Now that your business idea has finally jumped from pen and paper into a venture that could soon make actual money, the next thing you should plan for is how much capital you’re going to shell out. Many new businesses fail to flourish beyond the first year mostly because they run out of money. How do you make sure that this does not happen to you? We have here four pieces of advice to powering your company’s growth even with a limited budget.
- Optimize your network and create new ones.
Market to your current network and talk to friends who would be willing to promote your products for free or in exchange for a discount, another product, or a promotion on your own site. Many small businesses partner up in order to expand their advertising reach without having to spend so much. For example, if you have a food venture, you can partner with a local delivery service that also has a wide online network so you can get exposed to more potential customers whenever that service advertises, too.
You can also join business associations and social groups to meet new people who might be interested in what your business has to offer. It’s a win-win for you, as well. You make new friends and develop your skills, while increasing your chances to introduce your product.
- Take care of your customers and reach out to new markets.
Sure, you have a “disruptive” product that can solve many problems, but does your market know that, too? What problem is your brand solving and how is it done? When you introduce the right value proposition and build a demand, your target market will identify and be interested in trying you out. You won’t even have to spend at all for any advertising space or mileage. Make sure you don’t disappoint.
- Take advantage of the Internet for marketing.
There are plenty of free channels online where you can market your business. You can start with your own network and your family and friends’ networks. You can also take advantage of the influencer network. Many startups have gotten a foot in the door and even gone viral because so-and-so online celebrity endorsed it. This is usually done by sending some samples for these influencers to try.
This method is popular so expect some competition—and not all of those who have an online following are effective influencers, says TweakYourBiz.com. That said, be sure to conduct your research first and filter this list to about five people and start from there. It will be a challenge to get them to notice you, but if your product is within their niches, actually works, and is well packaged, you might just find yourself in one of their blog posts or videos.
- Outsource to freelancers, where necessary.
Time is money. If you spend too much time trying to do everything yourself, you won’t have the energy to build your marketing strategy and pursue growth opportunities. There are tasks such as scheduling, blog posting, data entry, that you can definitely outsource to somebody else. This way, you can focus on what truly matters to your growth. While you will have to pay freelancers, you’ll find that this is actually cheaper than doing things yourself and wasting precious time.
Taking advice from your mentors or people who have more experience in business is your bulletproof way of managing your startup. While you may feel that you know your brand best, there are strategies that are universal no matter the industry. Take the time to seek advice, listen to recommendations, and then act accordingly. Remember that money is the oil that keeps your venture going—and you need to make sure it does not dry up and continues to come in so you, too, can continue to thrive.