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Be a Small Business ‘Growth Hacker’

‘Growth hacker’ sounds like a bad person, but in reality it’s a smart business person. Wikipedia includes the following in the definition of Growth Hacking:

…as in many cases Growth Hackers are simply good at using techniques such as search engine optimization, web site analytics, content marketing and A/B testing which are already mainstream.

When you dig into this definition, you can see how you can be a Growth Hacker for any small business. Let’s use a retail furniture store as an example:

1) Search Engine Optimization: For the furniture store this is the equivalent of changing the sign out on the road in front of the store:

Instead of the current signage: ‘Joe Dude and Sons Enterprises Ltd’, you could try and optimize store traffic by testing the following: ‘Canadian Made Furniture’, ‘Mattress Sale’ or ‘Free Delivery’.

Count how many people walk in with each different version of the sign and determine which one works best.

2) Website Analytics: In the non-web world, this is counting your customers that come into your store. It also means counting the phone calls you get each day. If you really want good analytics, ask the customers how they heard about your store. (Note: You may be thinking you already do this. Actually, if you remember, you might; but not everyone remembers.) I am suggesting a system for recording the source of the leads, recording it daily and reviewing the information regularly.

3) Content Marketing: This could be the way you arrange the retail floor – which items do best in which areas? What scripts work best for your sale team? Is there a good picture of a dining room set in your advertising?

4) A/B testing – This is the web world way of doing ‘split run advertising’. It is still possible to A/B test your old fashioned print advertising. Big Box retailer Target can print a flyer special for your house based on the buying habit data they have collected from you and deliver the custom advertisement right to your mailbox. You don’t have to go to that extreme, but how about testing two different advertising pieces by splitting your target market in half and seeing which one works better?

So now you can be a Growth Hacker for your small business!

You don’t need automation to do it. What you need to do is to set up a simple system for counting the retail traffic and methodologically finding out how they arrived.

Then you can design experiment after experiment and test only one thing at a time; change the sign, move things around in the store, try different sales scripts and test which advertising methods work better.

The key is to establish the baseline first and then change only one thing. This way you have the best chance to measure the effects of the change.

You will become a Growth Hacker and it will be a good thing!

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