This is part 2 of a 3 part blog post. If you have not read part 1 it is here.

1/ Make sure you are charging enough

If your business is going ok and you have got existing customers, but you’re still finding cash-flow is tight, I suggest double-checking that you are charging enough. Sometimes increasing your rates a little is all it takes to help start gaining more growth. For example:

  • It makes it a little easier to pay the bills, pay wages, etc.
  • You’ll be able to put aside some (or slightly more) profit. You can then use a portion of your business profits as ‘capital’ to help with growing your business further. This can help you avoid getting a business loan, finding investors, using your own personal savings to grow, etc.
  • You have less stress and/or anxiety.

You might be thinking though, “My customers will go elsewhere if I charge more.” If that is the case ask yourself:

  • Do you care more about serving your existing customers, or having a financially successful business?
  • How will you be able to serve your customers if you can’t afford to keep the doors open (as in, can’t afford to keep your business going)?

You may be surprised how many of your existing customers will happily pay more than they currently are.

You can also ask yourself if some existing customers were to leave, would this be the end of the world? Won’t this then give you more time (and more incentive) to find more new customers who are happy to pay your fees?

I personally believe in not being the cheapest, but also not being the most expensive. Value for money, doing excellent work and getting great results (and gains/ growth) for our clients is our focus! Saving our clients money short-term and long-term is also a BIG part of what we do and something we focus on ALWAYS doing!

Many people and businesses will buy things based on ‘actual value’ vs price. Many know the old saying, “Poor man pays twice“, so they will shop around and find the business that provides ‘best value’ vs who is simply the cheapest. Many WON’T even buy the cheapest option, because ‘cheap’ can mean inferior, “you get what you pay for”, low quality, inexperience, etc.

A related tip: You can have different rates/ fees/ charges for different markets that you serve. There are no restrictions. You can even have entirely different businesses that target different markets but offer similar, if not the same services and/or products that your current business does.

Did you know:

It’s not just bigger businesses and large companies that do this. Many medium-sized businesses and even some small businesses do this. They often don’t publicise it, so you may never know.

I believe if the economy in Australia (and elsewhere) continues to make our lives harder (as in: ‘cost of living’), more and more businesses will start operating more than 1 business; some will sell the same (or similar products and/or services) under different business names, while others will diversify into owning more than one business in more than one industry.

Side note: It should go without saying that having a business budget and sticking to it is also important if you want growth. This then will help ensure you’re building profits/ capital. Some of this capital can then be used to aid with further business growth.


2/ Start a Marketing Plan

If you have an existing marketing plan that is great. I suggest reviewing it every few months and update it. Plus check that you and your team are actually following what it says to do.

However, if you don’t have a Marketing Plan it is a MUST if you want significant growth! It is the first step towards a ‘growth roadmap’.

First write down your business goals for the next 12 months, 2/3 years, 5 years, 10 years, etc. Then write a Marketing Plan with ideas that you feel will help you achieve your goals within those timeframes. The next step is to write a Growth Plan for the next 6 months that outlines all the activities you are going to do during that timeframe. Once that 6-month period has finished, write another one for the next 6 months. Keep doing this every 6 months. Monitor your progress and results as you go to identify which activities yield the best results. Over time you’ll know which marketing activities work best for your business. You may want to work with a digital marketing expert to write these plans and to help you implement them effectively.

Your Marketing Plan should include information about:

  • Your customers: Know who they are. Identify who your ideal customers are. The more specific you can be about who you are trying to market to, the more effective your efforts and results will be.
  • Your competitors: Research them! Who are your competitors in the market? What are they doing to reach out to and connect with existing and potential new customers? The more you know about your competition, the better equipped you are to compete against them and position yourself as a preferable alternative. ALSO, if you see they are doing some form of marketing (or advertising activity) that is working well for them, it might inspire you to do something similar (or different). Either way, if you can compete effectively, you can gain the competitive edge. BUT on the other hand, if you bury your head in the sand and don’t know (or monitor regularly) what your competition is doing at any given time of year, you may get left behind and miss out on a LOT of sales. PLUS If you let your competitors outplay you for too long, this can even END YOUR BUSINESS entirely!
  • Your marketing strategies, tactics and goals: Be specific when you write these down. Do research, speak with business and marketing experts, read books, do online courses. Find out what strategies and tactics will be effective. Gaining this information takes time, effort and $”s. If you are a local business serving a local community, I recommend investing in Local SEO as part of your marketing strategies. It is worth reading this short blog post titled: How to Increase the Number of Local Visitors to Your Website Every Month.
  • Embrace Digital Marketing and Digital Advertising! You don’t necessarily need to 5, 10 or 15 years of studies to learn the ins and outs of digital marketing, but learning the basics is a good idea. One of many good places to start learning is on HubSpot — they offer many free short courses. Also find an EXPERT digital marketing team who have done 5+ years of learning (and also have real-world experience) to do the digital marketing and digital advertising for you. You’ll gain business growth results FAST if they know what they are doing! If they don’t, find another team and give them a go. Trial digital marketing teams (Agencies) until you find the one who gets you great results, within the timeframes you want! There are also other options (see below).

If on the other hand, you decide you want to try and do digital marketing yourself, be aware that it can chew up a lot of time, especially if you are running your business at the same time. Ask yourself:

  • Do I have the time to do it well?
  • Do I enjoy it?
  • Am I good at marketing?
  • Do I have the skills to do digital marketing and digital advertising effectively?

If all your answers are ‘yes’, then doing your marketing and digital marketing yourself (at least for a while) may work.
If not, you have options:

  1. Option 1: Hiring a Digital Marketer (as an employee) and/or hire more than 1 digital marketer and build an ‘in-house digital marketing team’. Bear in mind though:  good digital marketers don’t come cheap, plus they may expect you to pay for their ongoing training, so their skills remain relevant in this very fast-paced industry.
  2. Option 2: As mentioned above, a good alternative option is to hire a Digital Marketing Agency. This is often a much more cost-effective approach and can yield great results! Excellent digital marketing agencies will also help you learn how it works (without going into too much detail unless you want ‘detail’). The more you learn, the more empowered and informed you will become.
  3. Option 3: You could hire a sub-contractor. Be careful though, some freelance digital marketers don’t have the skills or experience to deliver REAL results. Plus if they are a ‘one-man-band’ and they get sick, or take holidays you might find your business suffers. Some may also simply disappear and decide to go on a travel holiday overseas. I’ve heard of this happening, (especially if the person is young (in their 20’s) ).

Side note: As an example, here is information about a digital marketing and digital advertising campaign we did for a client a few years ago — click here to read about it.

If you want to try and do digital marketing yourself and you don’t have up-to-date skills in this area, bear in mind that it takes years to learn how to be an effective digital marketer.

There is much more that goes into an effective Marketing Plan and an effective Growth Plan, but those mentioned above are some of the basic components.

Your Marketing Plan and your Growth Plan should be reviewed regularly. Note too that they can and should be tweaked, modified and improved along the way, especially as you learn what works well and what doesn’t, as well as whenever there appears to be a change to the economy… or ANY threats to your business.

3/ Expand your digital presence and strategy

A digital presence relates to anything and everything you can do online. It is part of ‘digital marketing’. Firstly you need to identify where your ideal customers spend their time online. Are they on Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, Instagram, X, Netflix, YouTube, Twitch and/or somewhere else… and/or using a combination of more than one?

Then learn how to effectively engage with people on these channels.

A lot of business is given to those who have a great digital presence and an effective quality website. On the other hand, those that don’t, lose business to those that do. That is a pretty blunt statement, but it is the reality!

Your digital presence is part of a digital strategy. Its focus is about connecting with and incentivising potential customers to do business with you. It is also about helping foster new relationships and strengthening existing ones. It also dovetails in with having a very effective selling strategy.

Over 250,000 searches are done on Google each day in Australia [this data came from here]. Having an EXCELLENT website that really represents your business well, that is easily findable on Google is also a very, very, very good idea. It is a MASSIVE opportunity for your business.

Imagine your business being discovered by potential customers 24/7, 365 days of the year… including while you sleep at night! That is what a great website combined with ‘website traffic-driving strategies’, including Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can do!

As touched on previously in this blog post, pretty much every adult in Australia carries a computer with them each day (aka: a smart-phone) that connects them with the world and others instantly (via the internet). Some businesses though haven’t taken advantage of this. Make sure your website is very easy to use, informative and attractive when viewed on a mobile phone. Same too when viewed on a tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

Your website should be viewed as the central ‘home base’ of your digital strategy. All your social media channels should be linked from it and each should link back to it. You want as many potential customers to find and visit your website as often as possible. The more they are exposed to your website, your eNewsletters, your social media posts, your social media ads (if you choose to use them), your blog posts, etc, the greater the chance they will become your customers.

If however your existing website is poor or average, it reflects badly on your business. I refer to these types of websites as ‘dead fish’. They are ‘fishy’; they ‘smell bad’, and they repel potential customers vs attracting them! If you don’t know if you have a good website or not, contact us and we’ll audit your website and let you know.

Important note: It is not hard to get a GREAT new website to replace a terrible one!

Same too regarding your social media: If your social media channels look bad, and/or if your social media posts are failing to engage, it is easy to fix this when working with us!

This is part 2 of a 3-part blog article series. Part 3 is here.


Jay Daniells

About the Author: Jay Daniells

Jay Daniells has been doing advanced Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) work for clients since 2010. He is an SEO specialist. He first started doing SEO work in 2005. He has also been creating websites full-time since 2003. Amongst things Jay is also a graphic designer, digital marketing consultant and creative person. His focus is helping businesses, community groups, clubs, charities, organisations and other entities achieve their goals. He is the owner of Green Valley Digital.