Getting a business up and running can be a huge hurdle for many entrepreneurs, but once you’ve brought your dream to life, the hard work is only just getting started. Now you face the challenge having to get new clients and customers through the doors, each and every week. So how can you grow your small business in the early stages when you’re strapped for cash? Here are four budget-friendly ideas.
1 Go online
It doesn’t cost much to set up a website and it’s usually free to join most popular social media platforms. While it may take up some of your time, it’s worth getting your business online as soon as possible. It’s a great way to increase your brand awareness and grow your customer base.
Create quality content that’s helpful to your audience, whether it’s in the form of blog articles, videos or tutorials. When you’re just starting out, you could dabble in online advertising, such as Google ads to help your site rank for particular keywords or Facebook advertising. It’s easy to set your daily budget and be in control of the overall cost.
2 Create community
Word of mouth is one of the best and cheapest ways to grow your business. When happy customers come through your door, ask them to leave a positive review for your business online – using Google or Facebook. More and more people are looking to online reviews as a way to evaluate the quality of a brand or business and it’s product or services.
Starting building your email list now. Create an automatic email that asks customers who have recently purchased a product or attended an event to leave a rating or review online. You could also consider creating a referral program.
3 Host a competition or sale
Nothing gathers a crowd faster than a sale. If you can, consider running a one or two week sale across your business. Offering genuine discounts not only has the potential to increase your sales, but also introduce new customers to your brand. Tie it in with a major event or holiday.
On the other hand, everyone loves a freebie. Host an online or in-store competition and offer a fantastic prize. Encourage your customers to spread the word and make a big deal of it online. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great platforms to host a competition.
Networking takes time but it doesn’t have to cost much. As a small business owner, it’s important to network with other entrepreneurs and businesses in your community. Go to events and conferences wherever you can, not just to grow and learn, but to widen your network. You never know who you are going to meet and how they might be able to help you grow your small business.