Coffee shop owner inside shop on tablet.
Small Business Month is a great time to refresh your inspiration and motivation to find new ways to grow your business. — Getty Images/CandyRetriever

Kick off Small Business Month by identifying key ways to, directly and indirectly, grow your business. Set a goal to complete several revenue-generating activities and invite your team to rise to the challenge. Here are 10 critical areas to focus on and dozens of tasks to jumpstart your growth initiatives.

1. Develop core growth strategies.

When you’re elbow-deep in day-to-day business management, it’s hard to step back and recognize where you’re falling short, let alone find time to strategize. In May, build your company by identifying weak strategies or workflows and adjusting your approach to support business growth.

Pick at least one strategy to work on and create achievable, short-term goals. Next, determine what financial and time resources your plan requires. Put your system into action with daily, weekly and monthly tasks that move your company toward successful outcomes.

Here are a few resources to jumpstart your strategy improvements:

  • Review collection and management: According to BrightLocal, 77% of consumers “always or regularly read [reviews] when browsing for local businesses.” Therefore, it’s vital to design a process to request, monitor and respond to reviews. Begin your planning session by learning how five small business leaders cultivate positive reviews.
  • Public relations (PR): Increase positive PR with a plan that outlines weekly PR tasks, such as partnering with local micro-influencers or answering Help a Reporter Out (HARO) questions. Learn more in our guide to public relations.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): Use a free SEO checker to assess your website. Evaluate the results to develop SEO goals and outline your next steps. Here are 10 resources to improve SEO.
  • Social media: Choose one channel to optimize during Small Business Month. Create a channel-specific strategy that ties into your overall social media marketing plan. Brainstorm ideas using our TikTok and Facebook strategy tips.
  • Video marketing: According to Wyzowl, “81% of marketers say video has helped them directly increase sales.” Find inspiration with five unique ways to use video on your website.
  • Time management: Devote more time to business growth by concentrating on core tasks that add value to your company. Categorize your activities and explore time management tools to help you reach your goals.

2. Amplify your brand on social media.

Social media remains a crucial way to connect with your audience. It drives traffic to your website, increases sales and builds consumer trust. Examine your social media strategies and pick at least one channel to concentrate on this month. Devote 10 to 15 minutes every day, then assess your metrics at the end of the month.

Complete one or more of the following activities:

  • Share the inspiration behind your company during Small Business Week using the hashtags #SmallBusinessWeek and #MySmallBizWhy.
  • Craft a catchy theme for a social media giveaway and develop a multi-channel promotion plan.
  • Refresh your social media cover images and bios, and verify that all links work correctly.
  • Give employees and contractors access to branded social media assets for public sharing, such as memes, infographics and videos.
  • Test out a new social media platform for 30 days, like TikTok, YouTube or Pinterest. Unsure where to start? Here’s our guide to choosing social channels for businesses.

3. Recognize your employees.

Morale improvements can increase employee retention, enhance corporate culture and boost productivity. Indeed, happier employees are one sure-fire way to grow your business. Recognize their contributions during Small Business Month. Highlight one or two staff members each week for a unique quality or value they bring to their teams.

Take these steps to award your staff and promote your small business:

  • Develop a write-up for media outlets that summarizes the upcoming awards.
  • Create a profile template for gathering employee details.
  • Take a high-quality image and make a short video of each team member.
  • Produce multi-channel content promoting individual team members.
  • Showcase Small Business Month awards on your website.

4. Upskill yourself and your team.

Business growth relies on professional development. In short, as your business grows, your team must level up as well. Encourage your staff to set aside time during Small Business Month to improve current skills or learn new ones. Also, look at various platforms that could support your ongoing training initiatives.

Follow the links below for free resources, events and tools:

5. Outsource non-core tasks.

Outsourcing social media tasks or administrative roles frees up your time to focus on growth-related workflows. Moreover, partnering with third-party contractors can provide better results, as they’re experts in their sector just as you are in yours. For instance, social media agencies are at the top of their game, aware of the latest trends and invest in advanced software tools that may be unaffordable to non-agencies.

Review your time management strategy and identify tasks you could outsource. Think about how outsourcing could help you achieve goals like increasing your email opt-in rate or social media engagement. Plus, don’t forget to replace that free time with revenue-generating activities.

[Read more: Running Your Business Alone? 10 Things You Can Outsource to Free Up Time]

Is your website at the top of the search engine results page (SERP)? According to BrightLocal, “99% of consumers have used the internet to find information about a local business in the last year.” Website design and SEO improvements can increase conversions and search engine visibility.

6. Improve profitability.

Profitability improvements stem from decreasing costs while increasing productivity, efficiency and inventory turnover rates. It requires visibility into your finances and dedication to accomplishing broader business objectives. Select tactics that improve your cash flow and help your company grow on multiple levels.

Here are a few methods and resources for scaling your business:

7. Delight and engage existing customers

Customers are the lifeblood of every small business. As such, higher customer stickiness and retention rates increase your profitability. Concentrate on your clients this month by understanding their experiences and striving for improvements.

Boost customer engagement with these tasks:

  • Update or launch a loyalty program to increase the frequency of sales.
  • Form a brand ambassador program and give customers the tools to promote your business.
  • Automate post-sale surveys to capture the voices of your customers.
  • Follow-up with clients and have systems in place to document interactions.
  • Listen to a few customer service calls to spot-check quality standards.
  • Build a customer referral program and reward clients for sending friends your way.
  • Plan campaigns for the “Get to Know Your Customer” days (third Thursday of January, April, July and October).

[Read more: How Fashion Startups to Big Brands Like Kate Spade Are Tapping Purpose-Led Business Strategies]

8. Prospect for new clients

Grow your business by focusing on lead generation activities during Small Business Month. Begin with your current and historical sales figures, categorized by product or service groupings. Identify core areas or sales channels to focus on and develop a list of sales activities your teams can use to reach their goals.

Consider updating a sales funnel or building a new one. Or participate in a local small business event attended by your target market. Remember to collaborate with marketing and customer service teams to get a clear picture of your customers and their journeys.

Start with these CO—by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce articles:

9. Optimize your website

Is your website at the top of the search engine results page (SERP)? According to BrightLocal, “99% of consumers have used the internet to find information about a local business in the last year.” Website design and SEO improvements can increase conversions and search engine visibility.

Use HubSpot’s website grader to assess your site and view recommendations. Also, consider running an A/B test. This is where you change one website element affecting conversions, such as your main call to action (CTA). Google Optimize offers free tools for small business website optimization.

10. Bolster your marketing efforts

Connect with your target audience and provide value with informative content and relationship-building activities. Ensure each task supports a strategic goal and allocate time and resources to each objective. Use metrics to gauge progress and define how the tactic increases profitability and business growth.

Expand your marketing efforts by:

  • Creating a new lead magnet to increase email sign-ups.
  • Applying SEO techniques to your YouTube channel or Amazon products.
  • Updating your Google My Business profile.
  • Responding to reviews on Facebook.
  • Completing one or more HARO responses.
  • Publishing an article in an industry or local publication.
  • Recording a webinar for your target audience.
  • Setting aside 30 minutes to perform keyword research.
  • Coming up with one new content idea per day.
  • Answering questions on Quora.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Follow us on Instagram for more expert tips & business owners’ stories.

To stay on top of all the news impacting your small business, go here for all of our latest small business news and updates.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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Published March 30, 2022