With a new year comes anticipation, expectation, and excitement. And even though there’s nothing technically special or unique about the calendar flipping from December 31 to January 1, it flips a switch in our collective brains to push the pedal down a little harder and pursue our goals with greater focus.
If you’re a business owner or CEO, then I can almost guarantee that growth is on the menu for 2021. You’re looking for opportunities to scale your business so that it can become stronger and more profitable. But, like most other business owners and CEOs, 2020 was a challenging year. So it’s not like you have piles of cash lying around. If you want to grow, you’ll have to do it strategically and efficiently.
In this article, I’ll lay out one approach you can use to grow your business using low-cost, proven methods that are designed to help you scale with purpose.
4 Low-Cost Growth Options
There are any number of strategies you can use to grow your business in a low-cost manner, but I’m going to discuss an approach that I’m comfortable and familiar with. It’s an approach that leverages marketing, branding, and customer engagement to generate positive noise and resounding loyalty.
So, without further ado, here’s what I would recommend doing (in no particular order):
- Create High-Quality Content
Content sits at the heart of any good online marketing strategy. The problem is that most businesses don’t produce enough quality content. It’s not that they’re incapable. (There’s usually at least one person on the team who can form decent sentences.) Instead, they put off content creation because it’s time-consuming, and they don’t see immediate returns.
But let me ask you a question: What if you decide right now that you’re going to produce just one high-quality blog post or content asset every week of 2021?
At first, that doesn’t sound like a lot. (Anyone can make time for one blog post every week.) You’d probably answer my question by asking me something like: Is that even enough to generate meaningful results?
It’s a really good start – that’s what I’d tell you.
Imagine sitting precisely where you are 12 months from now and having 50 pieces of top-notch content on your blog or website. Think about the power that has, in terms of traffic, exposure, leverage, and lessons learned. It might not seem like much when you’re in the moment, but when you look back a year from now, it’ll all be worth it.
- Invest in Your SEO
If you’re pumping out quality content, the next step is to invest in SEO for your website. This will ensure you’re able to generate more traffic and turn more visitors into paying customers.
While you can certainly pay for professional SEO – and that’s something you should do down the line – there are plenty of free SEO tools you can use to get started. Make this the year that you build your SEO foundation. Then you can make an even bigger investment down the road.
- Build an Email List
You don’t own your social media profiles. You can’t control every detail of your PPC ad strategy. You can’t predict how and when Google will change its algorithm. But there is one thing you have total control over: email.
Make 2021 the year where you really prioritize building your email list. Even if you don’t know how you’ll use it, adding names to the list will give you a powerful marketing asset you can deploy when the time is right.
- Wow With High-Touch Customer Service
Good customer service doesn’t have to cost a ton of money. (Sometimes you’ll have to take a financial hit in order to right a wrong, but that’s not always the case.) Most of the time, good customer service simply requires a sacrifice of time and pride. Are you willing to offer both?
A company with average products – meaning products that are on par with the competition – can elevate itself above the competition by offering high-touch customer service. This is something that’s been proven over and over again in almost every industry. And if you’re willing to go that extra mile to wow customers, even when they don’t deserve it, you’ll come out ahead. You might not see immediate results, but again, you’re playing the long-game.
What’s Your 2021 Growth Plan?
Whether you’re reading this before the start of the year, on January 1, or several months into 2021, it’s never too late to develop a growth plan for the new year. Be careful not to get stuck in a planning stage. Paralysis by analysis is a very real thing, and indecision will keep you from taking the proactive action steps you need to take in order to grow.
Progress – not perfection – is the goal. Take small steps, observe what happens, and continue to improve your approach. That’s how you generate results over a long period of time.