Tips to Grow Your Small Business

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Hey Taylor - I run a little online retail company and I’m looking to expand. Business is going well but not booming, so I’m wondering how I can slowly grow my company without making some potentially fatal mistake. - Marjorie

Hey Marjorie - Congrats on the success! Those first steps toward growing your company are the most daunting, especially when you’ve been doing everything on your own and already have an established system. To put your mind at ease, here are a few ways you might be able to test expansion.

1.Market future deals. Especially with a young business like yours, it’s hard to know when you can increase volume without taking too big of a hit on earnings. This is why a lot of small businesses market on the promise of growth. If you can guarantee savings to future customers, that could allow you to increase inventory you know will get purchased. You don’t want to do a huge marketing blitz and have a bunch of prospective clients ask for something you don’t have in stock, so offering some sort of future promotional deal might provide a happy medium.

2. Form alliances. Sometimes another established business can give you just the right kind of boost. If you can either get a promotional deal through another site or offer some sort of in-kind exchange, people will hear about your services from a trusted source. This can save you loads of money in the marketing department and can also offer a trickle of new clientele as opposed to opening a floodgate you’re not prepared for.

3. Start outsourcing. Growth often seems overwhelming because there’s too much to do. If you have certain aspects of the business that you can outsource to other workers, you’ll free up time you can then use to focus squarely on growth. Start with freelancers who work on a part-time basis, and then as your operation picks up steam and gets bigger you can increase the workload or hire full-time staff. In addition to easing your personal workload, outsourcing lets you add elements to your business that might spur growth. Get someone to write articles you can post on related blogs or hire a small firm to do a little PR campaign. If you go about it in the right way, a little money spent on outsourcing can have huge returns. I’ve got an article up at that can help guide you through the process of hiring freelancers.

I’m excited to see where your business goes, Marjorie. Keep taking those small steps forward and you’ll end up where you want to be.