Did you know that 49 percent of small business owners plan to expand their business or increase their staff this year? This was revealed in the latest Guidant Financial and Small Business Trends Alliance (SBTA) survey. However, growing your business often requires some form of capital investment- and in some cases, a sizable amount. For smaller businesses with a limited budget, their options for expansion can be limited according to their financial reach. Balancing growth ambitions and your financial budget is only one of the many decisions you can expect to make as a small business owner. Thankfully, expanding your business does not always mean throwing the budget out of the window. Here are a few ways to stick to a budget but still maximize your business growth.
Prioritize Customer Feedback And Referrals
Word of mouth and customer referrals are still one of the best ways to spread the word about your business and increase your customers. Around 82 percent of customers head online to business reviews for local businesses. According to Brightlocal’s 2019 Local Consumer Reviews Survey, 91 percent of them also say that positive reviews mean they are more likely to use the business. This is because reviews from fellow customers build trust- a key ingredient in boosting conversion to sales. In fact, 88 percent of customers trust user-generated reviews. Setting up a feedback platform is also incredibly low cost.
Start by asking your past customers to leave a review on your business website or social media account. You can also use your email marketing list or social media account to thank customers for their support and ask them to take the time to review their experience. Finally, be sure to respond and act on your reviews. Customers like a business that accepts responsibility and interacts with them.
Explore Low-Cost Alternatives To New Business Needs
If you want to grow your business, you will need additional resources. You may find that you need to increase your storage space to accommodate larger stock volumes or employ customer service representatives to provide extended customer service hours. Behind the scenes, you may also need the services of a marketing specialist to help with advertising your business growth campaign or even additional laborers for manufacturing. All of these additional expenses can quickly eat away at an expansion budget.
To keep it under control, explore lower-cost alternatives to those emerging needs. For additional staff, consider whether outsourcing is a good fit. For some business functions, it may be better (and cheaper) to outsource than hire in-house. Think about the case for contracting out to third parties, and whether it is the right time. For instance, if it is a one-off project you may be better off hiring a contractor than hiring a full-time employee.
Capitalize On Social Media To Build Your Brand Presence
Social media has taken the business world by storm in the last decade. It is a great low-cost way to curate a presence for your brand online. With over 75 percent of customers shopping online at least once a month, growing your business online is just as crucial as growing it offline. To use social media to grow your small business, ensure you are active on the key social media platforms for your target audience. Keep your interactions and posting consistently.
Social media is also a good way to introduce any new products or range expansions you may be launching and can drum up interest pre-launch. Also, small businesses can use social media to drive website traffic by lining promoted content or including a Click to Tweet feature on shareable information.
You don’t always need a lot of capital to grow your business. Sticking to low-cost strategies and strict budget monitoring you can kick that your expansion plans, and take it from there once your revenue increases.