10 Free Ways To Grow Your Small Business
The pandemic might have affected your business growth in any number of ways. Maybe you’ve been forced to shut for a certain amount of time. Maybe your customers are buying less at the moment. Or perhaps the industry you’re in means you have nothing to sell. such as theatre tickets, travel, cinemas and events. There are also businesses inundated with demand. Whatever the case, if you’re going to grow your local business in the current climate, you need to adapt.
Here are 10 tips on how to do it for free!
REVIEWS There are so many benefits to improving your communications with existing and potential customers. You can generate more reviews, which act as 'social proof'. When you look for a service or product yourself, I bet you look at reviews on Google for example?
Ask your customers to leave a review if they are happy with your service.
It's free and it's SO effective!
MEETINGS Zoom has changed business and doing business in so many ways. Zoom provide free training sessions to get to know the platform.
Another great option is Calendly. Integrating directly with your Google or Office 365 calendar and your website, it gives you a personalised URL that allows customers to see your availability and schedule their preferred meeting time.
Best of all, there’s a basic free plan available.
Mailchimp is a small business best friend and it's got a great free offering that covers pretty much everything you need, In fact, Mailchimp claims to boost open rates by 93% and click rates by 174% compared to the average bulk email.
I particularly love the new customer journeys, as they make light work of planning your communications.
GOOGLE PROFILE Setting up a free profile makes it more likely that your business shows up in relevant searches, whilst increasing your SEO organically. This under utilised but very effective tool is worth spending some time on to get set up. In just 5 minutes per week you can be optimising your Google profile with updates, pictures and posts.
Once you’ve set it up, keep it optimised:
Ensure your information is accurate
Share business updates, like new opening hours or product launches
Ask customers for Google reviews (and respond to them)
GOOGLE ANALYTICS Analytics software (like Google Analytics) can help you maximise reaching, attracting and converting your ideal customer, by allowing you to identify trends, measure the results of your current efforts and make changes to improve what you do. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Why not give customers in your area an upgraded service, free delivery, add on or promo code, or combine it with a loyalty scheme? Additional points can be earned for certain services or products. Tailor your offer to what your customers want right now, then promote it on Facebook, in the local press, via email marketing, or through direct mail. You can even create a landing page on your website to capture all these leads and measure just how effective your campaign is.
SOCIAL MEDIA For a local business, it's best to focus on those that give you the best reach and attract your ideal customers.
If you’re B2B, LinkedIn’s a good choice, but I also find Facebook is effective with targeted, relevant content, such as videos, how to's testimonials etc.... If your product or service is highly visual you might also see success on Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube.
Your blog is an excellent way to be an expert in your field. Use your blogs and snippets in social media focusing on solutions you provide to customers issues. It has a real impact on your SEO too!
Customers make your business tick and need to be the central focus of everything you do. Plot our your customer journey and identify gaps where customers 'fall off'and where you can really deliver amazing service.
Cash flow is crucial right now. You can collect payments faster and with less hassle, leaving your to focus on points 1-9!
Purple Accounts provides free access to Xero and 24/7 access, so not only can you issue invoices on the go, but keep track of your bank balance too. Growing a local business is never easy, and it’s certainly a lot harder right now, especially in some industries.
However, if you’ve set up your own business, you’re naturally entrepreneurial, adaptable and driven to make it work. Combine that attitude with some or all of these suggestions and there’s no reason why you can’t come out of the pandemic in a stronger position.