One-third of all new businesses will shut their doors after the first two years. This number is as high as 80 percent in some sectors. This can be the result of poor planning, lack of loose cash or a poor business model.
But if you’re an entrepreneur and your business has met the two-year mark, then it’s time to shift from startup mode to growth. And growth has its own set of challenges and requirements, especially when it comes to marketing.
If your business has survived two years, there is probably a niche for your product. But company birthdays are a great time to review your service offerings and see if there is anything you can tweak, add or promote. Are you retaining customers? Are you gaining new ones? If retention is the problem, something is wrong with the product. If gain is not where you’d like it, then it’s time to roll out some new offerings.
New services or products can be the basis for a highly effective marketing campaign. New products drive interest in a brand and can generate discussion about your offerings. In the digital world, this interest building is what will keep your business afloat.
How you market is equally important to what you market. If your goal is to increase sales by 20 percent over a year, you don’t need to market for a 50 percent increase. But if your goal is to create an online purchasing portal, then aggressive marketing will be needed to drive consumers to your store.
So your first step is to lay out clear goals for the next year. If you want an online storefront, don’t skimp on design or advertising. In the digital world where almost anyone can build an aesthetically pleasing site, having a clunky or dated online storefront can repel new consumers.
Secondly, be consistent with your online presence. You’re not going to build a strong social media following for your business if you post once a month. Equally true, your followers will be turned off if you post seemingly irrelevant information. Before creating your social media profile, think carefully about what you want to say. How would you handle a customer complaint on your wall? Do you plan to offer exclusive online coupons? Having these questions answered in advance can help keep your business on track.