Growth hacks to scale up your small business

Running a small business can be hugely rewarding but also hugely frustrating. You have the perfect product, website and sales process in front of you, but getting in front of the perfect customer, and then scaling this, is a battle that we have all have to face. Often, SMEs will be time poor and resource limited, with individuals covering a range of different roles, making it hard to scale effectively.

If you build it, consumers may well come, but in their own time and often not a rate that makes your business sustainable. Follow these proven tips though, based on our working with thousands of businesses that have scaled using tactics like these and your business will thrive.

Are you really ready for growth?

The media is full of examples of businesses who have thought they have been ready for growth, only to have seen their processes fall over when they have been hit with an unexpected deluge of sales. Is your website solid? Are the processes you have in place scalable if you went from 10 to 1000 orders in a day?

This is where prior planning is vital and stress testing those plans to make sure they can stand up to the pressure that a large volume of orders can create. Micro-SMEs often have certain advantages over retail giants - whether it be the niche services they sell or the customer relations - so don’t be daunted by their sheer size.

Is your content marketing working hard enough?

The days of going viral for free are virtually over as every social media platform is a pay-to-play environment. That being said, online media fame is only a great idea away and if a story goes big, so will your traffic. Direct sales may not come straight away but the savvy growth hacker will have landing pages on their site packed with relevant content that will, at the very least, swell your newsletter database numbers fast.

This gives you two great wins. The first is that you now have a far bigger list of potential customers to start targeting. The second is that your brand will be front of mind when that site visitor is next in the market to buy the products that you offer.

Your existing customer data may give you a strong media hook that you just didn’t realise? Regional buying variations, case studies of your products solving a unique problem for a customer or maybe even your own business launch story. All these are great ways to attract attention from potential customers.

Incentivise other website owners to send customers to you!

Given I work for an affiliate company, you would expect me to add this tip, but as we have seen time and time again, it works! Affiliate marketing is a process whereby other website owners send potential customers your way and if they go on to make a purchase you pay a commission to the owner of the referring website.

Our dedicated SME solution, Awin Access has helped thousands of businesses around the globe scale up their online stores sales revenue within a super-fast turnaround time

Be agile and ready to pounce on the pivot!

Did you know that Shopify was originally just a snowboarding shop with such a slick in-house built ecommerce platform that they decided to sell the shop template to others?  Groupon began life as a charitable causes hub before becoming the group buying success that it is today.

These businesses pivoted fast to ride the wave of what their customers unexpectedly wanted. Being a small business makes you agile and this gives you the opportunity to tweak and change things far quicker than a large company can. Use this to your advantage and watch as word spreads and you begin to grow far faster than predicted.

Find and reward your cheerleaders

Every business is built on relationships; managing these effectively can be the key to success (or indeed, failure). Identify repeat customers as fast as you can, thank them in person, maybe even send them a little something to say thank you. The affiliate channel in particular, is a champion of these relationships, and something Awin Access focuses on.

Encourage them to shout about you on social media, especially if you notice that they have a large following. A recommendation by someone with a large and engaged social media following can send your business into the stratosphere and you don’t need to have a big “influencer marketing” budget to do this.

Setting up private groups on platforms like Facebook can help you to bring all of your cheerleaders together and becomes a handy resource for testing new product ideas and spreading the work when these new products launch.

The ideas in this list have been inspired by the brands that we help on our platform, Awin, so we are confident that they will help you to hack your way to business success.

Startup Details

Startup Details



Part of the Axel Springer and United Internet Groups, Awin is a global affiliate network. With ShareASale, the Awin group is comprised of 15 offices worldwide, 1,000 employees, 100,000 contributing publishers and 15,500 advertisers, connecting customers with brands in over 180 countries around the globe. Operating across the retail, telecommunications, travel and finance verticals, Awin generated £11.3 billion in revenue for its advertisers and £635 million for its publishers in the last financial year.

  • Headquarters Regions
    London, UK
  • Founded Date
    Mar 1, 2000
  • Founders
    Heiko Rauch, Jens Hewald, Kevin Brown, Thomas Hessler
  • Operating Status
  • Number of Employees