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12 months of business growth strategy to help you crush it in 2020

Posted by Garick Giroir on December 20, 2019

Blog_12 months of business growth

Well done! As a business owner, you’ve worked hard — really hard — and it’s paying off. You’ve been in business for several years, hired employees and even weathered a few storms.

Growing a business requires just as much time, energy and strategy as running the business itself. That’s why we put together this practical guide for growing your business from good to great!

Looking ahead to future growth.


What follows is our list of suggestions and action items for each quarter to get out of survival mode and into growth mode. 

We’ve kept in mind that every business is different, each with its own unique challenges and varying levels of complexity. While following these suggestions diligently will likely result in the growth you’re after, it’s perfectly alright to make changes during the year. Feel free to tailor the recommendations to your specific goals and needs.

To get the most out of this guide we recommend you:

1. Print it out
2. Highlight and take notes on it (don’t be afraid to mark it up)
3. Keep it on your desk
4. Set a calendar reminder to review it on the first of every month to gain new insights




❏ Create a comprehensive contact list.


Here’s where you want to make (or update) a comprehensive list of all your existing and potential contacts. 

This is the foundation for everything else in the plan, so be sure to carve out adequate time in your schedule to do it. (You won't be sorry.) 

  • Incorporate anyone and everyone who’s ever purchased something from your business, including anyone who’s ever expressed an interest in your products or services. 
  • Put all these contacts into an email list.
  • Organize all existing customer contacts into a hierarchical group:
    • Red Alert: Customers you might be about to lose.
    • Loyalty Risk: Customers who are still using your products or services, but who aren’t loyal. 
    • Platinum: Customers who are not only loyal but actively advocate for your business.
  • Look at individuals and businesses you’ve ever bought anything from or expressed interest in.
    • A lot of business owners skip this step, thinking they need to only include existing and potential customers. Don’t make this mistake!
    • Think in terms of everyone being a potential customer. Since you already have a relationship of trust with vendors, they could turn out to be valuable resources for leads and information. 


❏ Review your online presence.


  • Are your social media profiles engaging and professional? Do they reflect well on you, your business and your products or services?
    • Hint: Photos and videos are a must in today’s online marketplace, so use them. They create immediate engagement versus mere text which many only scan or skip reading altogether.
  • When was the last time you updated your website? Do you have a website that sells and generates leads for your business, or is it a glorified online brochure? You should be using your website to connect with your audience so they can understand exactly who you are and how you can help them. Whether you like it or not, your prospects are making snap judgments about your business when they research you online. Review every single page for formatting errors, typos, outdated information and dusty old graphics and images. Look for new ways you can use your website to generate leads. Make a note of any actions you must commit to take.
    • Hint: Look at your website through the eyes of your prospects and customers. Are you missing vital information? Do your embedded links direct them to the correct page? How easy it is for them to contact you? Online? Over the phone? In person?




❏ Launch a monthly online newsletter.


  • Consider using email marketing tools like Constant Contact or Mailchimp to send your contacts newsletters and updates about your business. Bonus: Automate your email marketing with tools like HubSpot or InfusionSoft.
    • Must do’s:
      • In your initial email, be sure to thank your contacts for being supporters of your business.
      • Explain that you intend to keep them up to date with a newsletter. Tell them how often they can expect to receive it.
      • Finally, give them an opportunity to easily opt out.

        Also consider offering an incentive to stay on the mailing list. (e.g. exclusive discounts and coupons for those who don’t unsubscribe.)  


❏ Address website woes.


  • Remember those notes on your website? It’s time to make those updates so your site is up to date and user friendly with helpful content for you to generate even more leads for your business.


❏ Research charitable organizations.


  • Research local charitable organizations and identify reputable ones that resonate with your values, company culture and business mission. Then, narrow it down to two top choices you’d like to affiliate your business with.
  • Call the charity to ask what kind of support they’re currently seeking, and if they’d be willing to work with you. 


Leverage holidays promotions.


  • Consider using your social media channels to post a holiday promotion this month.
    • If one channel (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) better targets the people you want to reach with this promotion, consider posting exclusively on that channel. 

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❏ Schedule social media content posts.


  • Put together a schedule of posts around other local and national holidays.
  • For more regular posts, remember that people quickly grow tired of seeing only self-promoting posts from you.
    • As a rule, post promotional content only 20% of the time, and use the remaining 80% to post content that’s valuable to your audience and drives engagement (e.g. free reports, industry headlines, photos from your after-hours event, or behind-the-scenes insights from your business).
    • One particularly effective way to drive engagement is to offer a discount or even a small gift for those who respond to posts with a tag. Many followers will go out of their way to receive a prize.

Cultivate referrals.


  • Think about implementing a formal program that rewards your customers for sending referrals your way. 




❏ Design and send your monthly newsletter.


  • Remember, people get loads of these types of newsletters in their inbox. If you want them to actually read yours, keep it short and include punchy graphics, photos and information about discount offers and special rewards programs.
  • Occasionally, include information of value in the newsletter with items like:
    • Compelling employee profiles
    • Industry developments
    • General news items that could affect their businesses 


❏ Audit your social media strategy.


  • Review and make any tweaks to your social media posting plan.
    • Hint: Aim for posting only strong content even if it means you have to pare down to one or two channels. 
    • Make time to review engagement levels for your posts and make any adjustments based on this information.
    • Consider creating a VIP group for customers who have shown interest in and consistently comment on your posts. 


Optimize your Google My Business profile.


  • Google plays a huge role in directing potential consumers to products and services in their area. One of the best ways for you to connect with local consumers is to set up a listing on Google My Business. Not only will potential customers quickly see your business’ name, location and contact information, but they will also see photos of your business, read online reviews, and learn more about your product. Did we mention it’s free? Establishing your business on the world’s largest search engine is an easy way to increase your chances of being found online and generate more revenue.


❏ Plan an event with a partner charity.


  • Begin planning an event with the charitable organization you reached out to in February.
  • If a fundraising initiative is part of your plan, be sure to give yourself several weeks ahead of the event to promote it.
    • Work with your partner charity to promote your joint event across all marketing and social media channels.
    • Consider running an ad in your local newspaper, or ask if they’d be willing to write a story in advance of the event. (Writing and sending a press release can help with this.)



❏ Design and send your monthly newsletter.


  • Include any promotions and remind your customers to sign up for your referral program.
  • Announce your event with your charity partner. 

❏ Host event with a partner charity.

  • Invite Platinum clients personally to attend the event. 
  • Make sure people understand why you, personally, are passionate about this cause.


Follow up after the event.


  • Post photos of the event on your social media channels and in next month’s newsletter.
  • Let people know how the event benefited the charity, including the total funds raised as a result of the event. 




❏ Design and send your monthly newsletter.


  • Include an exclusive discount or small giveaway for your newsletter recipients.
  • Incorporate seasonal trends and topics. Consider announcing a promotion around an upcoming holiday.
  • Consider embedding a short video illustrating how you’ve helped a specific customer this year, or recognizing an outstanding employee. 


Express gratitude to your customers.


  • Send a small appreciation gift to your Loyalty Risk clients. If a gift expense isn’t in the budget, create and mail personalized thank you cards.
  • If your budget allows, consider designing a contest so one lucky customer could win a big reward (i.e. an all-expense paid cruise, an iPad or something of significant monetary value). 




Design and send your monthly newsletter.


  • Do you have a thought leader or maybe just a really opinionated person in your office? Leverage their experience! Feature his or her knowledge about best practices, new tactics or recommendations in this month's newsletter.


❏ Stay on your social media game.


  • Are you sensing a pattern?
    • Continue to audit your plan and identify areas for improvement.
    • What trends did you identify last quarter? Start pulling back on the strategies with low ROI and go all in on the ones with the most return.
    • Boost engagement by asking for responses to holiday-relevant questions. For example:
      • Ask people for tips on how they manage the holiday season.
      • Ask what their favorite food associated with that holiday is.
      • Are they staying home or planning a trip for the holiday? Do they have holiday travel tips?




Design and send your monthly newsletter.


  • Keep up the good work! Consider announcing a themed promotion or coupon.


Target new customers with Facebook ads.


  • Now that you’ve established your business’ social media presence, it’s time to run some targeted ads on Facebook. Facebook’s advertising tool lets you easily aim your marketing message at people who are more likely to be interested in what your business offers.
  • Facebook advertising costs range widely and are dependent on various factors, such as your industry, location and objectives. Don’t be afraid to experiment and tweak your settings to see what works best for you.




Design and send your monthly newsletter.


  • The purpose of this newsletter is to keep people informed about your business and brand. These emails are your opportunity to talk about your brand and its purpose. Explain where your company has been and where it’s going.
  • Remember: The point of any marketing message is to get a response. Make sure your email includes:
    • A strong subject line to entice readers to open your email.
    • Content that holds their interest.
    • A clear call-to-action for them to click.


Revisit your strategy.


  • Block out some time to review your strategy for the year so far.
  • What’s working? What isn’t? Where are you in terms of your marketing and advertising budget?




Design and send your monthly newsletter.


  • Remind customers to join your referral program.
  • Share a recent customer testimonial. Include a short quote and picture of your customer so readers can relate.


Double down on your social media presence.


  • Consider creative ways to engage your customers. For instance, you can run a contest asking recipients to post a themed photo on social media and tag your business. Offer a giveaway for the customer with the best response.




Design and send your monthly newsletter.


  • Consider featuring seasonal tips or advice that will position you as an expert.


Express gratitude to your customers.


  • In your social media posts and in your monthly newsletter, don’t forget to tell your customers how grateful you are for each and every one of them. Without them you couldn’t have a thriving business, so give them a lot of love.  


Analyze your customer list.


Remember that comprehensive customer and business contact list you put together in January? Break it out again and review each customer (Red Alert, Loyalty Risk or Platinum). Reorganize any who have hopped categories.




Design and send your monthly newsletter.


  • Consider including a personal note about your favorite memories of the season, accompanied by a festive photo of you and your staff. 


Spotlight various customers.


  • Recognize your customers in your social media posts and on your website is a great way to build rapport and customer loyalty. (Plus, it’s just the right thing to do.)
  • Customers love to hear how they’ve played a part in creating your success story so don’t hold back on your social media channels, and don’t forget to tag specific customers if appropriate.


❏ Annual after-action review


  • Now that you’ve completed the full 12-month growth strategy cycle, it’s time to look back to see which ones were most effective. 
  • Use your analysis to hone in on your strategies for the next four quarters, eliminating items that didn’t provide a big return and emphasizing ones that did. 




The "Complete Guide to Exponential Business Growth in Louisiana " is a comprehensive how-to guide walking you through a year of business growth ideas.

Discover 25 practical tips and ideas you can implement each quarter that are guaranteed to grow your business. Learn how to objectively compare different options to fund your business and further accelerate your growth.


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