SCORE

When we hear grassroots organization, we may think of political campaigns, but it’s best to take this approach and apply it to business as well. Think of your own business as a campaign: refining your message for consumption, attracting and keeping fans, and focusing on the needs of the people and your operation.

Some small business owners desire to grow quickly, with instant gratification. But the truth is, growth comes in spurts over a long amount of time. Slow and steady is the key here. Growing your business by “Bootstrapping” (organically) costs less, is less risky, and still allows your business to attract new customers and develop new products at a comfortable pace.

Here are some ways to grow your business from the ground up, no pesticides or hot flashy deals–just pure organic growth.

Let’s get to bootstrapping!

Turn up the website

You’re reading this on the internet which means you use the internet which means millions of other people use the internet. Keep up with demand and build that website. Not just any website, an accessible, easy-to-use, human-centered designed website.

Prospective customers meet you and your business for the first time ever via your website…or your social media. This experience and interaction with your brand is priceless and memorable. Make that memory stick with clear cut solutions and consistent brand imaging plastered on your website walls.

What kind of data collection or payment tools can you include to encourage the visitor? Having a database that collects customer information via an email list or an online payment system can be valuable to hobnob with them later on or just have for your customer research.

Also, say hello to SEO. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is key to getting your website domain name seen on Google. You need to be seen–sorry if you’re shy–and get picked up, hit on, and spotted by a potential buyer. The higher up in search results you are, the more customers you’ll have.

Leverage social media

Whether you love it or hate it or think it’s the root of human suffering, social media is a very real and very free marketing tool. If you want to grow your business, especially with younger generations, you need to be on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok or whatever platform your target audience hangs out on.

And you need to be consistent. A lot of conversions happen in the DMS. When people see you getting out there, solving problems, helping people, they know you exist and they’re likely to refer back to you when that gap opens up. 

It’s easy to go overkill on the promotion. Make sure your content is varied at intervals. That could include posting trending pieces on your Twitter, making an educational video on TikTok, or posting a meme on your Instagram. Whatever it is, make sure it’s either entertaining, educating, or inspiring the customer. Try promos like giveaways or deals to entice buyers. Have them share with a friend or comment something unique to them. Engagement is critical. You can use tools to schedule posts in advance.

Social media is like the storefront experience but purely digital. Make it a great and unique experience for customers. Know your voice.

Produce events to meet and sell

In-person and online events are great ways to get to know your customers in more familiar ways. They’re also great ways to sell more products or services, increase your brand awareness and recognition, and get your name out there. While event production is a whole other income stream, it can take a lot of work, so make sure you have a person or a team helping you orchestrate it all.

Who is your competition

Do your market research before you choose to grow. To land where you want, you’ll need to see if others have landed there before. Who are your main competitors? What are you offering that makes you stand out? Is it excellent customer service, an established online presence, or an interesting product?

Look at your sales channels

Look at your business and see if there are some gaps in your selling strategy. Are there areas where you can be selling online? Incorporate a sales platform into your website in order to open up a whole new channel of income, from around the world.

Review what you’re currently offering and see if there are any new products you could release that would boost customer interest or potentially re-sell older products. Look at how competitors are selling their products before you go for this.

Takeaway

You’re growing your business. Congrats. Most people are terrified to even take the first steps. Organic outreach and internal growth are the best ways to make an impact before taking it to an even larger scale. I commend you for trying your best and using your passion to do good.

Now let’s go Bootstrapping!

About the Author(s)

Todd Michael Cohan

It's time in my life that I gave back to the entrepreneurial community. A lifelong entrepreneur with many successes (and failures), I can advise and consult aspiring entrepreneurs form and improve business ideas.

Business Growth