5 Ways to Grow Your Business on a Budget
It takes money to make money, and growing your business is no different. As a startup or small business, this truth can be discouraging if you have limited resources. However, this doesn’t mean you need to have access to a large amount of excess capital on hand to make it happen. With some smart planning on a budget, you can find ways to take your business to the next level without putting your business in a compromising financial position.
Start with these five recommendations to see what works for your business:
- Utilize Free Online Resources
There are virtually endless online resources that you can use for every aspect of growing your business from a free employment background check for screening job candidates, to free time tracking software that you can use to gather and refine your project cost estimates. Depending on the tasks at hand—whether it be hiring, streamlining your workflow to improve efficiency, or creating a budget for your next big project—there is likely a tool, template, or software that you can get access to for little to no cost.
- Use Freelancers When Possible
Hiring is a major expense when it comes to growing your business. Depending on the position, the salary could simply be out of your budget for a full-time hire, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the help you need. Instead of postponing a major opportunity for growth, consider outsourcing some of the work. Hiring freelancers on a short-term or per-project basis will allow you to accomplish the task at hand, without the cost of a full-time salary and benefits (or the obligation to maintain the cost). Need to build a website, improve the user-friendliness of your online store, or design new packaging for your latest product—you can find experienced freelancers to meet all these needs and more.
Plus, once you are ready to hire for that position full-time, you may already have the perfect person lined up who knows about your processes and expectations—further cutting down on hiring costs.
- Partner with Another Business
This strategy works especially well for small businesses who work in close proximity to others. If you have neighboring businesses, reach out to them to see if they would like to partner in some kind of cross promotion, such as hosting some kind of event together, pairing items on your menus, or offering a discount at one another’s establishments to shoppers who spend a certain amount at your business. Other ways you can partner with neighboring businesses could include asking them to carry your products in their store or even simply allowing you to put flyers at their front counter.
Leveraging each other as a resource can help you both grow your businesses and help build a sense of community which can be especially valuable to new business owners.
- Social Media Marketing
One of the most undervalued tools that businesses have at their disposal is the power of social media. Your social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter are easy ways to reach your customer base directly and develop a relationship with them. Not only that, but there are plenty of ways you can use social media to market your business for nothing at all. It’s a way to gather information on your audience (what kinds of posts they interact with most and which products they seem most excited about), drive traffic to your website, and even make direct sales.
Keep in mind that there are free tools such as graphic design platforms and social media schedules that will make leveraging these platforms even easier, while staying within your budget.
- Implement a Customer Loyalty Program
Customer loyalty programs will require an up-front investment but can pay off in the long run by increasing customer retention and encouraging patrons to spend more. The key to a good customer loyalty program is figuring out how to incentive your customers, while minimizing your costs. To ensure that it’s worthwhile to your customers, incorporate several types of rewards—such as discounts, free items, or exclusive access to events—to encourage them to use it more frequently. The more customers engage with your loyalty program, the greater likelihood you have of making it a worthwhile investment on your part.
By figuring out where you can cut costs, you can optimize your budget to spend on the necessities like investing in SEO, product development, and paying your hard-working team. With your priorities, resources, and goals in check, you will find that growing your business on a budget is not only doable but opens the door to new possibilities and money-saving practices in the future.