So, you’ve come up with a stellar product or service, registered your business, and started hiring employees. Now you just have to wait for the money to roll in. Right? Not so much. When it comes to a small business, it takes more than the basics to turn a profit and gain a loyal customer base. You have to constantly put time, effort, and money into your endeavor to truly grow. Not sure where to start? Follow these steps on how to grow small business. 

Step 1: Create a Sales Funnel

Every few seconds, a lonely internet entrepreneur standing in front of a wall of books whispers into his camera, “funnels are the future.” While there is no way to verify this fact, what these self-made, book-guzzling trillionaires are saying is correct—funnels are the future. But we’re not talking about the cake kind (although a funnel cake does sound pretty good right now).

We’re talking about sales funnels. But what is a sales funnel, you ask. 

Simply put, a sales funnel is an automated process that guides your target customer to make specific purchases from your business, usually in the form of buttons on your website. You can use funnels to:

  • Sell a product or service through upsells
  • Generate leads
  • Encourage customer interaction

While sales funnels can exist in-person, the most important ones are implemented digitally.

Step 2: Automate Your Website

While they take some front-end development to achieve, funnels are well worth the investment. In many ways, designing and implementing the right sales funnels is the most important (and often overlooked) way to grow your business.

So, the next step of growing your business is integrating your sales funnels directly into your website, which you can do by:

  • Programming an automated chat feature to greet all visitors to your homepage.
  • Ending all SEO-friendly ads with a compelling link and call to action (CTA).
  • Using software like ClickFunnels to create specific click-through workflows to lead your customers through your site (and towards a purchase).

Step 3: Upgrade Your Team

Once you’ve built out and automated a fool-proof strategy for generating leads and gaining new customers, you’ll need to surround yourself with a team that will take those leads and run with them. You want a team that is capable, skilled, enthusiastic, and, most of all, trustworthy. 

The first test all your employees should pass with flying colors: a background check. 

But what do background checks look for? And are they really worth the investment? 

To answer the latter first, yes. To answer the former: background checks verify a candidate’s identification, criminal history, and credit report. This information is key to understanding the integrity of the people you are hiring and the reliability you can expect from them.

Once you have a team that you know you can trust, you can upgrade to a team that really shines. Here’s how:

  • Nurture employees with potential by assigning them mentors or offering them educational courses.
  • Inspire leadership in your team by organizing retreats and team-building activities. 
  • Hold up high standards of professionalism, reliability, and punctuality by reprimanding or letting go of employees that fall short. 
  • Sponsor projects and ideas proposed by employees to incentivize initiative and enthusiasm.
  • Reward high-quality work and excellent work performance by offering an attractive benefits package. 

Patience Leads to Prosperity

Starting and growing a small business opens the floodgates for doubt and uncertainty (when will you start making a profit? Why isn’t this demographic interested? When will investors take notice?) —and that’s okay. To scale your business, you have to believe in it before anyone else does. 

Be patient, keep going, and you’ll find the right market, the right investors, and the right team to take you to the next level. Good luck (but we’re sure you don’t need it).