Business Tips

Room to Grow: How To Scale Your Startup

Katherine Penta
January 5, 2017

If you’re reading this, great work. You’ve realized it takes more than dreaming to be successful, and know that starting your business from scratch is no easy feat. But you’ve made it this far, you handsome doer you, and now you’re ready for the next step: scaling up.There are tons of ways to scale your freelance or small business without being overwhelmed. And they don’t have to be all guerilla, grassroots, pinning-up-flyers-and-begging-for-business-at-your-local-coffee-shop methods, either. Check out our hit list below for ways to grow your newly established business or brand, and develop your own method for #winning.

Know When to Outsource

We get it. It’s your baby. You built this brilliant business from scratch, and it’s hard to relinquish responsibilities or trust anyone else with this amazing thing you created from nothing. But, in order to scale, you’ll need to be efficient, and one of the best ways to be efficient is to outsource tasks that may not need the dedicated attention you’d normally provide. Hey! You started a business to be a boss, right? Now you can distribute the work.Check out this article from Entrepreneur for inspiration on the best services to outsource, and read up on our blog on how outsourcing transcription, content marketing and business copywriting can change your ability to succeed.And what says “you’re the boss” more than having an assistant on hand? Nothin. Getting a virtual assistant to cover the more menial tasks is an investment that not only frees up your time to continue to build your business, but keeps your work organized and efficient, every day. And of course we mentioned the badass-boss thing, so, start working smarter now with a virtual assistant.

Keep ‘em Coming Back

Your mom. Your brother. Your old co-worker. You’ve started to build a customer base, but how do you ensure they stick with your business, and not jump ship to the first better offer they see? (Hey, just ‘cause they’re family doesn’t mean they don’t want a better deal). In many ways, maintaining a strong customer base is like dating. You’ve got to build a solid foundation for the relationship and keep the magic alive throughout. In many cases, simple tactics like delivering services on time, or even before the deadline can help establish a great relationship with customers early on, so they continue to rely on you for their service needs. And the love shouldn’t stop there! Following-up with relevant e-mails, promotions and campaigns will also help your keep your customers informed, and offer them more ways to communicate directly with you. Even if you may not like what they have to say- the more open the communication, the more likely they are to stick around. Sorry to sound like an ex, but it’s true.

Improve Your Online Marketing

Chances are, when you established your business you created some digital form of your business online, maybe a website, or social handle. If you didn’t, please go back here and do not collect $200. But if you did, then you know there are tons of ways to market your business to the right people online. Obtaining a bunch of followers won’t necessarily convert more business, so you need to make sure the followers and traffic you gain from digital marketing are authentic and interested parties. Not just joeschmoe345 cause he promised to follow you back if you followed him first.Using smart analytics you can figure out who’s currently visiting your site or pages, how much time they’re spending there, and more. Once you get inside the head of your current customer, you can easily optimize to cater to their needs and also just find more. Hopefully way more. It’s easier than you think. Check out these simple ways to scale up your digital marketing efforts. And if you don’t have the time, or the expertise, we’ve got you covered. There are endless experts and services on Fiverr to make your business a digital marketing empire.

Become the Brand Others Envy

You’ve got your brand established (sort-of), but now what? Maybe there are some inconsistencies in your tone of voice, or the type of content you distribute, or you’re just looking to expand your brand with new types of content. All these things matter when you’re working to gain customer loyalty, establish trust, and build a cohesive brand. Here’s where you’ve got to really stand out. Go bigger than the rest. Give customers engaging and educational content they didn’t even know they wanted. Get creative with whiteboard & explainer videos, brand intros, and other branding services . And if you’re not sure how to establish your brand voice there, we’ve got tips to help you tell your brand story through video and business copywriting.

Prove Your Expertise

Did you know that 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase? People really trust other people online, which, to our parents seems inconceivable. But trust is an enormous factor when it comes getting that new customer to make their first purchase, and it often takes other online strangers to bring in that new customer on your behalf.In order to gain trust initially, before you even have strangers on your side, you need to establish yourself as an expert in your field or industry. This can be done in a number of ways: developing a social media persona that stays up-to-date on industry trends, and participates in relevant conversations; writing a blog where you feature your opinions on any industry news; or even smart commentary on things your competition may be doing. But try to be nice when talking about competitors. Even if their ideas are stupid.If you have the knowledge, but don’t have the way with words, consider hiring a content writer or blogger to work with you to build out SEO optimized posts that’ll be seen by the right audiences. Or, think about bringing on someone to manage your social media accounts to make sure you don’t miss a beat.

Be Proactive, Never Reactive

Ever been online and received the dreaded “unable to connect to the internet” messaging? Like us, you probably panic and survival seems unlikely. But eventually you reconnect, the wounds heal, and you move forward with your life.In any service, reliability is essential to retaining customer loyalty and trust. It’s pivotal to run your business proactively, not reactively. Let us paint you an old-timey sports analogy picture. If you sell custom baseball t-shirts, and you know that your busiest time of year is during spring training, you should be spending the earlier part of the year preparing your website, inventory and more for the heavy traffic ahead, so you’re ready to…play ball (sorry about that). A great way to do this is to stay on top of trend research so you can plan products or services to anticipate the changing trends, and make sure your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are optimized to handle anything that comes your way.

Invest in Optimization

We’re no Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross, but dammit you should always be optimizing! In order to grow your business, you need to take an honest look at what’s working, and what isn’t. For example, you can outsource people to Q/A your website to find any bugs, or inconsistencies or find someone to make sure your customer journey is ideal for every visitor to your website or app, or even find someone to enhance the graphics or images you have on your site or in store to make sure they’re as professional as possible. Investing in your product, whether it’s something physical, or a service, is the most important move you can make for your business.So, whether you’re chasing the freelance side hustle, or have established your own business, you can use the Gig Economy to stay lean while scaling, and work toward that next step in your business. Once you gain more customers, expertise, and loyalty, you’re ready to go big.

Katherine Penta
Brand and copy expert with over six years of experience developing brand personas, managing content, and writing copy for brands like Neutrogena, Visa, and Adobe.
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