Owning a small business can be a very rewarding career, but not without its challenges. A small business often means a smaller, more controlled budget which can leave you feeling frustrated at times. No matter what industry you’re involved In, being able to expand your small business is probably a key part of your plan.
Expanding your small business can feel like a difficult feat, whether you’re just starting or you’ve been established for several years.
With that in mind, here are some top tips to help you expand your small business, even if you have a budget to consider.
Tip 1: Building an Online Presence
In this day and age, having a website isn’t just necessary; it’s mandatory. Customers are using the internet for everything, including trying to find businesses in your industry. However, it’s not just about having a website. It’s about how to use it to expand your small business.
If you’re smart about it, online marketing for your business doesn’t have to cost much. An online presence can be particularly helpful for local businesses, thanks to strategies including local search engine optimisation. This allows you to help your small business become visible online for important keywords, related to your business.
For example, if you owned a plumbing business in Leeds, you would ensure your website is optimised for that very phrase. All it takes is a few tweaks to your website and some fresh, unique content on each page. In other words, it doesn’t need to cost your business a fortune, saving you money while potentially getting more customers through your door.
Social media is another key tool if you’re hoping to expand your small business. A few simple posts a week that resonate with your audience will work wonders for the overall perception of your business. The likes of Facebook is also used just as much as Google to find businesses. Being active on social media means you can interact with your customers, answer questions and publish posts that will entice people to visit you.
Tip 2: Introducing a Referral Scheme
Many small businesses are often looking for quick ways to gain new customers and therefore make more profit. A well-known and trustworthy way of doing this is by introducing a referral scheme. By doing this, you can encourage current customers to refer you to their family, friends and colleagues, and they will receive some sort of incentive.
The incentive could be anything from a discount code to being entered into a prize draw; the possibilities are endless. Expand your small business by taking advantage of referral schemes and you should see an uplift in visitors to your shop or calls to your office.
Tip 3: Utilising External Expertise
Utilise external expertise – Chamber of Commerce, other small business associations. Some are free to join or only take a small membership fee.
You might be an expert in your industry and may have been running your business for 20 years. However, there is always something new to learn and you might benefit from listening to some external experts within the business sector.
In order to expand your small business, take advantage of additional help from small business associations. They are designed to help you with financial matters, business support and seeing out opportunities for one another. Similarly, your local Chamber of Commerce is on hand to help you connect with other businesses and offer advice.
Small business associations are either free to join, or just take a small annual membership fee, but the benefits are priceless.
Tip 4: Using Freelancers
Freelancers can be a huge way to save money within your small business; mostly because they are cheaper than hiring in-house. This can reduce your payroll costs which could be incredibly helpful if you’re just starting. By cutting down on costs where possible, you have more budget to spend on other important aspects of your business.
In the long run, working with freelancers can give you that extra budget to expand your small business and eventually bring more of your employment in-house. It’s important to vet your freelancers accordingly, and make sure they are right for your business, before hiring; just as you would with an employee!
Tip 5: Networking
One of the most cost-effective ways to expand your small business is the traditional method of networking. It’s simple! Speak to people and you never know what opportunities might arise. What’s more, there are so many free networking events scheduled across the major cities for you to attend.
Open your business up to more opportunity; you never know who you might end up speaking to!