Whether you’re running a startup or large company, you’re always looking for ways to grow your business. For a small business, this can be challenging because of limited manpower, money, and resources but even large companies want to grow their business with the least amount of money spent possible.
We’re going to reveal some obvious and not-so-obvious ways to grow your business by spending little to no money. Most of these ideas you can do yourself, without needing a whole team to work on so dive in and start implementing them on your business today!
Make it easy for your customers to reach you
Building a good relationship with your customers is key to your success; your customers need to know that you genuinely care about them and their feedback that you want to help them. And so, creating clear communication channels is a great way to start.
If you have a brick-and-mortar store, be sure to always have someone by the phone to answer customers’ concerns and questions as well as having someone navigating around the store and offering in-person assistance to visitors.
And if you have an online business, ensure your website has your contact info displayed clearly or use a contact form plugin, if you’re using WordPress, which they can fill in to have you contact them.
Provide viral and valuable content in your industry.
One of the best ways to grow your business without spending extra money is to create and share valuable content that is relevant to your industry. This could include blog posts, infographics, videos, or even podcasts. When your content is valuable, it will be shared by others, which will help you reach a wider audience.
To create viral content, you need to make sure that it is interesting, informative, and easy to share. You should also target your content to your specific audience. For example, if you sell shoes, you might create a blog post about the latest trends in footwear. Or, you could create an infographic that shows how to choose the right shoes for your feet.
The key to creating viral content is to provide value to your audience. If you can do that, your content will be shared and your business will grow.
Here are some additional tips for creating viral and valuable content:
- Do your research. Before you start writing, take some time to research your target audience and what they are interested in. This will help you create content that they will find valuable.
- Be original. Don’t just regurgitate the same old information that everyone else is sharing. Try to come up with something new and unique that will capture people’s attention.
- Use visuals. Images and videos can help to break up your text and make your content more visually appealing. This will make it more likely that people will read and share it.
- Promote your content. Once you’ve created your content, don’t just sit back and wait for people to find it. Share it on social media, submit it to relevant websites, and email it to your subscribers.
Ask your customers to help spread the word!
If your customers love your product/ service and get helpful customer service then they’ll most likely be willing to recommend your business to someone or leave a good review.
You can ask them for their review/ feedback via email or if you have a mobile app, you can have a review/ rating feature to show up after a successful purchase.
Simply direct your customers to where you want them to give their feedback and they’ll do the rest! For example, if you have a restaurant, ask them for a Yelp review or if you’re running a travel agency, then a review on Tripadvisor would be great.
If this works then you can start thinking about a referral program where customers get perks like bonus points, freebies, or special discounts whenever they refer someone to your business.
Find more about Ways to Get Your Business Off The Ground
Increase Customer Retention
Customer retention is the key to long-term business success. When you retain customers, you’re building a loyal customer base that is more likely to continue doing business with you in the future. This can lead to increased sales, profits, and brand awareness.
There are many things you can do to increase customer retention, but here are a few of the most important:how to make your business grow
- Understand your customers: What are their needs and wants? What motivates them to do business with you? The more you understand your customers, the better you’ll be able to meet their needs and keep them coming back.
- Provide excellent customer service: This means being responsive to customer inquiries, resolving problems quickly and efficiently, and going the extra mile to make sure customers are happy. When customers feel valued and respected, they’re more likely to stick with your business.
- Personalize the customer experience: This means using customer data to tailor your interactions with them. For example, you could send them emails with products they’re likely to be interested in, or offer them discounts on their favorite items. When customers feel like you’re speaking directly to them, they’re more likely to feel connected to your brand.
- Reward customer loyalty: This could involve offering loyalty programs, discounts, or other incentives to encourage customers to continue doing business with you. When customers feel like they’re being rewarded for their loyalty, they’re more likely to stay with your business.
- Make it easy to do business with you: This means having a clear and easy-to-use website, offering convenient payment options, and providing clear and concise shipping information. When customers have a positive experience doing business with you, they’re more likely to come back.
Pinpointing What Makes You Different
One of the most important things you can do to grow your small business is to pinpoint what makes you different from your competitors. This is your unique selling proposition (USP), and it is what will help you attract and retain customers.
There are a few different ways to identify your USP. One way is to conduct customer interviews. Ask your customers what they like about your business, and what makes you different from the competition. Another way to identify your USP is to analyze your competitors. What are they doing well? What are they doing poorly? How can you differentiate yourself from them?
Once you have identified your USP, you need to communicate it clearly to your customers. This can be done through your marketing materials, your website, and your customer service.
Here is an exercise you can do to help you identify your USP:
- Create an avatar for your target customer. This is a fictional person who represents your ideal customer. What are their demographics? What are their needs and wants? What are their pain points?
- Write a before and after description for your target customer. This is a quick bio of who they are before and after purchasing your product or using your business. What were their problems before? How did your product or service solve their problems?
Update your social media channels
Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. could be your strongest marketing tool – if used correctly. Business owners need to give their social media accounts attention and continuously post on them. A post every few weeks isn’t enough to make a difference with your customers; you need to ensure your posts are useful to your customers and optimized with the right keywords and hashtags as well.
Posts or Tweets don’t need to be product-specific, they can just be helpful tips in the industry, how-to-dos, or interesting facts. But before committing to a certain channel, you need to study your customer personas and understand what platforms they use, what are they looking for, and what is your business’s unique proposition.
Also, try to have an active presence on social media by always responding to your customers, thanking them for their feedback, and addressing any concerns.
Practice corporate social responsibility
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the practice of businesses taking responsibility for the impact they have on their stakeholders and the environment. This can include things like reducing their carbon footprint, giving back to the community, and producing sustainable products.
There are many benefits to practicing CSR, even if you’re on a tight budget. For one, it can help businesses attract and retain customers who are looking to do business with companies that share their values. Additionally, CSR can improve a company’s reputation and make it more likely to be covered by the media in a positive light.
Here are some specific examples of how businesses can practice CSR on a budget:
- Go green. There are many ways to reduce your environmental impact without spending money. For example, you could switch to energy-efficient light bulbs, use recycled paper, or compost your food waste.
- Give back to the community. There are many ways to give back to your community without spending money. For example, you could volunteer your time, donate to a local charity, or sponsor a community event.
- Produce sustainable products. If you sell products, you can make them more sustainable by using recycled materials, fair trade labor, or recyclable packaging.
By practicing CSR, you can show your customers that you care about the environment and the community. This can help you attract new customers, retain existing customers, and improve your reputation which will reflect to grow your business
Build an Email list
It is important from the start of your launch to collect as many emails as possible from your website visitors because it is unlikely that visitors will revisit your website after the first time.
Email marketing has been proven to get 10 times higher conversion rates than social media campaigns because an email newsletter is better targeted and personalized, it is sent directly to the user’s inbox, it won’t just show up on their timeline where they might or might not see it. Your newsletters need to add value and keep your customers engaged with your business.
So even though users are active on social media, it’ll be hard to target them one-on-one and studies have shown that at least 91% of consumers check their email daily.
Neil Patel, the founder of Crazy Egg and QuickSprout, said that out of all the channels he tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them. You can customize your newsletters to include new blog posts, the latest sales, or any updates about your business.
With an email marketing service, you can send out mass emails to your subscribers, run A/B tests to find the best email structure, and get reporting data about your subscribers like how many they are, what countries they’re from, etc. The most popular email marketing tools are Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Sendinblue, and ConvertKit.
Build strong network in your community
Building a strong network in your community is essential for business growth. When you have a strong network, you have access to a pool of potential customers, partners, employees, and investors. You can also share industry insights, emerging trends, and best practices with others in your network.
One way to build a strong network is to network with complementary businesses. This means finding businesses that are in your industry but do not compete directly with you. For example, a coffee shop could network with a bakery, as they both serve customers who are looking for a quick and easy breakfast or snack.
Another way to build a strong network is to attend industry events. This is a great way to meet other businesses in your industry and learn about new trends. You can also volunteer your time to industry organizations, as this is a great way to get involved in your community and meet other like-minded individuals.
By following these tips, you can build a strong network that will help your business grow and thrive.
Here are some additional tips for building a strong network in your community:
- Be genuine and authentic:People can spot a fake from a mile away, so be yourself and let your personality shine through.
- Be helpful and supportive: Offer to help others in your network, whether it’s by providing advice, sharing resources, or simply being a sounding board.
- Be consistent. Networking takes time and effort, so be consistent with your efforts. Attend industry events, connect with people on social media, and reach out to others in your network on a regular basis.
By following these tips, you can build a strong network that will benefit your business for years to come.
Become an expert in your industry
There are many online communities and forums where people go to looking for answers, socialize, or to find helpful content. The most popular communities are Reddit and Quora, where you can find discussions and questions from multiple categories and industries.
They are free to use so you just need to find them and start advising! Find out what your potential customers ask, what are the popular platforms they use, and then you can direct them to your website when appropriate (don’t spam the comments with your website’s link but explain why it would be helpful and how it could be of use to them).
Consider Franchising Your Small Business
Business franchising is a common growth strategy for small businesses. This means you sell your business rights to an independent owner. Then, they open and operate their own franchise of your business. Many well-known companies sell franchises, like McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Marriott hotels. When a new franchise opens, it increases the number of locations of your business, which helps bring in more revenue.
Before you agree to sell the rights to your company, you have to know if your business is franchisable. The franchising process is more appropriate for certain types of industries, such as fast-food restaurants or gyms.
Franchising is a business model in which the owner of a successful business (the franchisor) grants permission to another person (the franchisee) to operate a replica of the business under the franchisor’s name and branding. The franchisee pays the franchisor a fee for the right to use the business model, branding, and other intellectual property.
Franchising is a common growth strategy for small businesses It allows the franchisor to expand their reach without having to invest in new locations or hire new employees. The franchisee, on the other hand, gets the benefit of operating a proven business model with the support of the franchisor.
However, franchising is not right for every business. The business must be scalable and have a repeatable business model. The franchisor must also be willing to provide training and support to the franchisees.
Here are some of the benefits of franchising:
- Increased revenue: Franchising can help you increase your revenue by opening new locations without having to invest in them yourself.
- Brand awareness: Franchising can help you increase brand awareness by putting your brand in front of new customers in new markets.
- Economies of scale: Franchising can help you achieve economies of scale by sharing resources and expertise with your franchisees.
- Reduced risk: Franchising can help you reduce your risk by allowing you to test the market before you invest in new locations.
Here are some of the challenges of franchising:
- Cost: Franchising can be expensive to set up and maintain. You will need to pay the franchisee a fee, as well as provide training and support.
- Control: You will have less control over your business once you start franchising. You will need to give up some control to the franchisees in order to ensure that they are operating your business in accordance with your standards.
- Competition: Franchising can lead to increased competition, as your franchisees may start competing with each other.
If you are considering franchising your business, it is important to weigh the benefits and challenges carefully. If you think that franchising is right for your business, you can start by researching different franchise opportunities and finding a franchisor that is a good fit for you.
Here are some additional tips for considering franchising your small business:
- Make sure your business is a good fit for franchising: Not all businesses are franchisable. Your business should be scalable, have a repeatable business model, and be able to be operated by someone who is not you.
- Do your research: Before you sign any franchise agreements, make sure you do your research and understand the terms of the agreement. You should also talk to other franchisees to get their feedback.
- Be prepared to give up some control. When you franchise your business, you will be giving up some control to the franchisees. You need to be prepared to let them make decisions about how to operate their businesses.
Provide training and support to your franchisees. Your franchisees will need training and support to be successful. Make sure you have a plan in place to provide them with the resources they need.
Extending to New Markets
There’s no question that franchising gives you a chance to increase your customer base. But if your business isn’t franchisable, there are alternatives to franchising, such as expanding your business through exporting which is the best way to grow a small business to extend to new markets. This can be done by exporting your products or services to other countries, or by opening new business locations in other parts of the world.
There are many benefits to extending to new markets. First, it can help you reach a wider audience and attract new customers. Second, it can help you increase your market share. Third, it can help you diversify your business and reduce your risk.
If you are considering extending to new markets, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you need to do your research and make sure there is a demand for your products or services in the countries you are targeting. Second, you need to get the right documentation and permits. Third, you need to find a reputable freight forwarder to help you ship your products or services to your target markets.
Use a Virtual business address
Many startups, online businesses, or home-based businesses fall into the mistake of using their home address for business or they don’t state an address at all. Without a professional business address, how do you expect to grow?
Renting an office, especially in a major city like New York or Chicago can take a toll on a small business or startup that runs on low resources and money.
But by using your home address, you are risking the privacy and security of your home and family since it’ll be available online, for everyone to see. A great way to get a professional business address in a commercial location is to rent a virtual business address.
A virtual business address is a real street address that can be used as your mailing address as well as your business address. You can use it on your social media, website, or even business cards!
Virtual mailbox services providers offer addresses for you to choose from, each with a unique mail forwarding service. You can accept mail from your customers, partners, investors, etc. at this address and have it forwarded to you, wherever you are.
With a real US mailing address, your business will maintain a professional image and it is a great scalable solution that doesn’t limit your business’s growth.
Your mail is delivered to secure mail facilities then the envelope of the package is scanned and sent to your online mailbox. You can log into your mailbox through your computer or mobile device and stay up-to-date with all new packages. Send out orders to forward, open & scan, shred & recycle, or archive and certified mail operators will carry out your request.
Read more about: Benefits of Having Virtual Address For You Home Business
Diversify Your Product or Service Offerings
Diversifying your product or service offerings is a great way to grow your small business. When you offer different products or services, you can reach a wider audience and attract new customers.
There are two main ways to diversify your product or service offerings:
- Identify new opportunities: Do market research to see if there is something new you can offer your customers to buy. This could be a new product or service, or a new way to offer your existing products or services.
- Find different ways to offer your existing products: This could include offering subscriptions, bundles, or different pricing structures.
For example, the company Moment started out by selling lenses for smartphones to improve photography. They then diversified their offerings to include apps and accessories to use with their lenses. This allowed them to reach a wider audience and attract new customers.
If you are considering diversifying your product or service offerings, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Make sure the new products or services are aligned with your business’s overall goals.
- Do your research to ensure there is a demand for the new products or services.
- Be prepared to invest in marketing and promotion to reach new customers.
Improve your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
By learning a few SEO tricks, you can quickly boost your website’s traffic – without even needing to hire a specialist! We’re going to explain what to do on a WordPress website because it is the most popular CMS and is used by most businesses.
Firstly, you need to run a test and check if your website appears in the search results. If it doesn’t, go over to the admin tab, open the settings then the Reading Page, and check if the “Search Engine Visibility” is checked. If it is, you need to uncheck it and save changes. Here are a few tips to follow to enhance your website’s SEO:
- Uses an SEO plugin, the two most popular ones are Yoast SEO and All In One SEO Pack.
- Create an XML Sitemap, which includes all of your website pages and makes it easier for search engines to find your content.
- Add your website to Google Search Console; this tool will show you where your website appears in search results, what search terms your target audience is using, and alert you if there’s something wrong with your websites like duplicated content or bad resources.
- Use the “no follow” for external links used in your content, so you don’t waste any of your SEO juices by helping other websites.
- Optimize your website’s images, whether in pages or blog posts – use images that load faster and add descriptive titles and alt tags to them, the tags help search engines understand what the image is about.
Lastly, and one of the most important methods of SEO-improvement is optimizing your blog posts for SEO, but we decided to tackle this point on its own below!
Content Marketing Strategy
Your website’s content, whether it’s a landing page or a blog post, needs to be valuable. If you can’t hook your website visitor within the first 5 seconds through a well-written ad, captivating image, or by the intro of a blog post, then you lost that customer.
Create content that’ll educate and help your customers, provide them with real and useful info; never go rambling about your product/ service, and add nothing else. There are a few things you can do to optimize your blog post and they are:
- Conduct efficient keyword research; you can use free online keyword tools, like GoogleAds or Ubersuggest, to find useful and high-volume keywords.
- Optimize your blog’s title with focused keywords you’ve found, it’ll make a difference in search rankings.
- You want your website visitors to stay on your website for as long as possible so provide them with more links to check out. You can do this through internal linking, connecting your blog posts together. This way, your older articles will also get visitors and won’t be neglected in searches.
- Add a Meta description to your blog posts, which is a short description that summarizes your article. It shows up on the search page and can only be a maximum of 155 characters; customers see it before clicking on the link so it must be helpful and well written!
- Make sure your articles have easy readability and put them through multiple grammar, spelling, punctuation, and plagiarism checks, Grammarly is a great tool for this.
- Use categories and tags to ease the process for search engines and customers, help them get to the articles they want faster.
- Use LSI keywords (words that are semantically related to the blog’s topic) in your blog post as well, so you’d gather the attention of users that are looking by focused and relevant keywords.
- Create a simple and clear format for your blog posts by ensuring the use of headings and subheadings as well as images between paragraphs.
- Keep your old articles alive through internal linking and by promoting them on your social media profiles and so even your older work would appear in search results.
These were our top tips for promoting and growing your business for as little as possible! Of course, you can always look into paid advertisement and marketing but these great pointers should be considered, regardless of your budget.
Image Credit by bleakstar