16 Ways Grow Your Business Without Spending Alot of Money
1. Bill faster
Your accounts receivable can count for 40 to 50
percent of your actual assets. Don’t batch invoice; bill as soon as you can.
When payments are delayed or never arrive at all, you start to introduce cash flow
problems that can seriously hinder your business ability to survive (let alone grow) even if you have
plenty of business.
2. Simplify your business
Weed out the unprofitable and the hard-to-sell. As much as
possible, use data to help you make decisions, and be willing to cut things that cost too much to deliver or
don’t sell well.
3. Streamline your marketing message
But don’t stop there! Test different versions of your
messaging on your website, in calls to action, and in your email marketing messages.
Aim for a pithy message that addresses a pain point and inspires action. Develop a user
or buyer persona to help you hone in on who exactly you’re trying to reach.
4. Increase your business’s visibility
Learn about simple
SEO (search engine optimization) techniques that can help your business be more likely
to show up on the first page of search results. If you have a brick and mortar location, make sure you’ve
claimed your business on Google.
Resist the temptation to run your business through your Facebook page or any other
third party page—you’re at their mercy every time they change their algorithm or your ability to reach
customers. Not sure if you’re in search results already? Google your business name or some industry-related
queries and see if your site shows up. Something like [type of business] in [your location].
5. Learn to delegate
Figure out what you do that turns
dollars. Then delegate the rest. Your investment in training others to do work you don’t have time
for, or that someone else is better suited for will pay off.
6. Look for and reward efficiencies
Encourage employees to explore more efficient approaches to their tasks instead of relying on their
standard way of doing things.
Run the numbers to figure out at what point it makes sense to transition from spreadsheets to a simpler to
. Or when to switch to an
automated payroll service instead of spending 10 or 15 hours on doing it manually each month.
7. Don’t forget suppliers
They might not be on your payroll, but they are more apt to do a few
things for you at no charge because you really take care of them.
Figure out the balance between holding payment as long as possible (while still respecting your vendor’s
payment terms) and exceeding expectations.
8. Work faster
If you can condense three four-month jobs into three three-month jobs, you can
do one more job in the year.
This ties back to the “look for and reward efficiencies” tip. If you can find a way to automate
time-consuming and mundane tasks, do it, so you can focus on doing things that bring in cash.
9. Reward your team when they meet or exceed expectations
A 5 percent bonus is cheaper than a 20 percent increase in costs. Conversely, don’t be punitive when someone makes a mistake.
Encourage your team to take calculated risks. Some of them will pan out, some of them won’t. If you only
bet on the things you’re sure will work, you may win, but probably that you’ll miss out on a lot of
opportunity for revenue-generating innovation.
10. Define and stick to your project scope
Make sure you’ve clearly outlined (in writing) project scope, and don’t be afraid to charge your
customer for changes. Put that option in writing too. Don’t let project creep cut into your profit margin.
11. Be available to the media
Offer to be a spokesperson on your specialty when your local media need an expert opinion.
Send press releases regularly, and don’t be afraid to send over a head sheet ever quarter that reminds press
of your areas of expertise.
12. Give something away
Give something valuable away on your website, at your front counter, when you send out your
invoices, and when you deliver goods.
This should be free to you, but valuable to the recipient—for example, coupons or a “how to.”
13. Promote your business consistently
Highlight offers, features, promotions, and news in your email footers, invoices, and
email signatures. Make sure the information you’re providing is relevant and consistent across the board.
14. Be part of the social media conversation
Have an active presence on social media. Respond to customers when they voice complaints
or concerns in those channels.
But, don’t stretch yourself too thin. Do some research to figure out what social media platforms your
target audience uses and focus on one or two of them. Remember, you get what you pay for, so don’t expect to
experience wide reach without promoting your postings.
15. Become a trusted advisor in your industry
Be willing to share your knowledge and
expertise freely through web forums, blog posts, and in FAQs on your website.
That said, check yourself any time you find yourself delivering a sales pitch disguised as something more
16. Get your supporters to refer you
Check out “
make a referral week” to learn more about how referrals can build your
business. Ask your customers to leave reviews.
Respond when you get a negative one
and thank those who take the time to speak positively about your