When a business is just starting out, money is going to be tight. But it’s important for small businesses to continue to grow and build their brand, even on a small budget. Fortunately, small businesses have plenty of ways to bring in new customers and promote their brand without spending a ton of money.
Conduct market research
The first place to start when trying to grow a small business is to get an understanding of the market. A business won’t be successful if it doesn’t give consumers what they’re really looking for. Small business owners should use tools like a survey maker to conduct market research — gathering information about demographics and consumer interests will be extremely beneficial. This is an easy way for businesses to shape their brand into something that will pique customer interest.
Focus on a strong online presence
Social media platforms and websites are most often free or very low-cost — this is why so many small businesses put a lot of time and effort into growing their online presence. Everyone is on social media nowadays, so it’s important for businesses to have information online. Having a great website and active social media pages will help businesses connect with consumers, receive reviews, and build a list of leads without having to spend a lot of money.
Use cost-saving apps
Technology is going to be the best friend of any small business. Fortunately, businesses have many apps to invest in to help save them time and money. Apps can help with almost anything a small business needs — from scheduling social media posts to managing payroll to project management, businesses can use apps to help free up time. While some apps may require a purchasing cost or a subscription fee, investing in these types of apps will be worth the cost in the long run.
Keep track of inventory
As a business grows, more and more products will come into inventory. Because of this, it’s important for small businesses to invest in inventory management, such as an asset tracking solution, early on. If inventory doesn’t get tracked properly, businesses can lose a lot of money — whether they forget to reorder something that sold out or even forget they had a certain item in stock, this can cost businesses money. So by using asset tracking solutions, businesses can manage and access their inventory with ease, allowing them to better serve their customers.
Be present at events
Networking is crucial for small businesses. While getting paid for going to events would be the eventual goal, volunteering to speak or help out at local events is the perfect opportunity to connect with both other businesses and potential customers. Going to local events will help build a brand and show consumers that the company cares about the local community. It can even be beneficial to hand out marketing products, including flyers or free T-shirts, to help spread awareness of the business.
Show customers appreciation
One advantage that small businesses have is that they can take the time to get to know their customers. When customers shop somewhere and feel welcome and appreciated, they’re more likely to tell others about that company. With that in mind, it truly pays off to get to know customers and let them know they’re appreciated. Whether it’s learning their names, sending thank-you cards, or offering a discount for regular customers, showing customers they’re appreciated will help build the business for the long term.
Building a small business on a tight budget isn’t easy, but it can be done. Trying a few, or all, of these low-cost tips can help small business owners bring in new customers, increase sales, and build their brand without breaking the bank.