No one says running a business is easy, and if you’re starting from scratch you’re probably looking at all the ways to pinch a penny. Being able to budget isn’t just a highly valuable skill, it’s often the case between thriving and failing in the business world. Here are a few tips that can help you budget along the way.
1. Utilize Social Media. It’s no secret that these days most of us get our information from social media platforms, and having a strong social media presence doesn’t have to cost you the world. It’s still one of the cheapest ways for small businesses to get their brand out there, and with such a wide reach it’s also one of the most cost-effective. Connect with your customers, have some fun with what you share, and give your brand the voice it desires.
2. Network. The hardest part of starting a business is getting your brand out there; in fact so many of us get suffocated before anyone has heard of us. Networking provides so many opportunities to connect with others in your area, or to reach people who may never have thought about the product or service you are offering. Sometimes it’s what you know, but many time it’s who you know.
3. Know Your Marketing Strategy. So many of us start out with an initial plan, only to let it fall by the wayside as we get distracted by problems and new opportunities. Always refer to your marketing strategy, even when you want to experiment with something new. Not only will this keep you on track, but it will help you to stick to your budget, so no more frightening bills will come haunt you in the future.
4. Email Lists. We all hate receiving marketing emails, especially when they add no value to our day or experience with a brand. But an effective email listing campaign means your customers, old and new, can look forward to hearing about the latest news, and most importantly how it affects them. Offer discounts, loyalty benefits, or gifts like personalised travel mugs, pens, and tote bags – anything that entices them to open up and read what you have to offer.
5. Be Ready To Pitch. At any moment, you could be selling your product or service to potential clients. You don’t have to wait for a chance to present or pay to enter a conference. Take every opportunity you have to promote your brand and it’ll save you more money than you realise. The best aspect of running a small business is your ability to be flexible and to try new techniques and strategies. Stick to your budget and experiment with these low-cost tips to help build you business to success.
6. Tell Your Brand’s Story With a Press Release. A great way to build up your small brand is by getting recognised, but how do you get the recognition your brand deserves? A great way to really push your brand’s story is by sending out press releases to your local and national newspapers. Think about what makes your brand special, but also relatable so that the press editor sees something worth featuring in the newspaper to its readers. Getting featured in your local newspaper is a sure fire way to get more customers without having to spend a lot on adverts and editorial features in glossy magazines, as it’s usually completely free press coverage.
7. Hold An Event In Store. If your business has a shop or a headquarters that you’re more than happy to allow the public to visit, why not hold an event to mark a special occasion for your brand, whether it’s a grand opening or as part of a new campaign that you’re running. The costs can be kept down because you already foot the bill for your store or office, so the only expenditure is the extras such as food, drinks, goodie bags and decoration for the event. An event is a great way to build your brand up with real people, face to face and you can create your own hashtag for Twitter and Instagram to get people talking about your brand. Make your event exciting so that people will want to come and invite not only loyal customers, but also potential clientele and local businesses as well.
8. Enter Your Brand Up For Awards. Part of building up your brand is getting praised for your hard work and sometimes that can go unrecognised if you haven’t got anything to show for it. Applying for awards is a budget-friendly way to build up your brand and it will certainly get people talking about your brand as well as having trust in your services, which is incredibly important when trying to build your brand up. Some awards can be costly, but look for small independent awards ceremonies if your budget can’t stretch any further.