Cut Costs and Spur Growth for Your Small Business
January 28, 2020
Small business cash flow is often a slow trickle when startup costs are high, and your process isn’t efficient. It’s easy to consider financing or investors whenever you’re strapped for capital, but it might make more sense to trim back first and make ends meet with what you already have.
Prepare yourself — financial discipline can be arduous work. But if you have set your mind on responsible growth, you’re already likely to succeed, and here are some tips to get you started.
Market and Advertise Online
You generally need advertising to reach potential customers, and marketing to draw them in; however, you don’t always need to spend your cash reserves with a top-of-the-line agency to be effective. In the online market, you can reach more people in your community and around the world than ever before. Developing your website and social media strategy will likely take time and effort, but being directly engaged with customers puts your face at the front of your business, which is where you want it to be, right?
Provide Superior Customer Service
The beauty of a small business is the personal relationship you often have with your local community. If you don’t have the capital for flashy advertising, providing outstanding customer service might do the trick just as well.
Millennials and Generation Z are turning big-name brands into a thing of the past, as they often prefer to give their money to a more personal, relatable business. Engaging with your customers in-house and on social media and include them in your day-to-day story.
After you’ve invited them in, you can do your best to make sure they leave happy. Your best advertising is often word-of-mouth from happy, loyal, connected customers. And it’s free.
Outsource to Independent Contractors
Growth means added responsibility and workload, and as much as you may want, you probably can’t do it all. It’s OK to delegate — hire an employee or two, but there’s another option if you need someone with specialized skills or only for a short season.
The current gig economy is full to bursting with freelancers (or 1099 Contractors) that you can employ as-needed. Since they are responsible for their expenses like income tax reporting, social security, and insurance, the hefty hourly price tag might actually be less than what if would cost for a standard W-2 hire. Plus, their future income relies heavily on repeat hiring, so they will likely set to your tasks in earnest.
Rein in Rapid Growth
In can be very easy to get carried away by the wild horses of growth, especially if your business sees immediate successes and market potential. However, it may be more important to use these techniques to keep the quality of your existing services or products high:
- Pay attention to your customer feedback — it is lovely to hear them say how fantastic your products are, but the negative reviews are the valuable ones. Complaints could point out a critical issue that you may not see otherwise, and fixing it now will probably be much simpler than damage control down the line.
- Limit your development to what your business can actually handle. Many business financial advisors, like those at quickloansdirect.com, recommend that if you’re enjoying success but cash flow is still tight, stay the course and focus on your initial purpose.
In time, patience often yields stability, and when you’re on the verge of expansion, there are small business financing options that can help you over if your capital still needs a boost.
Staying current on industry trends can also help you focus your development where it might be most effective. Trade shows and online groups can be an excellent way to expand your circle of fellow small business owners and keep up with the direction of your industry.
Local small business networks can also be an excellent resource for strategies and ideas on how to grow in your local market on limited resources. Your Chamber of Commerce can provide a treasure trove of information on your community like development and planning, demographics, and ideas for marketing. It can also point you to some local trade organizations if you’re having trouble finding them on your own.
Business loans and lines of credit will always be there when you need them. If you can build a record of running a lean, tight ship, it might help to put you in great shape for approval when you’re ready to take off.