Crawl, Walk, Run; Building Your Business On A Budget
Small Business owners & entrepreneurs these days there are more and more people branching out on their own. Venturing out into starting their own business. There are just as many who have tried and failed or tried and are still trying to figure things out. How to build their business while trying to manage a limited budget. It’s easier when you have the money to spend. You run through option after option until you find the method that works best for you.
Building a business on a limited budget requires entrepreneurs and small business owners to be smart about their money. Take calculated risks when the right opportunities come around. Plus, a whole lot of patience. Patience waiting at the right time to push to grow. Patience with marketing strategies that are solid but take time to come to fruition. It takes knowing when to let go of a strategy as well. Which is not to say that it may be a bad strategy or company. Just not the right one for where you are stage-wise in your business.
While true advertising can be hit or miss. There are more resources and options than there have ever been for promoting your business. Identifying the right ones for you in the right moment tends to separate the successful from those still trying to figure things out. It’s important to ask the right questions and be able to decipher between good and advice and just advice. Read up and gather information to make an informed decision. Example: This blog on starting your business
Crawl; Building your small business on a budget
You don’t have to jump in with both feet and blow through your savings. This where strategy proves to serve you best. Going in with a plan. While being humble and wise enough to know it’s going to take time to figure things out. There are a lot of paths that lead to the same result. Identifying the path that works best for you and your goals. That’s the one that will get you there without as much burden on your budget.
Don’t be afraid to partner with like-minded people who have similar goals. You’re not linked to them forever but you can help each other out along the way. I can’t tell you how many people want websites to sell their products/services without the budget to make it happen. This is where you can crawl before you walk. Pool resources and create something that allows you to generate revenue you can put aside and save up for your solo venture.
Take your products and services to someone who already has a website and provide a reasonable percentage for the space to sell your products. A barber rents a chair in the barbershop. Hairstylists rent chairs in beauty salons. Both are building up their brand and client list. If they have aspirations of having their own shop. They’re putting part of those profits aside so they can establish their own location. Renting space to the next person. Rinse & repeat. Pun intended…
Walk; Building your small business on a budget
Perhaps you’re further along in the process. You’ve already been working the side hustle and you want to make it more official. Take things from selling your products through someone else’s commerce store to having your own. Move from a free website platform to something customized for you. Venture out beyond selling products and services via Instagram, & FaceBook.
The benefits are you provide potential customers the confidence of knowing if something goes wrong they have a legit way to reach you. It’s an uneasy feeling doing business when you think that person could up and move shop on you at any time. You can legitimize your pricing this way as well. It’s the answer to why does this cost what it does? It’s not selling tickets out in front of the stadium for an event. It’s having a legit setup that brings peace of mind.
We all love a deal and that I got it for a ‘steal’ moment but those come with risk. It also comes with a price limit. There’s a limit to how much people are willing to spend when they don’t feel like you’re official. In the mind of the consumer because you’re not legit there should be some discount attached. Someone selling products at a table on the street isn’t going to be able to sell the product for the same price as someone with a store you can enter. The same mindset transfers to online stores and websites.
Set expectations. First impressions really do matter. However good service can win you a customer. You don’t have to have the greatest website or set up to be a good business. There are some great sites and stores that are awful with their service. People are willing to give you a shot if they feel like they can trust you and understand you and what you’re about. This is where testimonials and reviews can make the biggest difference. If you can show substance and trust. The competitor can have the best looking storefront and packaging. While still being that half-filled bag of chips. Where you’re providing more of upside by going above and beyond with your customer service and offering.
You don’t need to have the best store or website. A starter website will do provided your services are that of a bigger more established business. Start with the basics. Get up and running. Generate revenue and then upgrade to that next level situation. The loyal customers will appreciate seeing your growth and know that they’ve been part of that journey with you. One more way of building brand loyalty.
Run; How to Build your small business on a budget
You’re officially ready to take your side hustle and turn it into a legit business entity. You’ve put your money aside. You already have a following for your business. Now it’s time to extend your reach and grow your business beyond what your efforts up to now can do.
Business is going well enough where you simply don’t have the time for the things that you use to do. You can’t stay on top of getting your post out on social media. You’re getting more orders than you can take on by yourself. You’ve established that foundation. Now you’re looking into expanding your product suite and services. Taking on larger customers. You can forecast sales at least a month or two out.
You’ve gone from being behind and playing catch up to breaking even or being ahead. What now? Now you’re in a position to start looking at changing your market strategy. Targeting specific audiences instead of everyone and hoping for the best. You can run marketing campaigns and advertising. Find out more about your target customers. Who they are and how best to reach more of them. Look at things like how to drive more traffic to your website on your own. Here’s an oldy but goody. SEO
The goal is to spend wisely and not just spend just because you can now. Marketing strategy is more important than ever. Mainly because you have more options available to you and more people know who you are. Approaching you with the greatest solutions in the world. While yes, it takes money to make money. It is also important to know smart decisions lead to long money. Spending wisely venturing out and trying different offerings and solutions. While not being afraid to move on if they aren’t working. High priced doesn’t mean great results. The same way low pricing means it’s a great deal.
Your marketing strategy should be goal specific so that if the goals aren’t being met. Then you know it’s time to move on and try another solution. Set realistic goals. Track and follow them. Know what is moving things in the right direction and why. This way you can invest more in those aspects and less in the things not giving you the desired results.
The importance of why is not to be underestimated. It could be a great idea or solution just not the right time for it. Being able to know the difference between bad timing or a situation and something that simply doesn’t work is key. It can save you a business quarter or more worths of fees advertising without the proper results.
Crawl, Walk Run building a business on a budget is a series that will include insights from different professionals and businesses. Helping to provide a knowledge base for entrepreneurs and small business owners.