There are plenty of ways to grow your business, but many of them require a significant capital investment. What about ways to expand that don’t involve spending a cent? Below are three ways you can make improvements without spending plus one bonus way that might involve borrowing money—which you’ll need to pay back eventually—but that still doesn’t require you to have a lot of cash in hand to start with.
Get More Education
There may be cases in which formal licensing or certification will lead to substantial growth for your business. For example, if you run a bookkeeping business but you want to become a certified public accountant, you will first have to get a four-year degree if you don’t already have one. This won’t be free, but you also don’t have to have thousands of dollars up front to pay for classes. You may be eligible for grants, scholarships and federal student loans, and you can also take out private student loans from online lenders or brick-and-mortar credit unions or banks. Some private lenders may offer better terms than federal loans.
Boost Your Brand
There are many ways to get your name or your company’s name in front of people without having to pay for advertising. Learn a little bit about SEO so you can boost your company’s website in search results. Communicate regularly with local media through press releases to help establish yourself as an expert. You can also establish your expertise through generous sharing of knowledge online. Consistently include links to your business and information about offers and promotions on your email, invoices and any other written material. Be active on social media like top companies, but choose your platforms wisely. It’s better to just be on one or two platforms where you find the bulk of your target audience than to try to use half a dozen platforms halfheartedly.
What are the most profitable parts of your business? Look at the data to get the answer, and cut out the goods or services that aren’t bringing in much money unless they have other significant benefits, such as establishing goodwill or getting your name in front of people. You should also try to get a clear picture of who your top clients or customers are so you can take steps to retain them.
Manage Your Cash Flow
There’s a balance to be struck between keeping a good relationship with your vendors and holding off on paying as long as possible. Of course, you should not wait until your bills are past due, but if you have 30 or 60 days to pay an invoice, that cash can keep working for you right up until the last minute. However, you need to balance this against the value of having vendors who will go the extra mile for you without a charge if you pay your bills promptly. Along the same lines, you may have clients you want to fire if working with them and getting payment from them is a struggle. If you tend to do batch invoicing, stop now. Instead, you should invoice as soon as a job is complete so that you can get paid faster and keep cash coming in. This way, you will avoid common cash flow mistakes.
Get To Know Your Customers
Of course, you can always get to know and understand your existing customers better. This way, you can develop innovative products and services catered to meet their unique needs. By gaining insight into your customer base, you can encourage consistent feedback and better personalize your offerings. In addition, these strategies help you upgrade your customer service, nurture clients, and source new opportunities. To effectively grow your business this year, get to work on building your customer base in order to find new ones.