The independent workforce is growing and so too are the ambitions of its members, More than 2.8 million independent workers plan to launch larger businesses that will likely create jobs and engage the services of other independent workers. Whether you are among the 16% planning to grow into an employer business or a seasoned independent ready for what's next, there are many options to grow your solo business.
Growth is a natural next step for independents and is not limited to simply scaling the size of your business. Some of the ways you can grow include:
Once you have made the decision to grow, it's time to decide how to achieve that growth. Below are 5 ways to grow your business.
Becoming a visible expert can boost your brand positioning, increase lead generation and increase your revenue. Publishing, speaking, and teaching/training are just a few ways to establish thought leadership. Your platform can not only be a springboard to more and better opportunities, but can also become a secondary source of revenue for your business.
Hiring help can be a key growth strategy. Small business consulting firm EnMast points out that business owners often fail to make the "time is money" connection, wasting valuable time on activities that detract from making money for the business. Hiring specialized expertise can increase your revenue and profits by freeing you to focus on growing your influence, market share and revenue.
You can do more with less by improving the efficiency of your business operation. Learning to automate can help you grow your business by improving your productivity. From monitoring your server to managing lead generation, smartly employing technology can save you time and resources. Even small improvements, such as using technology to provide customers with a self-scheduling tool, can impact your bottom line.
One way to grow your independent small business is to grow your opportunities. Learn how to become a "Super Connector", or get better at generating leads to reach more and better client opportunities. Expand the reach of your business by promoting it through a variety of channels, such as advertising or social media. Turn your customers into a sales force by asking for referrals. Use customer testimonials as social proof to help drive more business. Develop and implement a monthly marketing calendar that helps keep you on track with promoting your business. With a focused and sustained effort on sales, you will drive more business.
Grow your business by expanding what you do. Cross sell new services to existing customers. Penetrate new markets. Consider natural additions to what you are already offering. Create a product or certification process to teach others to do what you do. This will not only grow your business, but your thought leadership platform. If you are a service provider, package your knowledge into a sellable product such as a book, training course or webinar. You can use your new product to reach new markets or as a lead generator to develop deeper engagements.
As an independent, you have the advantage of being able to decide when and how to grow your business. You can quickly move to fill a gap in the marketplace, or respond to market demand. You can scale up or out or both. The joy of independence is that you have the freedom to do it your way and on your terms.
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