How do you see your business in terms of its reach? If you are an entrepreneur who thinks of your business as local only, you are probably thinking too small and leaving profit on the table. Think about it – if you own a small business and you've got a website, or use social media, you've got a business with a national or international presence. You may think you're only local, but in fact, you're not. People know about you who live elsewhere, and some of those people could be paying customers.
Very few entrepreneurs have a strictly local business anymore. Here are three ways to expand your thinking and the scope of your business. All can increase your profits.
- Even if you serve local people only, you probably have ways you can add product or service to make a portion of your business create income from non-local customers. For example, if you are a local tutor for junior high students, you can create an e-book with your top 5 tips for helping students do better in school, put it on your website, and create an income stream that you didn't have before. Just because you service locally doesn't mean you can't sell nationally. The big benefit to adding non-local income streams is that when your local economy goes down, you still have this new income to bolster your business.
- Your website gives you the capability to have an international presence. Here's the thing – you pay for hosting and someone to help you with your web design anyway. Why not make it work better for you? Make sure that your website is interactive, which will help keep people on your site and checking back often for new content. This is known as making your website sticky. You can create interactivity in many ways, but the first and most important thing is to give visitors a reason to leave their name and e-mail address on your site, so that you can reach out to them over and over again. You can also make sure your website has fresh content on it at least weekly (a blog can accomplish this), or post a survey on your site that is interactive, or post videos about yourself and your business. The key is to create fresh content at least weekly. You're paying for a website and hosting anyway, so increase your return on that investment.
- The same thing goes for social media. If you are already established with social media accounts on sites like Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter (and there are hundreds of others, as well) you are already spending time online. May as well make that time pay off by helping you to expand your customer base and giving you more visibility and credibility. Create a social media campaign that drives potential customers to your website and give them a reason to be happy they visited. Social media can buy you great publicity and help build your know/like/trust factor. If you are already doing it, you may as well be doing it strategically!
Use these three tips and you'll be able to expand the scope of your small business and create opportunities for serving more customers and increasing your profits. What entrepreneur wouldn't like that?! You can join my upcoming “Big Six” mastermind group, we're going to work on increasing your business reach and 5 other key changes that will positively affect your business. Registration ends soon!