Written by McCall Robison | Last Updated November 1st, 2019McCall Robison is a Senior Content Marketing Strategist who is passionate about content marketing and SEO. She frequently writes about business, finance, and home-related topics. She currently manages a variety of BestCompany.com blogs.
Part 2 of 2
As mentioned in part one, sustaining business growth, especially in the competitive market of 2018, can be extremely difficult. Even if your business is currently doing well, you never know when a roadblock will emerge. How do you prepare yourself for obstacles and ensure you are doing everything in your power to grow, avoid standstills, and keep your company from going out of business?
You start by consulting business experts who have done just that.
Here are even more tips from experts who have learned how to grow a business in demanding times:
Choose the right shopping platform
Brandon Chopp is a Digital Manager for iHeartRaves, a festival fashion shopping platform featured in the INC. 5000 four years in a row. His company also expands to two other brands, INTO THE AM and Emazing Lights.
Chopp’s vast experience has shown that choosing the right shopping platform for your business is crucial.
Chopp’s business originally used the e-commerce stor Magento and ended up losing money based on the shopping platform’s inability to handle a high volume of customers. After the company’s CEO was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, the site was hit with too many users at once, and Magento’s website crashed.
After learning the importance of a shopping platform, Chopp’s company switched to Shopify and has been able to handle high volume traffic ever since. Chopp says, “The moral of the story is to take your time and research every possible option before choosing your shopping platform. It can make or break your company.” Thankfully, Chopp’s company bounced back after its shopping platform mishap, but other companies may not be as lucky.
Invest in yourself first
CEO of Velo IT Group, Taylor Toce advises investing in not only your company, but in yourself as well. “Invest in yourself first; make yourself better by constantly challenging yourself. As a rule of thumb, if I ever feel comfortable, I know I am not doing the right thing, that I need to do to scale my business. You must become comfortably uncomfortable.”
By trusting and pushing yourself to improve, you will have a solid foundation for your business. In turn, your business will grow and improve as you personally grow and improve.
Hire and properly train the right employees
A business can’t survive without good employees. Founder of LUMAsearch, April Davis says businesses need to take the time to hire the right employees for the job. Simply selecting employees to up your body count isn’t going to work; you need to ensure the people you hire are going to treat it like it’s their company too, rather than just another job.
Davis expands, “For a small business looking to grow, it's important to have the right players at the table. They need to be people who aren't afraid to roll up their sleeves. The words 'that's not my job,' should not exist in their vocabulary. They have to be dedicated to the mission.” Davis also realizes that to have this type of staff, you need to provide them with extensive training that will give them a solid foundation at the company.
A thriving staff is one of the resources you need to make sure your business thrives too.
Identify core values
Rob Braiman, CEO of Cogent Analytics, expresses the need to identify your desired core values at the birth of your company: “Most Entrepreneurs fail due to missing fundamentals at inception, or during the lifecycle of their business. Growth cannot occur in an environment where foundational business principles have not been adhered to.”
When foundational core values aren’t developed, Braiman says, “Any weaknesses are exposed usually post growth when the aforementioned have not been shown appropriate diligence. Every aspect of operations is negatively impacted by an organization without core values and a mission. Lost opportunity due to employees playing fast and loose and negatively impacting a brand has a long-lasting effect, not just with the one sale lost, but most often in relationships where potential customers view the organization negatively over a long period.”
Without values and a mission to build the foundation of your business, Braiman explains the high risk of failure. Whether it is right after launch or five years down the road, a cracked foundation will likely catch up with your business.
Reinvent your business when necessary
President of the highly successful business CelebriDucks, Craig Wolfe advises business owners to reinvent themselves when necessary. If what you’re doing isn’t working, consider coming from a new angle.
Wolfe took his original concept of celebrity look-alike rubber ducks and instead of changing the ducks to look exactly like celebrities, he decided to produce “regular rubber ducks dressed up to give you the feeling of famous people.” Wolfe explains, “It was a bit of a different way of orchestrating our same concept.” Wolfe reinvented his product, which ultimately reinvigorated his entire business.
Although it was strenuous, Wolfe’s company did at least five years’ worth of its best work within one year. And since its reinvention, the business has exploded, being voted one of the “Top 100 Gifts” by Entertainment Weekly, and being featured on The Tonight Show and Conan. A different approach to a similar concept was all his business needed to reach its potential.
Reflecting on his success, Wolfe concludes, “It’s like a shark. They have to keep moving or they die. And so it is with business. You must always be reinventing what you do even if you have to undermine what you did in the past.”
Create an extensive FAQ section
Cristian Rennella is the CEO and co-founder of oMelhowTrato, a comparison tool of financial products, such as car insurance and investment funds. He suggests content marketing through an extensive FAQ section on your business websites.
Through his years of experience, Rennella tried more than 54 content marketing strategies online. He says, “I can assure you there is only one marketing idea that generated the best ROI results for my company in 2018: Answering the questions of my users as an expert.” Rennlla’s company received more than 50 queries per week and the vast majority were general questions. Rennella’s company decided to use this to its advantage and created a FAQ section to answer commonly asked questions, boosting the company’s conversion rate on customers and its Google ranking. The precise responses to specific consumer questions were indexed by Google which then listed Rennella’s site as a top result, driving further traffic and potential customers to his company.
Rennella expands, “This mechanism of transforming the traditional questions and answers (FAQ) section in a blog where we published all our answers helped us to grow by 34.7 percent.”
Any business, small or large, can benefit from developing a robust FAQ section for its website.
Focus keywords on voice searches
Reuben Kats, the COO of Falcon Marketing, suggests implementing keywords into your website with voice searches in mind. Kats explains, “According to Google, one in every five searches comes from a voice search. This shows us that the rise in the digital assistant is real and is changing the way search queries are performed. Because of the rise in voice searches, it’s important to make sure that your SEO marketing strategy shifts to meet with this growing trend.” He suggests focusing on longer keyword searches for a more natural and conversational tone.
Link build for quality over quantity
Kats also suggests that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to link building for your business website:
“The 2018 SEO trends that deal with link building sum up to one thing: quality over quantity. What you want to accomplish and acquire with your backlinks is to add value to your company, as well as become a stronger authority in your field. This doesn’t necessarily mean that backlinks should or should not come from the most popular sites; what is important is that they should come from sites which are the most relevant to your industry.”
“The success of these kinds of SEO trends moves towards developing powerful contacts in your niche, as well as building a strong relationship in the long run.”
Optimize your website for mobile users
Kats’ last piece of advice for growing your business is to optimize websites to satisfy mobile users. With user experience becoming more and more crucial for e-commerce business success, Kats recommends delivering a hassle-free platform to increase the chances of people engaging with your website.
Optimizing for mobile users does more than just increase customer satisfaction. It also “tells search engines which pages are more useful for visitors. Search engines will always favor a website with an excellent user experience.”
Kats believes “SEO trends come and go, but these are three SEO trends that should be around for the long haul.”
We know sustaining business growth can be anything but easy, but this expert advice along with the advice of experts from part one provides an inventory of skills and ideas to keep your business growing.