As a small business owner, there’s nothing more exciting than growth. Being able to expand your business not only means you more money, but it also validates your long-held belief that your idea was something the world needed.
But there is a downside to small business growth: it can be expensive. The old expression “it takes money to make money” still holds today. As a result, the small businesses that get the chance to really grow usually have a roster of investors behind funding the growth process.
Yet it doesn’t need to be this way. It is possible to scale your business without turning it over to wealthy investors or spending your entire life savings. To prove it, consider these cost-effective ways of growing.
Nowadays, there are a lot of different ways you can market your business. The traditional mediums are still around, but now we also have search engines, blogs, social media, apps, and much more. However, you can spend fortunes going this route, and while you will likely get results, you can also succeed by relying on “word of mouth” marketing.
Word of mouth marketing refers to the tactic of getting people to market for you. Essentially, they tell their friends about you, and this converts new people into customers. And you can do this on your own without having to spend a fortune. Here’s how:
The goal here is to get people to share your content and your brand, so you need to be sure what you’re giving to people is exactly what they want. Carefully consider the different needs of your target audience, and then work to curate content that meets these needs. And when possible, try to present your content in the most visual way possible, such as in an infographic, as these tend to be highly shareable.
Influencer marketing is the new not-so-secret weapon of marketers around the world. Thanks to the popularity of social media, there are many people who have managed to attract huge followings. And these individuals tend to have a strong impact on the thoughts, perceptions and actions of their audiences—hence the term “influencer.”
Going after these individuals can help you make a convincing argument for people to engage with your brand. And since there are so many influencers, you can easily do this for far less money than if you ran a full-scale social media marketing campaign.
Another way to convince people to work hard to recruit their friends is to offer them some incentives. These could come in the form of giving a discount in exchange for a customer referring a friend to buy from your store or sign up for your service. Or it could be free content, such as an eBook or a report, in exchange for signing up for a newsletter. These little things give people an extra reason to market on your behalf, and they really aren’t going to cost you all that much.
Another reason growth doesn’t need to be expensive is that there are a lot of ways for you to get cheap help. Many of your business processes can be automated, and many of the companies offering these services have pricing plans that eventually cap out, meaning you do not need to spend more as you grow.
Furthermore, outsourcing is another great option. There are firms out there who can take over certain functions of your business and do it for you, and because they are highly specialized and already have the necessary infrastructure in place (think IT), they can most often do it for you much more cheaply than if you did it on your own.
However, a lot of companies wait to do this stuff until after they go through a growth period. But if you can make the transition early on, then it will be easier for you to grow without spending a fortune. You’ll be able to keep overhead low, meaning you do not need to keep upping your investment as you grow, helping make the process more manageable.
One of the main reasons growth becomes expensive is because overhead expands. More customers mean you need more inventory, more storage space, more people, more office space, and so on. But there are ways to avoid having these costs balloon on you.
For example, consider switching your internet provider to one that deals specifically with businesses. They can usually offer you a faster, more reliable internet connection, and they can often also set up things such as VOIP calling and remote connections, all of which will help you reduce costs moving forward.
You may also want to consider working with a recruiting or talent agency. And if you do, consider specifying that you’re looking to hire remote workers. This will allow you to manage an expanded workload without having to rent more office space. And if you can find people working in areas of the world where the cost of living is lower, then even better. They will likely demand a less competitive wage, helping you keep labor costs down.
However, if you are going to go this route, it’s important to remember to be patient. The advantage of throwing a bunch of money at your growth plan is that you can accelerate it. But it might not be as sustainable. So, when trying to scale and save, remember that things will take longer. Be patient and to test things out and you’ll be able to build a growth strategy that expands your business, not your expenses.
By Ethna Payne — Broadbandsearch.net