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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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
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