Small Business Growth Strategies: A Beginner’s Guide

Starting a business is easy. Growing one is hard. Learn about the growth basics to make your business more sustainable

Small Business Growth Strategies: A Beginner’s Guide's featured image

Starting your business has never been easier, but growing one has never been more challenging. That's the number 1 motivation for starting this blog. But why do we want to grow our business in the first place?

A friend of mine is a barber and runs a little boutique barber shop in the Netherlands. We were once talking about our friendship and he told me: "Do you know why I appreciate you as a friend?". I said: "No, tell me!". He said: "Everybody is always giving me this advice on how I need to grow my business. They tell me that I need to open a new shop, and another one, and another once; build my empire you know". Then he said: "You never did! And I certainly don't want to!". All my friend wants is to run a sustainable business.

Growth is important and healthy, but not at all costs. This is important for ConvertCalculator. We believe growing too fast is not good for business. So if you are looking for viral growth hacks and experience exponential growth, this blog is not for you. If you want to build a healthy business, then it is!

Setting realistic expectations

This depends on the industry you are in, how big your business is, and the retention and churning of your customers. It's important to set realistic goals. I can tell you from my own experience. 200% month on month growth is not a realistic goal! All it does is drain motivation.

In my opinion, 5% to 20% monthly growth is way more realistic. If you have a big customer base, you should have a goal on the lower and when you are starting out, it should be on the higher end.

The three principles of growth

Basically, growing your business boils down to maximizing the following three things:

  1. Reach
  2. Retention
  3. Revenue

Basically, you want to reach as many potential customers as possible, interact with them as much as possible, and increase the number of dollars they spend on your product or service. We will discuss some strategies for all three.

Growth strategies to maximize your business' reach

When thinking about growth, maximizing reach is by far the most talked about topic. There are a lot of small business growth strategies to reach a bigger audience and these are one of the most important ones:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Search Engine Advertising (SEA)
  • Content Marketing
  • Display advertising
  • Facebook advertising
  • Social media

We plan on writing a specific article on reach where we discuss these topics more in depth.

Optimise interaction and conversion

Getting a lot of traffic on your website is important, but it doesn't do anything if that traffic doesn't convert to new customers. Depending on your business type you want to either do lead generation or directly sell products on your website. Either way, the goal is to reduce friction and increase interaction.

In it's a most simple form, you can create a landing page and capture leads by adding a form or calculator to your landingpage. We will discuss lead generation and lead generation software more in-depth in a specific article.

How to increase revenue per customer?

The job doesn't end once a customer is in the door. What you want to do is increase the revenue per customer. Two ways of doing this are cross-selling and upselling. The difference being that with cross-selling you try to sell related or complementary products. Upselling is selling a comparable higher-end product. Although they look pretty similar, it's very powerful to use them in conjunction.

Let's say you sell cameras. If a customer wants to buy a medium quality camera, and you try to sell a high quality one, that's upselling. If you try to sell batteries, or a camera bag, that's cross-selling.

Increasing revenue per customer is important throughout the complete buying cycle. So be aware of it before, during and after your sale.


So that wraps up the first article on growth for small businesses. I hope you learned a couple of things from it. I'm going to write a lot more about online growth and website interaction this year. So if you have feedback or ideas for future posts, please let me know by sending me an email or tweet.