The back of a business leader motivating a team of happy employees.
These small business growth strategies, as told by entrepreneurs, can serve as a guide for both new and seasoned business owners as we head into 2023. — Getty Images/fizkes

More people than ever are expected to take a chance on entrepreneurship in 2023, according to Intuit Quickbooks data. Despite the struggles that may lie ahead due to shifting political and economic climates, many entrepreneurs are emerging with new, innovative ideas that are shaping the way businesses operate.

To lead your business in the right direction in the new year, entrepreneurs recommend these 10 small business growth strategies.

Expand your email list of subscribers

To establish an engaged audience around your brand in an affordable way, Leo Ye, Co-founder and CEO of CUBO, recommends growing your email subscriber base. In doing so, your business can run campaigns and send personalized communications — including anniversary, birthday, and promotional emails.

“Growing your email subscriber base … lessens your dependency on traditional marketing channels, lowers your advertising expenses, and enables you to develop next-level client loyalty through individualized interactions with your prospects and customers,” said Ye.

Concentrate on client retention

According to Kelley Van Boxmeer, Co-founder and CEO of Motion Invest, retaining existing consumers is simpler than finding new ones. It also expedites growth because clients already trust your brand.

“If you have an integrated CRM and marketing automation system, that enables you to provide a memorable and beneficial customer experience to your target audience,” Van Boxmeer said. “You have a greater chance of retaining their business

Build a strong referral network

Brett Prentiss, Co-founder of Instinct Marketing, recommends establishing a referral network to incentivize employees and existing customers to market your business on your behalf.

“You can…[build a network] by working with the biggest supporters of your company by providing discounts for bringing you clients,” Prentiss said. “Monetize the strong connections you have to build a bigger small business for 2023!”

[Read more: How Big Brands Are Leveraging Microinfluencers to Spur Growth]

Adapt marketing strategies based on ROI

When you’re on a tight budget, Jay Soni, Managing Director of Yorkshire Fabric Shop, says the best thing to do is analyze the success of your marketing initiatives and adjust accordingly.

“You may assess the ROI when you've established your budget,” Soni said. “The benefit of being small is that you can be flexible and change your techniques from ones that don't work to ones that do.”

Due to businesses' widespread adoption of remote and hybrid working environments, you need a solid platform to organize communications among employees and foster teamwork.

Martha Carlin, Founder and CEO, The BioCollective

Automate time-consuming processes

Automation is an effective way for businesses to streamline repeatable processes and give employees time to focus on the bigger picture, said Kevin Holmes, Founder of Hairbro.

“Wherever time-consuming business processes are consuming a lot of your or your workers' time, automation should be considered,” Holmes said. “Automation can increase data entry and reconciliation accuracy while freeing up your employees to work on more crucial tasks like expanding the business and creating new markets.”

Introduce new offerings

Keeping your existing customers engaged with special promotions and new offerings is critical to small business growth, said Chelsea Clarke, Founder of HerPaperRoute.

“When someone feels truly supported by one of your offerings, they’re likely to invest in another one,” Clarke told CO—. “Whether you sell digital or physical products (or both), focus on creating an email list to help keep customers engaged, share new products, and let them know about any sales you have going on.”

[Read more: How to Bid on a Federal Government Contract]

Make use of AI and machine learning tools

Martha Carlin, Founder and CEO of The BioCollective, advised small businesses to invest in appropriate technology solutions to eliminate outdated procedures and automate repetitive operations.

“Due to businesses' widespread adoption of remote and hybrid working environments, you need a solid platform to organize communications among employees and foster teamwork,” said Carlin, who recommends project management software like Trello and Airtable for planning, scheduling, and other operational tasks.

Compete on a local level to acquire customers for less

Justin Silverman, Founder and CEO of Merchynt, recommends using free tools like a Google Business profile can help small businesses compete with larger companies with bigger marketing and advertising budgets.

“Ninety percent of people search online for a business near them, and if you put some effort into your local business profiles, you're going to start showing up in more search results and getting new customers,” Silverman said.

Establish credibility with video content

Video content helps build brand awareness and generates a positive return on investment for its marketing efforts, according to Edward Mellett, Director at WikiJob.

“Video is your hidden weapon for establishing brand authority and enhancing SEO,” Mellet said. “Creating comprehensive and actionable videos that answer your audience's most pressing problems can assist you in establishing your authority.”

[Read more: What Is Video Marketing?]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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