Sep 08

Ideas for Small Businesses on a Budget

It’s not easy being a small business, and it’s even harder if you are on a low budget. Whether you are just starting out, or are perhaps being extra cautious to keep yourself in the green, having limited money can be a severe restriction. But what is a business without the ability to work within limitations? Money is one of the most valuable resources, and there will always be a fluctuating amount of currency that you have at your disposal. This presents a difficult challenge for sure, but a problem is always easier to tackle when you have a strategy in place.

SEO Advertising XKCD

Advertising XKCD

Here are a few ideas to help build a plan for your business:

Inbound Strategy

As a business, you obviously have a product to sell.

While you can spend money on advertising and other intricate marketing strategies, a good way to drum up interest is by providing context. People usually want to know everything about a product before they even think about buying it.

Here are some interesting pieces of information that can increase the appeal of your product, or business:

  • What it can do
  • How it can be used
  • Where it came from
  • Who uses it
  • What your philosophies are

Along with the purchase page for the product itself, which will (hopefully) provide a bit of description item, it is a good idea to create these additional pages to provide further information. This is called ‘inbound strategy’ and is a way to increase the value of the product by offering more context.

Dilbert on Growth hacking

These pieces of information might even extend further than the product itself and can cover anything from the product’s position in its genre to the state of the relevant business industry.

Similar to a blog or article, these pieces are works of passion and can show your expertise of the firm, elevating your reputation in the eyes of your customers.

Writing these pieces yourself means that you control the message, presenting your product. Just make sure that the pieces have a bit of personality and are well written.

Although you are using inbound strategy to support your product, and thereby your business, there has to be a genuine level of passion or readers will see it as nothing but a marketing tool.A good inbound strategy relies on a good content strategy or marketing always.

Remember; the quality of your work reflects on the quality of your business.

Do SEO

If your business is online (it really should be if it isn’t already), then it’s a good idea to look into optimising your website.

SEO or search engine optimisation is the process of optimising your website so that it works with search engines like Google or Microsoft’s Bing.

On these engines, there are always millions of websites competing for attention at one time. Attention is given in the form of a hierarchy that determines where sites will appear on the search engine results pages (SERPs). A ranking system sorts this hierarchy by an algorithm that takes various factors about a website into account.

SEO designs and develops these elements of your site so that it is likely to appear higher in the rankings and is easier to find for users; this is called findability.

You can try and do your SEO; however, it is a very complicated process. We recommend hiring a team of SEO professionals who know what they are doing. A Good SEO checklist also helps with improving your SEO without external help.

Although paying for help is a bit of a sunken cost it will soon pay off in a major way. SEO only needs work at the beginning, after which it can organically spread its effects throughout the search engines. By ensuring that a good job is done early on, all future benefits of SEO will manifest themselves for no further costs.

As the findability of your website increases, so will the success of your business. make sure you focus on conversion rates. Improving conversion rates will improve revenue from same dollar spend.

Social Media Marketing

The next avenue to think about is social media. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are no longer just commodities and are a real part of the business.

Communication has always been a major part of how business is done, and in the Information Age, that factor has only become more prominent. Today, many companies use the feeds of social media to maintain constant communication with their customers.

The internet is an invaluable tool that most businesses in decades past would have killed to have access to. Having this level of communication also means that you can interact with countless customers at once, each of them a different individual with a useful piece of input. Talk with these clients, learn what they are thinking and gain data that would have taken months to collect not too long ago.

The messages sent through social media is also more-or-less permanent, meaning you don’t need to say the same thing many times over to remind people of the information.

However, this kind of permanence can also create problems for a lot of businesses.

Social Media

You may think, ‘So what? I deal with all kinds of people all the time’.

However, you must remember that you are representing your business at all times and anything you say or do will be permanently attributed to the image. You will need to deal with them in a way that doesn’t damage your brand, while also not looking like a pushover.

People want confidence in their companies, and there is nothing confident about a lack of conviction. This is a thin line to walk and has caused significant issues for many prominent businesses.

Still, there are many companies that have managed to walk that line well, and their success has skyrocketed as a result.While the power of this unprecedented level of communication can swing either way, it is worth jumping in and having a go. Start with small messages to create a bit of interest, but not so much as to be too risky.

As the interest in your business’s presence on the feeds increases, further your engagement with the platform, and soon your business will be a frequent stop for many potential customers.

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