Growth hacking for small and minority owned businesses is more important than ever. The modern marketplace is full of twists and turns at nearly every corner, from economic uncertainty to online visibility.r
For many small and minority-owned businesses, knowing what to do and when to do it can be challenging. However, it is vital for small businesses to grow and succeed.
After all, 99.7 percent of all businesses in the U.S. are small businesses, according to The Small Business Advocate.
There are 28.8 million small businesses in America, and 38.1 percent of small businesses are minority owned.
This is great, however, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 50 percent of small businesses don’t make it five years. On average, only 33 percent will make it 10 years or more.
How can you prevent your small business from being a statistic? One thing is for certain, your business needs to grow at a competitive pace to stand a chance. This means taking a proactive approach, from franchising to leveraging new tech, like AI chatbots.
Here are five powerful growth hacking tips to keep your small and minority owned business competitive for years to come.
1. Consider Franchising for Your Small Business
Small and minority owned businesses looking to grow exponentially might find franchising a valuable hack. Franchising may seem like a big task, however, it allows you to stay competitive.
You can also find franchising your small business to be very lucrative. Research by Franchise Direct estimated the gross of franchises to be $889 billion in 2015.
It is important for you to look at the state of your small business objectively first. If your business can be refined a bit more to be even more enticing to franchisees, it is best to begin there.
"But when looking at the question objectively, if franchising is your chosen expansion strategy, starting sooner will often have incremental long-term benefits,” explained Mark Seibert of Entrepreneur.
If you are looking to grow in 2018, franchising could be the best ROI for your investment. As long as you are willing to relinquish a bit of control to franchisees, you can bank on long-term benefits.
2. Go Live with Facebook Live Videos
Getting more social with your small business can have big growth potential. Social media plays a large role in the success of most businesses, and if you leverage these social channels effectively, you are guaranteed to have more success.
"Despite the fact that 92 percent of small businesses agree that social media is important for their business and that the majority use Facebook for their social media marketing, most also report that they don’t know whether their Facebook outreach is working,” said Suzanne Delzio of Social Media Examiner.
It is all about using social media marketing in a way that meets your business goals.
One of the latest growth hacking tips small and minority owned businesses need to implement is to combine influencer marketing with Facebook Live Videos. These short videos posted to an influencers Facebook page can then be amplified via Facebook ads to reach reach consumers in a more enticing and meaningful way.
When you add the power of videos to your social marketing mix, the reach and engagement will increase.
You can begin recording Facebook Live Videos showing off new products, services, or give your local community a look at the day-to-day operations of your small business. Or ask influencers to simply talk about your products and why they love them, or how they help. The most important aspect is that you make that local connection using videos.
3. Use Influencers for Growth
Integrating influencers into Facebook Live Videos is one of the best ways to reach a whole new audience. Finding relevant influencers to your small and minority owned business is optimal. They have a built-in community of followers already interested in products and services like yours.
In fact, 92 percent of people trust recommendations from influencers over marketing from businesses and brands.
Influencers give your small business instant trust and confidence to buy. By launching a Facebook video ad with your influencer promoting your products or services may seem pricey. However, the ROI for influencer marketing has been estimated at $6.50 per every dollar invested.
How do you find the influencers that will launch your small business growth? You can turn to local celebrities and well-known people in your community.
There are also influencer marketing platforms you can employ to find the right fit for your business. FameBit, TapInfluence, and Traackr are three online resources that will get your influencer marketing moving in the right direction.
4. Become Tech Savvy and Implement AI Chatbots
Technology is evolving faster than ever before, and small businesses need to stay up to date. Researching and integrating new tech for your business is an important growth hack for future success.
Branded AI chatbots are one of those technological advances that can take your reach to the next level. Brands and businesses large and small are developing and implementing AI chatbots for a variety of things, from connecting with customers in a more meaningful way, to automating daily processes.
"Bots are ushering in one-to-one marketing at scale,” Vivian Rosenthal of Forbes said. “What this means is that millions of people can talk to your brand without there being a human on the other end.”
Chatbots can automate customer support with the ability to answer queries in a timely and accurate manner. They generate new sales leads and drive those leads down the sales funnel faster. AI chatbots can even upsell and process payments.
Having artificially intelligent bots at the ready can also free you and your team up to take on more important tasks to help your business grow.
For example, a Facebook Messenger branded chatbot can engage with your customers on social, letting you automate your social posts for the month, leaving you more time to dedicate to other pressing issues.
5. Explore Funding Options to Invest in Your Future
Franchising, Facebook video ads, influencer marketing, chatbots, this all sounds expensive right? Funding and investing money into your small or minority owned business is a daunting thought.
Did you know that 75 percent of small business owners use their personal savings and finances for initial funding? According to BlueVine small business research, other funding options include 16 percent from banks, and six percent from family and friends.
It can be challenging to keep momentum in a competitive marketplace. However, it takes money to make money, and finding funding for your small business is a vital growth hacking tip.
Only 24 percent of banks approved loans for small businesses in recent years. Even your smaller community banks have a low approval rate, about 48.9 percent on average.
In spite of lending trends, there are funding options readily available. In fact, financing your marketing efforts for growth and success has an average ROI of 15 percent. This is music to the ears of any small business owner.
There are a variety of ways small and minority owned businesses can prepare for a successful future. The digital era has made nearly every industry and niche competitive, and what you implement to stay ahead of the pack needs to fit your business’ goals, aims, and mission.
Building a better business with sustainable success is all about looking to the future, and investing in your business at the most opportune time. These growth hacking tips will get you moving in the right direction. Are you ready to take your small business to the next level?