When we think about the small businesses we love and look up to, we often wonder, “How did they do it?”
Over the years, we’ve come to discover — there are so many unique reasons for admiring fellow small business owners and small businesses. For example, personally, we admire Shay, the founder Social Squares, because she works within her small business just 2 days per week. She’s designed her business around her life, rather than designing her life around her business — and that’s something we admire so much.
Maybe you look up to fellow small business owners who seem to have a brand, web design, and social media feed truly reflective of their personality, fellow business owners who offer both services and products, or fellow business owners who fearlessly pursue and create new facets of their businesses.
Wherever you are in your small business journey — new business owner or experienced business owner — we wholeheartedly believe: we can always learn from one another. By picking up pieces of inspiration and strategy along the way, each of us can build the small business we’ve always wanted. We believe what’s most essential is for your small business to be created with your unique definition of success in mind.
Today, we’re going to share exactly how we scaled our small business — specifically, how we’ve been able to expand our reach, serve more clients, diversify our offerings, and multiply our revenue. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started!
Exactly How We Scaled Our Small Business
When you’re a small business owner, it’s natural to become consumed by the day-to-day operations within your small business. These days, it’s especially natural to operate from a place of survival — simply keeping your business moving forward.
In spite of our everyday challenges, we believe that, in order for the day-to-day operations within our businesses to truly matter, it’s essential to know what direction we’re heading in, what our short-term and long-term goals are, and what our definition of a successful small business is. Put simply, what target are we aiming for?
Today, we want to share the journey of how we scaled our small business: how we’ve been able to expand our reach, serve more clients, diversify our offerings, and multiply our revenue. As we always say, every small business is unique, so always feel free to mold and shape what we share with you, with your own personal values and goals. Let’s dig in.
First up: How we’ve been able to expand our reach. When I say “reach” maybe social media reach comes to mind. But social media is just one part of the reach your small business can have.
For us, expanding our reach began with building a strong foundation for our business. We established a clear brand and web design, ensured all of our social media channels were a visual and written reflection of our brand, and created fresh blog and social media content on a daily basis.
When our business first launched in 2014, we published and shared blog posts daily to help establish our expertise as brand and web designers, to serve our audience through helpful and educational content, and to build our Search Engine Optimization. (In Episode 003, we share why your blog is more important than you think and share some tips for creating fresh blog content!)
We wholeheartedly believe and have seen through our analytics, the strong foundation we created through our brand, web design, and social media channels — coupled with regular content creation on our blog and on social media — helped us to expand our reach.
Since the start of our small business journey, we have remained committed to serving our prospective clients through clear, helpful content — and creating a clear message about how our services and products can help small business owners succeed. Put simply, we believe consistency — consistency in our message and consistency in content creation — has been a major key to how we expanded our reach.
So, what action steps do we recommend for you?
First, tune into Episode 013 to discover if it’s time to hire a web designer to serve your business. Episode 025 shares actionable ways to elevate your website, and Episode 032 shares 10 things your website should be doing on behalf of your business. Your online presence is the foundation from which your business can expand and grow, so having a purposeful online presence can make all the difference.
Then, create a content calendar you can commit to. How can you use your social media channels and blog to serve and uplift your prospective clients and to consistently share your message?
Lastly, embrace seasons of simply running your business and working the kinks out. There is a certain sort of rhythm or pattern in your content creation that is needed to build a strong foundation through your business and expand your reach in a meaningful and lasting way.
Next up: How we’ve been able to serve more clients. For us, serving more clients means being able to form meaningful connections with prospective clients.
To begin, we keep our Portfolio as up-to-date as we can, so prospective clients can become familiar with the brands and web designs we’re able to create for them. For us, showcasing the diversity of our designs — various styles and various business types — matters to us, so our prospective clients know we can embrace any style and serve any type of small business. Maybe there’s something different you value about your own past work: maybe you want your prospective clients to sense the detail of each design, the boldness of each design, or the specific style you have expertise in. Whatever you value, share it with your prospective clients so they know they’re in the right place.
We also ensure every blog post and every social media post is written to and for our prospective clients. We want our prospective clients to know our business is rooted in their small business success. So, every photo or graphic we curate, every caption we compose, and every blog post we publish is created with our prospective clients — fellow small business owners — in mind. We believe every decision you make on behalf of your business should be with your prospective clients’ needs and success in mind.
And, lastly, just as we had mentioned earlier, we’ve embraced the seasons of simply running our business — the seasons of polishing our process again and again, to create a really seamless, client-focused experience. Your client experience and your process are truly at the heart of your small business. The process you bring your clients through can make all the difference. By solidifying processes and journeying through a tried-and-true client experience you believe in and know will serve your clients well, you can then begin serving more clients than before.
So, what else do we recommend?
First, tune into Episode 008 where we ask the question “Are you offering too many services?” Similarly, Episode 015 shares 3 signs you need more clarity in your business. Both episodes will help you to discover ways to refine and polish your business and your processes, so you can expand and serve more clients than before in a structured and seamless way.
Here’s how we’ve been able to diversify our offerings. Chances are, the business you have today isn’t the business you’ve always had. Maybe the products or services you offer have changed, maybe you’ve pursued a new niche entirely. In the same way, the business you will have 5 years from now will likely be different from the business you have today. As small business owners, we can’t always start with the offerings we hope to eventually have.
As an example, in 2014, With Grace and Gold offered only custom brand and web design for small business owners. For 3 years, our Custom Design Experiences were our sole focus. We wanted to create a strong foundation for our process and client experience, we wanted to develop and grow as designers, and we wanted to create a solid, seamless business.
Then, in 2017, we felt comfortable enough with the foundation we had created to go ahead and add a new layer to our business through our Showit template collection, a collection of pre-designed, customizable website templates.
In Episode 011: Your Passive Income Action Plan, we share more about all of our considerations — the considerations we believe are so helpful and essential to make — prior to adding a new layer to our business. From building a strong foundation, to knowing what your Ideal Client or target customer is in need of, to creating your new products or services with purpose and strategy, we believe there are important questions to ask and decisions to make prior to diversifying.
Put simply, we were able to diversify our offerings by first creating a strong foundation for our business, embracing seasons (years) of simply running our business as-is, and learning about what our prospective clients and customers truly valued and needed. All of these foundational questions and decisions helped us to diversify with purpose and strategy.
Lastly, how we’ve been able to multiply our revenue. We wholeheartedly believe multiplying your small business revenue is the result of each key area of your small business working together. For us, building a purposeful, service-oriented small business has always been at the heart of With Grace and Gold.
If we go back to the start of today’s episode, we talked about creating our brand and web design to serve our prospective clients, using our blog and social media channels to speak to our prospective clients, and creating a client-focused process to ensure our client experience truly helps our clients to succeed and grow their small businesses.
The common thread here is: every detail of With Grace and Gold is designed for our prospective clients. With each decision we make, we try to answer questions like, “How will this help our prospective clients?” Or “How will this make our clients lives and businesses easier or better?”
It may sound cliche, but we wholeheartedly believe that when serving others — serving your prospective clients — is at the heart of your small business, every detail has a way of clicking into place. Decision-making becomes easier to do, and adding layers to your business becomes more purposeful — because everything you do is rooted in your desire to serve and uplift your prospective clients and clients.
So, at With Grace and Gold, we believe the foundational decisions we’ve made have made all the difference. Consistently sharing our work and our message — and doing so with our prospective clients in mind — has made all the difference. Creating a process rooted in serving our clients well has made all the difference.
What could this look like for you? How can you hone in on the products and services best aligned with your clients’ needs? How can you simplify and streamline your business so you become the go-to business in your field? How can you embrace seasons of simply running your business, working the kinks out, and creating a really seamless experience you know serves your clients really well?
You can raise your prices, because your client experience is proven. You can add new layers to your business, like a shop, courses, or a membership community, because your foundation is solid. You can share your message more confidently, freely, and consistently because of the experience you’ve gained.
When all of these decisions and details work together, not only will you make a real difference for the customers and clients you serve, but truly meaningful growth can also happen.
Today, we shared how we scaled our small business. We hope today’s episode has been a helpful peek behind-the-scenes of With Grace and Gold. As always, there is more than one path to the same destination, so how you expand your reach, serve your clients, and grow your business will likely be a journey all its own! In the end, we hope you’ve come away from this week’s episode some actionable ways to scale your small business with purpose and strategy — and of course, to become steps closer to experiencing your definition of small business success.
Thank you for tuning in!