Starting a new business is one of the greatest challenges most people are likely to undertake in their lifetimes. 50% of small businesses fail in the U.S. within their first five years, so if you’ve managed to become one of the survivors, that’s certainly an accomplishment worth celebrating. Of course, establishing your business is just the first step of a continuous process. If you want a shot at real, lasting success, you’ll need to start growing your business.
Business growth is important for a variety of reasons beyond simply increasing your sales, though there’s no doubt about that being a top motivation. Business growth also lets you employ more staff so that work can be done more effectively with the right team members. You’ll also have new opportunities available as you expand your product range and services and are able to attract new customers in your target market. This also helps to improve your overall sustainability in the market. You may even turn to more digital solutions to improve your business processes during your growth phase. Here are some great ways you can grow your business during 2021.
Purchase IPv4 blocks.
If you’ve managed to maintain a successful business, there’s no way you aren’t running your own website, especially if you’re an e-commerce store. Even brick and mortar stores gain an advantage by also selling select products online and offering convenience to their customers online. In order to expand your website, and ensure that its reputation stays intact, however, you’ll need guaranteed IPv4 addresses.
Every device that connects to the internet has its own unique internet protocol identifier (IP address). These addresses are managed globally by five registries tied to each region and assign addresses to ISPs in order to identify devices and direct website traffic. ARIN is the registry used for the United States, Canada, Antarctica, and parts of the Caribbean. IPv4 is the current version of IP addresses, which identifies devices using 32-bit numbers. These limited numbers are becoming problematic thanks to the internet of things (IoT) and the fact that most internet users now connect from multiple devices. IPv4 is simply running out of space.
If you want to guarantee that you have enough space to effectively host your site and to support customers coming in, you can purchase IPv4 blocks or IPv4 addresses from reliable IPv4 brokers. They allow for the secure purchasing of IPv4 space in the ARIN, RIPE, and APNIC registry regions. Small businesses and large ones alike can benefit from these sellers, and they help boost the credibility of their buyers. Many IP addresses in the IPv4 address space are actually on a reputation blacklist for things like spamming, fraudulent activity, and more. These brokers ensure that all IPv4 blocks and addresses are wiped clean before any IPv4 transactions, so you’ll know that your site can rank in search results.
While IPv6 does exist as an updated version of IPv4, and IPv6 does offer much more address space on paper, IPv6 has a level of complexity that most organizations simply aren’t willing to deal with yet. Because of this, IPv4 is looking to remain the template for quite some time, and IPv4 brokers remain a great way for small businesses to successfully expand their sites.
Hire professional web designers.
Speaking of your website and its traffic and credibility, one of the best ways you can improve your site is by working with web designers. There are plenty of benefits of hiring a professional web designer including that it saves your time on work that may not be in your area of expertise, it assures that your web design will be done with all best practices in mind, and having a well functioning site with a responsive design that’s aesthetically pleasing and optimized for all devices helps you stand out from your competition. There’s one more huge, undeniable advantage as well—SEO.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of ensuring that your website has high visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). Without good engine optimization, it will be difficult for any potential customers to find your business online, so small business owners really can’t afford to go without it. Not only do good digital marketing and SEO help you reach new customers in other areas but they help bring in more of your target audience in your local area as well. With a free Google My Business listing, you can boost your local SEO and become visible in local searches on mobile devices. A reputable website design company can help you rank for relevant keywords and teach you best practices to draw more customers to your site.
Get creative with marketing.
While you’re building your search engine visibility, it’s a great time to take a look at your overall marketing strategy as well. Paying for ads is certainly one way to go about it, but these days, there are all kinds of clever marketing strategies for small businesses. One of the best is to create your own content. This could mean anything from blog posts on sites relevant to your niche to YouTube tutorials or other videos relating to your products and services. Video content is currently one of the most powerful marketing tools, especially when you consider that more than 82% of consumer web traffic is predicted to be video by 2022.
You could always host original content on your own site, but it will have a much higher chance of being seen and shared if you post it on social media. Popular social media channels are great opportunities for business owners to do their marketing, essentially for free, and to get their audience in on it through likes, shares, and comments. Whether you film videos, host a podcast or get into copywriting, hosting your content on digital channels is an excellent way for anyone to market their business.
Equip your staff with the best tools.
It’s often said that no business has a resource more important than its customers, and this is true. Still, no work gets done without great and well-equipped staff. You need your team to be constantly working toward your overall business goals, tracking progress for efficiency, and ensuring that all departments stay aligned. This is where a Microsoft Management Team solution comes in.
OKR software (objectives and key results) helps businesses to clearly establish their overall goals (objectives) to the team and track progress (key results) toward those objectives. If an objective was to boost your online presence by 20% before the next quarter, for example, you’d use this software to communicate that idea and to track your web traffic and web design progress to see how realistic the goal actually is. You may find that it’s perfectly attainable, or you may discover that you need to make adjustments.
Either way, OKRs is a great approach that has been used by a variety of wildly successful businesses, including Microsoft and Google, and staying on track with this framework will help all other aspects of your growth strategy fall into place.