Growing a business is hard work, but it’s fairly straightforward. Once you have a solid business plan in place for providing service and value to clients, you then can start advertising your company and sow your oats in the market.
Is it possible to expand your business on the cheap? Of course! Keep in mind that what you trade in cost, you have to make up for with effort. This holds true in most areas of life, but remember that if it’s too good to be true…it probably is!
Here are 3 cheap ways to grow your business, now.
1. Brand First
Branding is everything for growing businesses. There will be many points in your journey that you will feel as though your reputation are all you have to bank on. This is normal! But you do want to be sure that the brand you’re relying on is a solid one.
What image do you want your brand to conjure in a client or customer’s mind? How can you best project the reputation you WANT to have in your brand messaging? A strong brand is inspiring to clients, employees, and potential partners. It creates authority in the market.
The best part of branding is that most of the steps are completely free. The hard work associated with branding involves a lot of persistence and patience. There are no quick hacks that will establish your company as a fixture in the market: you can set up your brand for success, but then your company needs to follow through and provide service that matches the reputation you’re trying to project.
2. Outsource the Right Way
Outsourcing doesn’t always entail delegating tasks to outside people. You can delegate tasks to software as a service (SaaS) companies, too. These days, there are plenty of companies that handle the automation of essential business tasks. Prior to the digitization of business, you would have to hire a team of people to handle marketing, accounting, and other necessary functions.
But today, you can find a cost-effective, digital solution for nearly any gap in your operation. A little research and a some initial effort are usually all you need to automate functions like email outreach and subscription services, posting content to an enterprise video platform, and much more.
Be warned, however. Sometimes, these services can seem too good to be true. In that case, they probably are! There are a ton of unsavory actors on the internet that are looking to make a quick buck off of your naivete. It could be as benign as overcharging you, or they could be phishing for sensitive information about your business.
Unfortunately, digital literacy is a MUST for any aspiring entrepreneur. These days, you and your company are just sitting ducks if you don’t know the basics. Don’t get me wrong: there are so many legitimate companies that can and will provide tremendous value to your daily operation.
Just know that not everyone in the digital realm has your best interests at heart. For your sake, for your business’ sake, and for the sake of any employees you might have, take care to learn about internet scams—especially those tangential to your business’ niche. You might be surprised at how authoritative some scams will seem.
3. Hire Smart
As the founder of a business, you are its de facto leader. The team you collect will be crafted in your image, and it will reflect the values and ethos you project onto the business. In short: your team starts and ends with you, and your approach to business is the most decisive factor in your team’s success.
That said, you can concentrate on laying the foundation for a great team by investing time in building a solid brand, like what was discussed above. A great, cohesive brand narrative will tell applicants all they need to know about what kind of business you are creating. A solid company brand will confidently project the company’s mission and become associated with authority and trustworthiness in the community.
All in all: a brand is the touchstone for your company’s reputation. When people see it, you want them thinking good things. This applies to customers, of course, but it applies to employees, too. (The way your team feels about the company they work for will translate into every interaction they have with clients, so you should do your best to ensure they’re feeling positively!)
By projecting an accurate, positive brand image, your pool of applicants will have already narrowed down considerably. You should only be sifting through applicants hungry to work for your great company, because they recognize the name and they like the feeling it stirs in them.
When time is money, you want to curb the amount of time poring over dud applications. Brand right the first time, and you won’t have to. But you can further lighten your workload by outsourcing some steps of the hiring process to a SaaS, as described above, or a hiring agency.