Last week, we addressed the issue of how to prevent your business from failing, and one of the ideas given to ensure that your business succeeds was the need to have cash flow. Having cash flow is equivalent to the ability to growing your business, because to succeed, you need money to grow your business. Or do you?
Let us explore ideas on how you can grow your business even without money:
Simplify your marketing message
As much as possible, be clear about what your business offers and why your target market should choose you. Don’t try to be a jack-of-all-trades and end up being master of none.
Encourage your employees to be more efficient
With little or no money, running your business efficiently can raise the chances of growing a successful and sustainable business. An efficiently run business can save on costs for running your business, and allow you to strategically allocate resources to important things. You can begin by standardizing processes to save time like keeping records, invoices, and inquiries to emails to customers etc. Encourage your employees to modify their approaches to tasks and be creative on how to increase their productivity, instead of relying on the standard way of doing things that may be costly and lose money for your business.
The shorter the turnover for a project, the more you save money; therefore, if you can condense a four-month project into a three-month project i.e. a job per quarter, then you can do one more job in a year, and earn more.
Cut out waste
Strategically allocating resources to important things that can bring revenue is very important. Therefore, any expense or activity that is not adding to your bottom line should be let go.
Use every means and embrace every opportunity to make your business visible. Whether it is through search engine listings, social media, and local networking events – everyone is important. Being visible is the only way that customers know that your business exists.
Give offers and discounts
Creating special offers and discounts are sure ways to attract customers to your business. Those things whet customers’ appetite; it also attracts first-time users to your business to sample your offerings.
Nurture your customers
This is especially important in the early days because you could turn your customers into brand advocates. I know I sound like a broken record repeating this in almost every article, but it is that important.
Take care of your suppliers too
Suppliers are the main engines of your business. Just like your employees, you have to take care of them too. If you have a reputation of treating them unfairly, then it will affect your business, especially getting consistent and quality supply of goods from them. Therefore, take action to treat them fairly such as paying them promptly, and with that they would be more willing to give you discounts or more time to pay when you are cash-strung.
Ask for referrals
Besides word of mouth, which remains the most effective way of advertising, directly asking your customers to refer to you to others would help your business too. It opens up potential ways to increase revenue generated for your business.
Don’t wait for your receivables to pile up before you ask your customers for payment. As soon as a job is completed, send that invoice. Another way would be to request for a part payment for the job to keep you liquid and provide initial revenue to carry out the work, after which the balance will be paid upon completing the work.
Explore joint ventures
Joint ventures can come in many forms. It is a form of partnership to produce goods or render services with another company. You can enter joint ventures without necessarily spending money. It could be a trade-by-barter agreement, a symbiosis where both partners benefit.
Constantly think of innovative ways that you can make money, think outside the box in approaching solutions to problems.
Follow the above instructions and you will find your business growing, even without you spending money to grow it.