We are in the golden age of golden ages and it is only going to get better from here on out. The reason we say this is because in 2015 and up to today, there are more than five million businesses in the United States. Of those five million, four per cent of them is owned by millennials (people from the age of 18 to 29) which equates to about two hundred thousand businesses owned by what the world sees as “very young people.” These very young people, however, are better equipped and have the knowledge to grow businesses exponentially because technology is easy for them and thus can use it to their advantage, a huge advantage. Though they have this advantage, they also have the disadvantage that more experienced business owners hold. For this reason, in this article, we will discuss seven different methods and ideas the millennial business owner group can use to catch up.
In order for a business to grow, there obviously has to be a product or service to be sold, and people who have the money to purchase so the business can provide a solution in exchange for that money with the product or service. Below, we have listed seven things millennials, and current business owners can implement to grow their businesses. These are not in order of importance and will be implemented differently, or not at all depending on the business that you run, our own.
1) Social Media:
With the rise of the smartphone, came to the rise of apps, which allowed the rise and domination of social media. Social media apps are downloaded millions of times for different reasons, such as to connect with friends, learn from specific websites, or simply for entertainment. Other people use social media to purchase items due to the “angel effect” or the “social proof” effect of video and enhanced photography. If your business is not on social media you need to make a Facebook Page, Instagram account, twitter account, LinkedIn Page, and YouTube or Google+. This will make it easier for customers to have a personal relationship, which can be guided to your website or store.
2) Customer Relations Management:
When you start out, you may not have any customers and so you will keep track of everything in spreadsheets. As you begin to grow, however, you will have to invest in a customer relations management software to help you keep track of people, their contact information, where they are on your pipeline, and to connect it with the next growth technique, automated marketing.
3) Automated Marketing:
One of the major obstacles for business owners is the time it takes to create marketing material and partake in marketing tasks. However, there are systems which can do this for you automatically such as Buffer, in which you can schedule your social media posts for weeks in advance. You can also automate your emails with systems like MailChimp, and even automate reminders, meetings, phone calls and other tasks inside of your Customer Relations Management (CRM).
4) Referral Programs & Incentives:
In order to grow your business, you will have to either hire people to take on the workload or get very creative with your marketing. One of those creative ways is having a referral system or incentive program in place. When people see this, they will refer customers to you because there’s something in it for them, such as a 10 or 15% commission per referral that purchases your product(s) or service(s).
5) Aged Corporations and Lines of Credit:
Another one of the major obstacles business owners face is not having enough money to start the business, and/or spend on marketing and other business necessities. An “aged corporation” or “shelved corporation” is a legal entity that was created a few years in the past and has not been used, but has been “shelved” for future use. You can purchase one of these companies which will allow you to be preferred by lenders. This would be similar to being placed as a certified user on someone’s credit card who has had more years of credit experience than you and has a much better credit score which would, in turn, increase your own credit score. You can also consider taking help of corporate financing services and think of using selective invoice financing from trusted providers. Such options can become your last minute saviours when in need.
6) Business Plans and Investors:
People often think that they can just start a business and they will become millionaires. It doesn’t happen that way. There’s a famous quote that says, “If I had 8 hours to chop down an oak tree, I would spend the first 7 sharpening my axe.” If you’re planning to launch your business in a year from now, you should spend the first ten months learning as much as possible about your industry, creating and testing your products or services, and building a business plan. The business plan can also be a very powerful tool to present to investors to solve the money issue and get you started.
There’s been a rise in accelerators, especially in Silicon Valley, where corporations are born and die just as quickly. An accelerator can not only help you accelerate the speed at which you grow, but it can show you what other entrepreneurs are doing, and you may even meet partners or angel investors for your business.
In conclusion, in this article, we discussed and detailed seven things you can use in your business in order to promote the growth and give you confidence. If you are a millennial with a business, know that you make up four per cent of the total amount of business owners in the United States. Not all businesses require the steps that we listed, but if you implement most of them, you will have a better chance of growing and maybe selling your business for a great profit in the future years.