Are you struggling to grow your small business? Do you want more clients and sales but wonder where to start? The truth is that there are no magic tricks or quick fixes. But certain habits can help increase the odds of success.

If you’re parenting a small business, here are eight tips to help you grow it.

1. Make Time for Your Business

You can’t sit back and wait for business to come to you. Over the long term, inactivity in marketing or sales will lead to stagnation in growth. You have to find time every day to work on growing your business. Maybe it’s taking a look at social media updates, reading industry blogs, or even making a few phone calls.

2. Develop a Customer Acquisition Strategy

You can follow many business development strategies, from creating an online presence to networking with other professionals in your area. You can also focus on marketing how your product solves problems. For example, if you’re an auto repair shop you could talk about how 95% of a car’s lifespan will be spent parked and talk about the maintenance required because of this. But whatever path you choose, you must do more than one thing over the long term to increase the chances of success.

3. Be Consistent

You may be tempted to follow the latest trends in your industry or jump on every fad, but this can leave you spread too thin and unfocused. Instead of following trends, you need to stay the course and focus on what has worked for you over time. Stick with classic methods that have shown results, and avoid gimmicks.

4. Use Social Media and Be Innovative in Your Marketing Efforts

Many entrepreneurs are leery of social media, but they shouldn’t be. It’s a great way to communicate with customers and prospects in relevant ways about your business goals. Be sure to update your feeds consistently, offer quality information instead of sales pitches, and participate regularly in online conversations related to your business and/or industry.

Don’t be afraid to try new things if the old tricks aren’t working anymore. Maybe it’s time to create a landing page or experiment with SEO, PPC, or email marketing campaigns. Remember that while organic social media is good, SEO drives 1000%+ more traffic.

5. Network with Others in Your Industry

Networking is a critical component to growing your business. Not only can you glean new insights and ideas from other professionals, but you’ll also establish important relationships that could lead to sales opportunities. Be sure to attend networking events in your area, participate in professional organizations related to your industry, and maintain contact with your peers.

6. Be Helpful

Successful businesses help their customers and prospects by providing valuable information, resources, or support. In other words, they go beyond just trying to sell a product or service to actually building relationships with those who use their products and services. Your success as a business owner will depend on your ability to put your customers first and provide value to them.

7. Adapt Your Business Model To the Market

Your small business may have started with a specific product or service, but over time you should consider ways to expand your offerings and adapt your business model to stay competitive in changing markets. Maybe you can offer additional products or services or provide complimentary items that are not directly related but are of interest to your customers.

8. Track the Competition

Although you shouldn’t obsess over what your competitors are doing, it is important that you monitor their activities for new developments or items of interest. This can help you stay abreast of changes in the market and potentially provide ideas for new business opportunities or other ways to increase sales or improve your customer service.

In the United States, there are almost 28 million small businesses. If you’re one of those business owners, it can be easy to feel like your company is invisible in the shadow of those big corporations. But if you stay focused, provide value to your customers through your products and services, and pay attention to the competition, there’s no reason why you can’t be successful.

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