Your business means a lot to you.
You started it. You may have even conceived of the entire concept. It may be, in many ways, original to you. One thing’s for sure, you are committed to it. This may be an internal commitment to your success. It may be
The question then becomes: how do you grow?
We’ve polled different entrepreneurs and come with these business hacks. These are not ideas that will work for everyone, but they could be a good fit for your budget and your goals.
1. Think Creatively, Never Budget Creatively
Entrepreneurs tend to be dreamers. That’s great. They think big. They see opportunities and seize them. You simply can’t be afraid of your own shadow if you go into business for yourself. This type of business attracts a certain type of person.
That individual tends to be creative. They can see the big picture and can think of many ways to achieve their goals. Hopefully they are smart, driven and capable as well as creative, but its definitely creative thinking that allows them to go for their dream. This is an excellent source of organic growth.
In all aspects of your business, keeping your mind open is essential. Things won’t stall down if you are constantly looking at problems from all angles. This is a big benefit of the independent business. There’s no long list of company rules and regulations to slow you down.
All that creative thinking can spill over into areas where it shouldn’t be. Enthusiasm can lead to discounts that the business can’t afford. It can lead to purchases that shouldn’t have been made. And, worst of all, it can lead to creative bookkeeping that turns into a tax nightmare later on. So, be creative in all things except fiscal responsibility. On that, let the data drive you.
2. Evaluate Your Hidden Assets
Hidden means that something is there, but you can’t see it. So, if you want to evaluate your hidden assets, you are going to have to dig deep. You may need other people to help you do it. What do you or your business have that isn’t being used to its full potential?
Many entrepreneurs end up expanding their business in unusual directions. They see an opportunity that capitalizes on their strengths and they go for it.. This is like a real estate agent who discovers that her incredible clean up hacks can be monetized. She expands her business to include being a consultant for decluttering.
Another may realize that their building is too big for their needs. They can earn money if they shrink their office footprint and rent out part of the building. If you aren’t the building owner, you may find that you can work from home, use a storage unit, and save big time on rent.
One smart moneymaker rented part of the parking lot to the orthodontist’s office next door. The doctor needed ten spots for his staff, allowing his own parking lot to be available for patients. Another kept a stash of composite mats for their big events. They discovered they could rent them out to others, helping their bottom line.
3. Ask the Team for Help
If you have a team of employees already, they may have knowledge or connections you need. Instead of waiting for yearly reviews, become proactive about getting to know them. You want to identify their strengths and discover the ones who can help you grow. They may have an entrepreneurial spirit in them that you can tap into. The goal is to find their talents and to utilize them for the business.
For instance, you may have an outgoing personality who is doing back office type chores. Maybe he or she should be helping with sales, doing social media outreach, or handling event plans. You may have a floor assistant who is great with numbers. Maybe they should help with bookkeeping or ordering.
Hopefully your employees get along with you and each other. If so, then team meetings may yield creative ideas about ways to grow the business without spending more money.
4. Establish Your Online Presence
While social media can be difficult for someone as busy as an entrepreneur, it is still a necessity in today’s marketing climate. This activity is, for the most part, free, and that makes it even more important for entrepreneurs to find the time for it.
It’s easy to see how daunting this is to most people. Entrepreneurs are busy and driven to work. They don’t have time for what may feel frivolous. Even if it is free, they simply cannot imagine having enough time to make it work.
Well, here’s how many are doing it. They write out a plan for positing that covers the whole month. This includes pictures they’ve taken on their phone of different activities. Make sure you have the right to publish if these include pictures of people. Using that plan, they publish 2 to 3 times a day on social media. While there, they look at the accounts for any related vendors, clients, or prospects. They take a moment to like posts by these people and/or to make a comment. It grows from there!
There are some people who don’t even have a website. They are strictly on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linked In. They use their posting calendar and recycle their posts, rewriting them with a different emphasis. They reuse photos, focusing on different aspects within the photo. In other words, they make every effort count for five to ten posts. This reduces the burden significantly.
5. Look to Your Clients and Customers
Your clients or customers may be a goldmine of information. They may have their finger on the pulse, and you may be able to get valuable information from them about what people want, about what makes them happy, and even about the competition. You can gather this information with small surveys on social media, your website, and even in person at the cash register.
Hopefully you are gathering good reviews on Google and Facebook. If not, there are ways to reach out to customers with the goal of getting them to follow through on reviews.
Assuming you can get those good reviews, you start using them in your social media. The post could simply be snapshots of those good reviews with a few words from you about the importance of customer service.
When you put all this together, the main cost here is your time. That is a precious commodity, but many of these suggestions can be done as part of the regular work day. Once you get started, you’ll find much of this comes naturally. One thing’s for certain, you are going to grow if you put some time toward it every day.