work for everybody, but it can be an arrangement for our progress to become someone’s boss in the future.
That being said, here are some hacks to help you get started in the freelancing world:
Trial and error – It is first on my list since this tactic really helped me in growing my business. All you have to do is try to experiment to find the best category in freelancing. Once you find it, it will be easy to adjust and continue working on your progress.
Always provide an agreement contract – Freelancers must start negotiating projects with a deal. Having an agreement protects you from any potential legal issues and disagreements to guarantee that you’ll get paid after the project.
Calculate work rates – Starters need to know what rates are suitable for your business. An hourly rate is best in charging project fees and business packages you offer, but make sure to set minimum and maximum charging fee options according to the number of projects.
64. Samrat Amarnani, Founder, Collars & Cuffs
Like everyone else, I too started my business small. I have saved enough money as capital for a business that is why when I had the opportunity, I took advantage of it.
Opportunity paired with hard work, the business grew and became one of the sought-after companies in our industry.
If there is one tactic that really worked for me to reach this success, that is to never say no. Grab every chance that comes your way even if it means taking risks.
Most of the time those risk-taking instances will lead you to a better place. So go ahead, be brave but make sure to analyze everything before taking that risk.
65. Jacob J. Sapochnick, Founder, Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick
Setting up and making your small business run is just the start of your entrepreneurial journey. What matters next is how you will grow your small business.
As a small business owner myself, the best tip to grow your small business is to be smart with all your business decisions.
Being careful is very important because one wrong business decision can make your small business suffer which can actually make your business fail.
That’s why it is important to learn how to smartly make business decisions.
66. Chris Muktar, Founder, WikiJob.co.uk
Growing a business is no easy task, especially if you have to do it on your own or with a limited staff. But with the right tactics, it is not impossible either.
As someone who also started small in business, a tip that I can give for growing a small business is to know and understand your customers and prospects.
This is important because it helps you identify where you have to improve to fulfill your market’s needs.
Customers are one of the most important things to any business and that is why it is important to make sure that we get to satisfy their needs.
67. Charles Vallena, CEO & Managing Director, The Guitar Junky
I can say that it is not easy growing a business, especially with limited resources and manpower, and to answer your question is this.
Focus and Prioritize
During this pandemic when most of us work from home, we can easily lose focus. In my case, I get distracted by things like social media while working. However, this doesn’t help but instead drain my energy.
I think one of the best tactics to grow a business, especially if working from home, is to learn how to focus – and commit a time for it – free of interruption. And with focus comes prioritization.
It makes me more efficient while giving me the chance to focus on the tasks that really matter.
By learning how to prioritize things, we can actually do more by doing less. And lastly, I must say that multitasking is bad for focus.
While it’s giving us that feeling of being busy, it hinders us from accomplishing more.
And speaking of doing more by doing less, the Pomodoro technique for time management might also help in terms of productivity because it helps us strike a balance between quantity and quality and focus on any tasks we’re tackling.
68. PhoebeBlair, Thompson Alexander
Looking for micro-entrepreneurs to share their business growth hack: Prioritisation is the key to our business growth and success. We divide tasks into 3 categories:
P1= urgent, P2= business as usual, and P3= long-term objectives.
In our morning scrums and weekly meetings, we update our priorities following this system. It allows us to be agile in responding to change in priorities and urgent requests from our customers.
Working in an agile way enables us to be more responsive, proactive, and flexible.
This particularly helped us deal with the pandemic and events of 2020, as we were able to immediately adjust our priorities and move from a permanent office to a remote location.
Flexibility in approach to constant change enables each member of the team to take personal accountability of targets and tasks and to prioritize their own workload.
The aim of this agile methodology enables the management and delivery teams to be more creative.
It injects energy and variation into the day rather than individuals sticking to completing the same tasks and schedule every day, which can lead to repetitiveness.
We encourage this way of working because growth requires change and adaptation.
In short, managing multiple priorities flexibly throughout the day over the past year has shown an increase in productivity and creativity. We feel that this has been our best hack of 2020.
69. Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO, Mavens & Moguls
I started doing branding/marketing consulting 19 years ago. Social media and technology are 24/7 so it is easy to get sucked into it but I find in lead generation less is more.
I think it is a mistake to hide behind technology and CRM systems when prospecting. I prefer disconnecting from technology periodically and focusing on cultivating human, face-to-face relationships while social distancing.
So try a Listening Tour! Politicians do it all the time and it is great for business too.
Make a list of movers & shakers, people you admire, and prospects, ask a few smart open-ended questions then sit back and take notice. Start listening with no strings attached.
It does not cost anything with social distancing now. It is all video & conference calls and virtual coffee meetings anyway and you will get an earful.
I did my listening tour the old-fashioned way by sending out emails & picking up the phone, then brought a pad & pen, asked a few open-ended questions then shut up and started taking notes.
Content Marketing and Thought Leadership are also great ways to build your brand, increase your visibility more broadly, raise your profile and attract more clients.
Activities like speaking at events even online, writing articles, hosting webinars and podcasts, building your following on social media all contribute to increasing your awareness with potential customers and building your credibility with a larger community.
Starting An Online Business? Build It On .Online!
70. Daniella Mora, Co-founder, Growth Focus
As a startup company, we’ve found great success in networking and tapping into digital communities to spread the word about the work we’re doing.
Our business is founded on the idea of togetherness so naturally, we’re constantly seeking new connections, creating new relationships, and we’ve gained visibility and recognition in doing just that.
71. Chelsea Baldwin, CEO & Founder, Business Bitch
The absolute best hack I’ve found for gaining leads in the freelancer/solopreneur/consultant/coaching space is by taking advantage of the ready and open engagement available on LinkedIn.
When I’m coaching my clients who need more leads, I tell them to get on LinkedIn & spend 30 minutes per day scrolling through their feed and commenting on the content that comes through.
After that, I tell them to accept every connection request they receive as a result and to start a conversation with every single person. Not everyone will be a lead, but a solid 5% to 10% usually is, which is a great source of new customers.
72. Shawn Breyer, Owner, The Hive Law
Build Marketing Assets
When most people start a business, they start with hamster wheel marketing. Hamster wheel marketing is Facebook Ads, cold calls, and direct mail.
These are great for generating income in the short term. However, most new businesses never build evergreen content that will generate income in the long term.
Evergreen content is things like YouTube videos and SEO. Building this content takes years to develop but, over time, it can create a steady stream of income.
Plus, building a presence on these platforms develops credibility for your business as more and more people research the companies that they are considering doing business with.
Credibility with Video Content
When someone is looking for a business to work with, you have to ask yourself what makes you stand out from your competition in the market that provides the exact same services.
The easiest aspect to tackle is your credibility and authority within your market.
To build this out, you want to create video content for YouTube that you can embed into your website.
This video content should include you attending and talking about local events, the local market, client testimonials, and how working with you helped them achieve their personal goals.
This provides potential clients with all of the credibility that they need to convince them that you are the expert they are looking for.
Focusing your marketing on local SEO services is a sure way to build awareness about your brand within your own community. Your neighbors are your best audience for the website content.
They’re the ones who will be searching for the products and services you have to offer. One great tactic is to make sure you are able to be located on Google.
Less than half of local retailers have claimed their My Business Listing on Google, which makes it super easy to outpace the local competition by developing your GMB Listing.
Reviews are a great way to build social credibility, especially when those reviews show up on the largest search engine.
If you have 20 Five Star reviews and your competition doesn’t even have a Google Listing, who do you think will get the business? This advertisement is actually essential to increase your brand’s effectiveness.
73. Andrew Taylor, Director, Net Lawman
The one business hack that worked for me whilst growing my business will actually be having a digi-detox day once a week. After several burnouts, I learned the importance of active rest, not just pretending to take time off.
Many of us work from home as micro-entrepreneurs which means there is no getting out of the office for the weekend.
So I found that by taking a day where the laptop was off and closed and the emails were ignored as I went out for the day, I was far more productive and willing to jump into the next work week after that rest.
74. Jill Sandies, Founder, Constant Delights
Ask for referrals: If you’re a micro-entrepreneur, you probably have a small team, and currently might not have as many customers or clients as you’d want.
The trick to growing your customer base here is simple – ask the current clients for referrals.
The chances of being able to grow your business through this tactic are greater as you’ve developed loyalty amongst the current customers. Reference groups are a crucial part of Marketing.
These customers will act as a reference group for the people in their surroundings such as friends, family, and colleagues.
They then become a part of your customer circle as well, since these new customers would consider the suggestion of the people they’re close to more reliable and valuable than any other source of information or reference.
75. Sarah Jimmens, CEO, Planetshoes
Making market contacts
Growing your business can be a very challenging task if you start from scratch. It is almost impossible to stand a chance without prior work experience or knowledge of the market.
A vital growth hack that helped me grow my business is making the right contacts in the market. This has led to a reliable and efficient image of my small business.
It has been easier to land projects and clients with the help of contacts. Getting referred by others in the market portrays the image of reliability of any business.
Making the right contacts in the market will solve many of your problems, and you’ll be able to grow faster than usual. To win the trust of the right third parties, you need to be honest and sincere with your work.
Deliver quality, and you will become their priority. You can even request your contacts to promote your social media to increase your following, further pushing your growth.
76. Vicky Cano, Chef & Recipe developer, Mealfan.com
The hack that worked for me in growing my business faster was building partnerships. Being a food business, we had to deliver food to people and we didn’t have enough resources at that time to hire more people for the delivery service.
I proposed a partnership with a company providing delivery services, which helped my business a lot in growing faster. The delivery service provider already had a reasonably large customer market.
Forming a partnership with that company introduced my restaurant to its customers as well which broadened our customer base.
This partnership didn’t just help us deliver food and get more customers, but improved the customer experience as well because our partners were very professional at their job and delivered the food faster than many delivery companies. This further increased our customer base.
77. Robert Applebaum, Dr Applebaum Beverly Hills
Offer great customer service – Your customers are what drives your business and giving them the service that they deserve is the ultimate way to grow your business.
For example, in the plastic surgery industry, there is a big emphasis on customer reviews and testimonials.
Patients constantly check reviews and look for testimonials to make a decision based on their past customers’ experiences and results. It is so important to treat each customer with respect and value their business.
Additionally, promoting positive testimonials should be at the forefront of any business’s marketing strategy.
These are not just bookish solutions to grow your business but actual business growth hacks that entrepreneurs have used to successfully grow their businesses.
These business growth hacks can help you scale up your business, instead of wasting your time and efforts with ineffective marketing techniques.
Different hacks work for different kinds of businesses or entrepreneurs. Go through all of them and try to determine which one would fit your bill the best, and go for it.