How to Help Your Small Business Achieve Your Growth Goals: An actionable guide

Running a business is fulfilling but tough work: You’re not only keeping a watchful eye on the bottom line, industry trends, and competitors, but you’re also tasked with keeping your employees and customers happy.

To better understand these challenges, PayPal surveyed 500 small- and medium-sized business owners, with 1 – 50 employees, to understand their achievements in the past year and the goals they hope to reach in the future.

In this article, we paired the key insights with relevant tips from PayPal merchants to arm you with actionable next steps — so you can confidently run, grow, and evolve your business this year and beyond.

Create a business continuity plan

Although 72% of U.S. small business owners report feeling positive about the year ahead, some obstacles prevent them from growing their business. These obstacles include fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic (28%) and the rising cost of materials and inflation (32%).1

One business owner who is no stranger to internal and external crises is Cathryn Lavery, who co-founded BestSelf, a journaling company that helps customers unlock more productivity, inspiration, and personal growth.

Since launching BestSelf, Cathryn has experienced some turbulent times. She was forced to buy out her co-founder after they changed their mind about their involvement with the company. She then had to overcome an embezzlement scam from a former employee.

In light of these unexpected disasters, Cathryn has learned a few valuable tips beyond trusting her gut:

  • Choose your business partners and team wisely
  • Set up an emergency fund
  • Build the right structures in place vis-a-vis a business continuity plan (BCP)

By outlining procedures and strategies to help your business continue operations amid an unexpected disruption, a BCP ensures that you minimize any potential impact on your bottom line, reputation, and ability to serve customers.

As a professional lifeline, a BCP is essential for any business – use this template to get started.

Explore new growth tactics

Despite 44% of U.S. small business owners reporting that their business growth slowed last year, they remain driven. Over two-thirds (68%) say they want to grow their business financially in the coming year.1

But scaling can be a challenge. In addition to 49% noting that inflation has led to a decline in customer spending, business owners across the board are often limited by their existing resources — with team members juggling multiple priorities.1 On top of that, there can be a growing pressure to keep up with the evolving needs of their customers.

When Lindsey Martin first founded Kiramoon, a beauty and cosmetic brand, she never expected to generate six-figure online sales in the first year and eventually see her products on Nordstrom’s shelves.

But this growth didn’t come overnight — through trial and error, Lindsey developed a playbook that involved building a mentorship community, collaborating with the right partners, and making time for her health and happiness.

Review Lindsey Martin’s checklist for practical steps you can implement to take your business to the next level.

Balance acquisition with retention

In our survey, 68% of small business owners said one of their top goals is new customer acquisition for the year while 53% want to prioritize customer retention. That said, 29% believe that balancing acquisition and retention is one of the biggest challenges they face.1

An acquisition strategy is vital to keep potential new customers in your sales and marketing pipelines. But how do you attract new leads? Watch our online Business Bootcamp. Then answer these key questions:

In addition to building an acquisition strategy, you may want to consider investing in new opportunities that delight happy shoppers and encourage them to come back for more.

Start by:

  • Offering fantastic customer service
  • Launching a loyalty program
  • Rewarding repeat customers with discounts and freebies
  • Building personalized shopping experiences
  • Removing friction from the shopping process

Forward Printing, a T-shirt business, intergrated technology to help improve customer engagement. Read how a strong focus on high-tech customer service revolutionized their business.

When you have PayPal as a partner, you can rethink what’s possible for your business. From new ways of enhancing customer security to reducing the administrative burden on your team, we’ve got you covered at every step of your business journey.

Learn more about how we can help you grow your business.

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