I have been reading different ideas regarding getting the economy growing again. The most prominent ideas focus on small businesses (< 500 employees). Not unsurprising as small businesses (source SBA):
- Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms
- Employ half of all private sector employees
- Generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years
Included in this category are what I call “really small businesses” (<10) that are typically the clients I assist. When I talk to my clients, they want to grow their business and expand their workforce; however, the priority must be more business before adding people. More importantly, they want to increase revenue with the least amount of additional capital or resource investment. Their description: “I want to grow but I don’t want to spend a lot to do it.”
Focusing on leveraging digital marketing strategies, I usually provide suggestions that help them expand. The ideas appear obvious; however, the main push is using digital tools for traditional marketing principles:
- Expand coverage – look beyond current base of customers; use digital media to reach out. Use analytics to determine other areas that closely match your current customer set to reuse existing capabilities / resources.
- Expand services – offer new things to your existing and growing customer base. Digital resources allow you to provide greater information to customers that support the new services.
- Grow existing customers business – offer new the new services or capabilities to existing customers first as a show of loyalty. Give them insight to available digital information on your market.
- Increase value – providing information digitally gives customers deeper insight to your market and thus create value, increase loyalty to support business.
These are not digital miracles but instead solid traditional marketing plans taking advantage of digital technologies. The success comes from using the tools at their full capability while achieving traditional objectives. Learning is fast, ramp up is fast, and analysis is deep and complete. Confusion over digital tools is minimized because the focus is on “using” tools within traditional marketing principles. And the success is measured by increased sales.