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Successful business owners know that growing a small business (SMB) requires innovation, maximum efficiency, and a few small business growth hacks.

To get past the initial hurdles of small business growth, you’ve got to hustle, be creative, and try new tactics. You must be fearless, take risks, fall down, get back up, try again, and learn a lesson each step of the way.  

Plus, you must constantly look for ways to streamline how you work, because the clock is ticking and every second counts. That’s why we pulled together the seven best small business growth hacks for 2021—to give you a head start and prepare you to maintain a competitive edge. 

1. Leverage technology and automate processes 

Small businesses are often bootstrapped and must maintain maximum efficiency on a tight budget. Automation software tools help SMBs to not only survive, but to grow and thrive. Solutions like customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation software are a must. 

With the right software, they can automate tons of time-consuming manual processes. This saves time to focus more attention on the customer experience and driving revenue growth. 

Now, you can get integrated systems—such as Insightly–that that include both. It’s difficult for a small business to compete in today’s highly competitive business landscape without at least a CRM and marketing solution in place.

2. Recognize the importance of the customer experience 

The customer experience is now the leading driver of consumer purchase decisions—ahead of price and product. What’s that mean? The average consumer is willing to pay more for a product or service if they receive a great customer experience. 

What do you do? You focus on your customers’ needs before your own. Pull out all the stops and deliver a superior customer experience. 

Imagine being in your customers’ shoes. Now, ask yourself: how would I like to be treated? Then focus on making the customer the highest priority and try to treat your customers the same way you’d want to be treated.

3. Hire the best of the best

I know, you’re bootstrapped, but you do have some budget. Consider investing a good chunk of it in the most highly-skilled people you can find. The investment and extra money spent will generate exponentially higher growth rates. Consider it an investment in your business’s future. 

Hiring the best of the best will ensure your team produces great results and grows your revenue faster. And guess what, the best employees tend to deliver the best customer experience.  

So, don’t skimp and try to save by hiring people without the appropriate experience just because it saves you money. Employee turnover and customer churn will cost you more money in the long run.

4. Prioritize customer satisfaction

Happy customers become loyal customers. They spend more and stick around longer, providing recurring revenue. Reliable recurring revenue is a great thing for a small business to have because it stabilizes finances and eliminates uncertainties. 

Moreover, satisfied customers can be your brand’s biggest advocates—recommending your brand to friends and family. It’s called word-of-mouth advertising, and it’s the best type of advertising there is. Plus, it’s free. If you focus on delivering a superior customer experience as we mentioned above, you see customer satisfaction levels start to rise,

5. Create a motivating, a positive work culture

Satisfied employees are as important as satisfied customers. They work harder, treat customers better, and have higher morale, and stick around longer. Employee turnover can slice holes through your bottom line. So, try to hire the best and keep them happy and everything else will follow naturally.

6. Get to know your customers

With that CRM system we mentioned above, you can house tons of data about your customers. That data translates into insight. Insight into customers’ challenges, needs, pain points, goals, interests, etc. Use it to get to know them.

Treat customers like partners, not cash machines. Once you know what they need and who they are as individuals, forming closer relationships is easier than ever. And closer relationships lead to higher customer retention rates, satisfied customers, and more repeat revenue!

Getting to know who they are and what they need will help you convey that to them, which will increase customer satisfaction and help you grow.

7. Train new customers

When you train customers on how to use your product, they are much more successful using it and thus more satisfied with the product and your brand. 

The length and complexity of that training depend on the complexity of your product. Regardless, if someone buys your product but can’t use it properly, they’ll think it’s a piece of junk and toss it before someone can tell them there was a simple fix. 

If your customers can’t effectively use your product they’ll be dissatisfied. If they are dissatisfied it’s only logical that they’d leave you for a competitor. 

The final word on small business growth hacks

Growing a small business is no walk in the park. Starting one and making a profit is hard enough. But it can also be easy if you know the right growth hacks.

In the end, it all boils down to delivering a great customer experience, and everything else will fall into place like a line of dominos.

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