30 Ways to Grow Your Small Business That Won’t Break Your Bank
Growth is necessary for the success of any business but growing your small business can be expensive. It can be tempting to take shortcuts to grow your small business because of limited funds. However, this does not have to be the case as you can find inexpensive and effective ways to grow your small business.
Here are 30 ways to grow your business without breaking the bank, if you are operating your small business on a tight budget. But before you get into that, make sure to click on the link below to start your very own trial of Deputy. The employee scheduling software platform trusted by brands like Nike, Amazon, and Ace Hardware.
1. List your business on Google My Business
Most people search for products or services online, so why not use the power of the world’s largest search engine for clients to find you. Google My Business is a free service that allows you to show up on the map when people search for a local business. You will also be entitled to special promotions and discounts from Google when you list your business.
2. Offer quality gifts
You can offer quality gifts to boost interest in your small business. Offering gifts like e-books, a free trial on of software or a free branded gift provides you with the opportunity to collect contact information.
3. Increase your social media presence
Social media marketing is an inexpensive way to connect with your customers and grow your business. If you are new to using social media, you should focus on one platform at a time. You should find out which platform is the most popular with your customer base and build a presence on this platform before moving on to another social media channel.
4. Carry business cards
Since you never know when you will meet potential customers and vendors, you should have a quick and convenient way to exchange details. Business cards are a simple way to advertise your business to people who may be looking for the products or services you offer.
5. Give to a good cause
Giving to a good cause, especially in your local community is a good way to raise awareness for the cause and for your small business. You can give back in different ways, for example you could host a charitable event at your retail store or donate some of your products.
6. Run a class
You can teach existing and potential clients a skill that is associated with your business. For instance, if you operate a small bakery, you can teach people how to decorate cakes. You can also check with your local library to find out whether they have space available to hold your class.
7. Create a website
Irrespective of your customer demographic, your business will benefit from having a website. People of all ages are using the internet to search for products and services. A website can be as cheap or as expensive as you wish. You can use free website builders like Wix to design your site.
8. Encourage referrals
Word of mouth marketing is a powerful way to grow your small business. Customers who have had a good experience with your business should be incentivized for spreading the word. You can create a referral program to reward customers who have introduced a new customer to your small business.
9. Prioritize networking
As a small business owner, you have already built up a list of contacts that you can use to grow your business. If you have not been in contact with some individuals for a while, you can reach out to them with special offers. Or you could ask them whether they know anyone who is in need of your products or services. You can also network at your local Chamber of Commerce or use online platforms, liked LinkedIn.
10. Establish strong branding
Your branding should be strong and distinctive to set you apart from your competitors and to encourage customer loyalty. A strong brand includes a logo, a memorable tagline and a targeted marketing message. You can strengthen your business by designing your promotional materials in your brand colors to reinforce your message.
11. Offer a promotion
You can offer seasonal promotions to increase foot traffic and online sales. Back to school discounts and Thanksgiving specials are just two holidays where you can provide special offers.
12. Become a member of a social media group
There are thousands of Facebook groups that relate to different types of businesses. You can join relevant Facebook groups to build connections that could become customers later. The best way to use social media groups is to provide advice about issues to do with your business. As a result, you will be the first person people will think of when they are looking for products or services you provide.
13. Update your website
Having a website can help to increase sales if it is updated regularly. Blogs and holding pages should be updated frequently to show that you are a professional business. Adding fresh content to your website will keep people coming back to find out more about your business and also encourage them to make purchases.
14. Host a cookout
If you own a restaurant, a cost-effective way to grow your business is to host a cookout. You can send invitations to your customers and provide catering in a public area. You could make this a special event by hiring local bands to provide entertainment. Be sure to check whether you require special permits if you are going to implement this idea.
15. Be prepared for busy seasons
Planning to maximize sales in your peak times is an effective way to make the most of quieter seasons. You can use your quiet times to do market research into upcoming trends. You should also review data from your point of sale to ensure that you have enough inventory when your small business gets busier.
16. Participate in local events
Taking part in local markets, fairs and events will help to familiarize yourself with people in your community. The more local events you attend, the more your business becomes recognized and trusted, which will result in an increase in sales.
17. Build an email list
Email marketing plays a vital role in customer engagement irrespective of the type of small business you own. According to a survey by eMarketer, 80% of marketers stated that using email marketing played a part in retaining customers. Email marketing is a cost-effective way of engaging customers and growing your small business. You can start to build your email list for free with some email providers, like MailChimp.
18. Start a blog
Starting a blog on your site is an effective way to use content marketing. This business growth method is completely free if you write the blogs yourself. Adding fresh content to your site positions you as an expert and also helps you to rank higher in the search engines. You should have a clear objective in mind when writing your content, for example, to encourage signups for a free trial of your services.
19. Distribute your content
After you write your blog posts on your website, you should spend time promoting it on different platforms. Your blogs should be published on social media, like LinkedIn and promoted on all the social media channels you use.
20. Partner with other small businesses
You can enter into joint venture partnerships with other small businesses. These partnerships can either be formal or informal. Work with businesses that offer complimentary goods and services to gain the most benefits from your partnerships. An example of a joint venture is a referral program to recommend clients to each business.
21. Automate your tasks
Marketing your small business can be time-consuming. However, you can use free or low-cost tools to automate most marketing functions. For example, tools like Hootsuite and Buffer can be used to schedule your social media posts.
22. Think about how to generate free public relations (PR) opportunities
Positive PR can have a great impact on your business. Consider different ways your business can generate newsworthy publicity. For instance, you can provide free workshops or sponsor a local charity. After you have identified your PR opportunity, you need to pitch your idea to different media outlets, like your local radio station or newspaper.
23. Join appropriate communities
You can join communities that relates to your business by attending offline events like Meetups. You can also join communities like Reddit to provide help to people who need your expertise.
24. Organize a Meetup
Arranging a Meetup is free and you only need to think about the cost of finding premises. Start a Meetup in your local area if you want to establish yourself as an expert and share your knowledge. You could arrange your Meetup through Meetup.com where you will receive guidance on how to make your event a success.
25. Improve your sales pitch
If you have a service-based small business, it’s likely you’ll have to make pitches for new contracts. After submitting your business proposal, pitching in person is your chance to seal the deal. Spending time to make improvements to the substance and the delivery of your pitch can help you close more deals and grow your business.
26. Use pay-per-click advertising
You can use pay-per-click advertising on sites, like LinkedIn, Facebook and Google. You can tailor campaigns according to your budget. Take advantage of the free advertising credits offered by most sites if you have no budget for pay-per-click advertising and want to get a taste of how it could work for your business. Trying out pay-per-click will help you familiarize yourself with this type of marketing. Therefore, you can get up and running quicker when you have the budget. Remember to turn off the ad campaigns if they have not generated enough business to pay for themselves.
27. Have a themed day or week
Small Business Saturday is growing in popularity, so use this model as inspiration to create a theme for your business. You could choose a theme around an event, charity, or promotion to highlight a day or a week. You and local businesses could also partner up for a ‘community business week’.
28. Accept speaking opportunities
If you have an online presence, you may be contacted to speak at different events. You could be asked to appear in person or as part of a virtual panel of experts. Whether it’s addressing an audience live or taking part in a webinar, you should take the opportunity to speak at different events. The more business events you speak at, the more you’ll be seen as an expert.
29. Start a Facebook group
You could start a Facebook group of your own if you want to have a captive audience to discuss issues that have to do with your business. Starting a Facebook group is free and you can grow your business by delivering value before promoting your services. Your Facebook group is your online community for potential customers to get to know you and your business.
30. Use YouTube
If you have a skill that you can teach or have information about your particular industry that people would be interested in, why not start a YouTube channel? You no longer need to teach classes in person because you can record a video and upload it on YouTube. This is an inexpensive small business growth method because you can record videos of decent quality using your cell phone.
The tips above are not only cost effective but are also simple to implement. If you can find time to dedicate to some of the tips above, you will experience a boost in your overall sales.
Deputy is here to ensure your managers aren’t spending all their time making employee schedules when they should be focusing on bettering your business. If you or your managers feel like you’re spending too much time on your employee schedules, then make sure to click on the link below to start your very own trial of Deputy (no credit card required).
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on Deputy's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. Deputy is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article. Deputy disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.