If you’re an entrepreneur, then you probably already know small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy. You may not be opening franchises across the country and spending millions on marketing, but small businesses are accounting for 54% of U.S. sales and adding more jobs to the workforce than big corporations.
The resilience and agility of many small businesses prove they can compete with large companies and thrive in the global economy. So, why shouldn’t small companies also leverage some of the same business strategies used by their big competitors?
Today, let’s take a look at three big business strategies that can be utilized by small businesses to grow and expand.
1. Affiliate Marketing Programs
Affiliate marketing can be extremely lucrative when it’s handled properly, which isn’t always the case. Basically, you post ads on partner sites and across social media to get in front of more people and hopefully drive traffic (and leads) to your website. The beauty of affiliate marketing is it doesn’t have to cost anything up front if you use a commission only payment structure.
If you’re new to affiliate marketing, resources like Affcelerator reviews can help you cut through ineffective and outdated information. Having insights from other business owners that have successfully used affiliate programs is invaluable and can save you a lot of time.
Small businesses can also choose to be on the other side of affiliate marketing. Adding affiliate links and ads to your own website can provide another source of residual income. Even a small niche can be profitable with the right affiliate program.
2. Professional VoIP Telephony System
Ramping up sales and revenue while trying to establish a brand is never easy. Once you’ve taken steps to establish your online presence, hopefully, you’ll be managing more calls and email inquiries. That’s definitely a good thing, but if you aren’t prepared it can quickly turn into a headache.
Not long ago a professional phone system was a significant investment for a small business. It involved expensive equipment, installation, maintenance and a monthly service fee. These days hardwired phone systems are becoming a thing of the past. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has proven to be just as effective and much more affordable.
Business-class hosted VoIP phone services are delivered over the internet instead of over phone lines. That means no additional equipment is needed beyond an existing phone to route the calls. Not only are these phone systems more cost-effective, but they also come with a number of value-add features:
- Unified communication (UC) capabilities mean that your phone data can be synced with other customer management systems to get a complete picture of client interactions.
- You can also record conversations for future reference or training purposes.
- With the latest VoIP systems, customer service reps can make notes and keep a call log for each customer so no details get missed.
- Call center features and menu options make your small operation seem like a big corporation to customers.
- Voicemails can be transcribed and sent as emails.
Few business owners realize how important phone calls are for customer retention and revenue generation. They don’t realize that studies have found 86% of people are willing to pay more for a better customer experience, and a VoIP phone system can do just that.
3. Outsourced Tech Support
Running a business online requires a lot of management, but small businesses rarely have the budget for a full-time IT staff. The solution – outsourced tech support.
Outsourcing doesn’t have to mean shipping the job overseas. It simply means bringing the specialized tasks out of house. Some of the tasks you may want to consider for productivity purposes:
- Cloud hosting
- Website updates
- QA testing
- Business apps
Essentially, anything that’s outside of your skillset will need to be hired by a tech specialist. If not you run the risk of delaying the process and possibly spending more money than getting it done right the first time. With the tech tasks being taken care of by someone that knows what they’re doing, you can focus on more important things like finding new business opportunities, improving customer service and building your brand.