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As difficult as growing a small business can be, the rules you need to follow while deciding where to start are actually quite simple. It all comes down to devoting more attention to a few areas of your business that have proven to have the biggest impact on revenue or customer activity. This is evidenced by the plethora of successful business owners who have confessed that their success is attributed to knowing how to do a very small number of things very well. The hard part is not figuring out which areas to concentrate on but how to improve them, as there are millions of different ways to do so.

Here are three things your business needs to do very well in order to grow:

1. The Right Media For Your Audience

It doesn’t matter how little you know about technology or which industry you are in or what kind of audience you are catering to. There are so many media tools available for your disposal that at least one of them will appeal to your target market. Every small business wants to use media for marketing but not all of them want to do the research required for figuring out which tool they should focus on. This isn’t a surprise because their options include a blog, YouTube shows, podcasts, advertising in print media, Facebook ads, flyers, webinars, or pay per click ads.

These tools can be categorized as “media” because every one of them can act as a “medium” for telling your story or sending a message. It’s common for business owners to think of how successful they would be if more people knew their story, and they are right. You can’t grow if you aren’t expanding your reach and communicating with your target audience in the most effective way for their unique needs.

Thinking about media usually draws business owners to one of two conclusions. They either know what to do and don’t have the time to do it, or they have no idea what to do and therefore require the help of those who do. Both conclusions, however, probably require more funding than their current revenue stream will allow. But this is an investment they cannot afford to pass up because it could literally be the one thing that is stopping them from achieving their goals. The solution for dilemmas of this nature is alternative business financing, or a small business loan from a company that can get you your money very quickly and let you pay the majority of it back as cash flow recovers and improves after carrying out your investment.

In this case, your investment could be hiring a full-time social engagement specialist, outsourcing a private digital marketing team, or simply buying yourself enough time to concentrate on marketing without worrying about what this will do to productivity or cash flow. Alternative business financing companies offer unsecured business loans tailored for the expenses and payment systems associated with each option, like working capital loans, credit card processing loans, and business lines of credit.

2. Now That You Have Their Attention…

Media is technically not a direct source of revenue but its purpose is to create the opportunity to deliver a sales presentation. Some businesses deliver sales presentations in brick-and-mortar stores while others do it through email or on the phone. But all the work you put in to crafting the perfect sales presentation will be useless if it is not delivered correctly, meaning it is not delivered in the right environment, at the right time, or by the right people. The third situation is often the most common because effective sales people are a rare find indeed. Small businesses with teams of great salespeople have likely spent ample time searching for good candidates and/or training them to properly communicate to their target audience.

If you – like many of your peers – are so busy that you do not have time for either task, you might want to consider using a small business loan to buy you that time. Productivity might take a hit while you or your fellow higher-ups are occupied with the recruitment process but certain unsecured business loans from alternative business financing companies do not feature the fixed, monthly payments of traditional bank loans. Some products will let you repay based on your sales volume so your cash flow suffers the least possible impact.

3. Follow Up Or Be Forgotten

As effective as your sales presentation may be, most people who listen to it probably will not buy from you unless you follow-up. You could send emails, make phone-calls, communicate on social media, or use re-target marketing. Research has shown that people are more likely to become loyal customers when they feel valued, or that their business actually matters to whomever is marketing to them. Following up is also crucial for what is known as a “customer experience,” which is basically all the things you do for your customers outside from selling them your products or services. Sometimes, a customer experience is so well done that the customer remembers the follow-up email or promotional offer more fondly than whatever has just been purchased.

The importance of following up should be kept in mind while you are deciding who should handle your marketing needs. In addition to creating relevant content, a good social engagement specialist or digital marketing team knows how to build loyalty and will therefore put effort into attracting new customers as well as keeping current customers.

These Are Your New Priorities

Small business owners who have never truly prioritized any item from this list will be understandably hesitant to seek extra funding. But thanks to alternative business financing, applying for and paying off small business loans has never been easier. There’s no tedious paperwork or back-and-forth communication involved, and depending on the business lender, you may be able to customize your terms based on your financial health and how long it will take for your investment to increase sales. Once you have done the research to establish which investment makes the most sense for you, the hardest part of the application is complete. It is then up to you to acquire the tools to grow your business, and if you weren’t an expert at that, your business wouldn’t be alive today.

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