No one wants to think small anymore, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Ambition is important and can help us to become the best versions of ourselves that we can be. It can also help us to grow our businesses and to earn a decent living, which in turn can help our interpersonal relationships and our family lives.
But at the same time, they say that you need money to make money, and so how do you grow if you’re limited on funds?
The good news is that the answers are easier than you might think, and if you follow the right process, you can bootstrap on a budget and grow your business to ten times its size in no time. Here’s what you need to know.
How to Grow Your Business on a Budget
1. Make sure that your accounts are in order
You should always have a destination in mind, which in this case is to grow to become a bigger business. You also need to know how to get there without a compass.
In this case, the answer is to keep an eye on your books. If your accounting is a mess then you’ll have no indication of whether you’re heading in the right direction. In fact, you won’t even be able to tell whether you’re growing or making money.
Growth without increased profit is growth for no reason and so should be avoided. And the only way to tell whether your growth is accompanied by profit is to have decent accounts and to regularly check to see how your company is performing.
2. Answer the phone
This is super basic, but it’s worth reiterating it here because you’d be surprised by how many companies fail to do this. If I had a dollar for every time a small business hasn’t answered the phone or one of my emails, I wouldn’t need to bootstrap in the first place.
How many small businesses make it a priority to pick up the phone or to respond to emails as soon as they come in? The answer is surprisingly few, which is why you can stand out from the competition by making it a priority.
If the business has grown beyond a one-person operation, you need to make sure that your employees are replying to their emails and picking up the phone. I call small businesses every week and always seem to reach their voicemail during business hours.
If you really want to drive growth, forward emails and phone calls to yourself at the weekend. I promise, it’ll lead to more work – and are your competitors doing it?
3. Pay yourself less
I know, I know, you hear the opposite to this all the time and people will tell you that you should pay yourself first. It’s fine to do that, but if you want to bootstrap successfully then you should take that money and reinvest it in your business.
How close are you to that next piece of equipment that will add efficiency or take your business to the next level? How many nights out are you willing to sacrifice to buy it? Much of business is about what we’re willing to give up for the greater vision of your company, and this is especially true when you’re bootstrapping.
4. Help with the accounts
As the business owner, you need to have a hand in the accounts, because who else is really going to care that you’re paying $20 a month for that specialist magazine subscription that no one actually reads? These monthly recurring bills can add up quickly, and businesses love to prey on smaller businesses.
Just yesterday, our web host jacked their price up from $30 per month to $130 a month. If we hadn’t been paying attention, we would have ended up paying an inflated price for the next couple of years.
Cash is key to growth, and you’ll need plenty of it to make the big moves that you want to make. Don’t waste it by letting immoral companies suck you dry when you’re not looking.
5. Post, post, post
Take advantage of free social media channels for your business, posting daily and often. Videos and social media posts can be a great way to get the word out and to grow your business, and you’re losing out if you’re not tapping into the free marketing opportunities that they offer.
These days, all you need is a smartphone to quickly and easily make quality content. If you have no one else to do it at your business, take a course and learn to do it yourself. It’s easily the biggest thing that you can do for free in five minutes a day to help your business to scale.
There are plenty of ways that you can pour accelerant on your business and to live your dreams of boosting its size. With that said, you need to make sure that it’s the right kind of growth, bringing the potential of immediate returns or future profit.
That’s why it’s so important to have a good grasp on your books and to make sure that you’re tracking key metrics and having the right impact to push yourself into the future. You can also set yourself apart from the competition by being customer focused and easily accessible.
It’s all about standing out in a crowded marketplace and analysing everything you do to make sure that you’re heading in the right direction. This is the ultimate mindset that you’ll need if you want to make your dreams happen and successfully bootstrap your business. Good luck.