Can you believe that we’re already at the end of November?! I don’t know about you but I’m already thinking about how to build and grow my business in 2013, easily and inexpensively.
So, on that note, I thought I’d share with you my quick, no-nonsense guide to building your business and growing it on a shoestring budget:
1. Be Helpful
Business, for me personally, is all about reaching out to people in my niche and sharing my skills and expertise with them. More often than not, for free. How does that help me to grow my business, you ask?
Well, by freely sharing my knowledge, skills and expertise, I am creating a powerful referral network. Not just that, the benefits of helping others include making relationships that matter, creating connections that count and being a valuable part of a network.
Karma, they say, is powerful and I firmly believe, the more you give, the more you get. So, give freely of your talents, skills and knowledge. And watch it all flow back to you.
2. Be You. Be Unique.
One of the first things I learnt when starting out was to be myself. To be authentic. You see, learning from industry leaders and a-list bloggers is great but blindly copying them is not. You’ll be surprised but the world is a small place and copycats hardly ever, thrive. So, if you want to grow your business, be YOU. Boldly, unabashedly, whole-heartedly.
3. Have a Plan and a Strategy in Place
It pays to plan. Building and growing your business is not easy, especially when you’re a work-at-home mom. By planning ahead, creating strategies to execute the plan and taking action, every day, you will be moving forward in a focused and productive manner. Step 1 will naturally progress to Step 2.
Whether it is creating a blog marketing and editorial calendar for the year or a kickass marketing plan for your smallbiz, spend time now doing that.
4. Use Online Media Wisely and Smartly
Make Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest your best friends. These free tools are great for growing your community and building your brand. Have a social media strategy in place and without getting sucked into the social time sink, create visibility.
5. Network, Engage and Interact
Closely related to helping others and using online media wisely, remember that social networking is not about talking to yourself. It is, like, networking in real life. You have to make conversation. Don’t just flood your network with links to your site or news about your business.
Make your conversation about them. Share how what you do can help them. Collaborate with other business owners. Again, a free way to build your business, networking is great when done smartly.
6. Scout for Inexpensive, Effective Tools
Building a business does require spending some amount of money. However, you don’t need to go for the most expensive tool out there. Scout around. Chances are you’ll find a more inexpensive version that gives you the same flexibility and ease. For instance, when looking for paid forms for The Mom Writes, I came across JotForm which allowed me to take payments, create unlimited forms and more for just $9.95/mo as compared to my first choice Wufoo who charges $29.95/mo for the same functionalities!
7. Create Your Own Content
One of the best ways to grow your business, especially online, is to create your own content. Have a blog, a newsletter, an ezine. Build visibility, expert status and engage deeply with your customers via your content.
In a world where Facebook changes its policies overnight and social networks frequently lose their sheen, your own content is evergreen and will always work to your advantage. For me, this has been one of the best ways to build my business without spending a penny!
8. Be Your Own Publicist
Every business needs publicity. Visibility on big name sites and in popular publications. However, before you head out and hire a PR representative, look at different ways in which you can do your own publicity.
I’m signed up to HARO or Help a Reporter Out emails that arrive thrice a day in my inbox packed with requests from journalists. You could also sign up for Source Bottle, if you’re a business in Australia or UK. Part of my free PR strategy for 2013 is to respond to requests with well-written pitches. No reason why YOU shouldn’t do that as well!
9. Build a Community of Customers
Spend time building a community of customers. Have a newsletter that visitors to your site can subscribe to and share specials, offers and new arrivals with them. Create a blog that they can visit to learn about how to best use your products. Share fun photos of your office or store on your Facebook page. Take them on a tour of your warehouse on YouTube. Yes, involve your customers in your business. Make them your community. It costs nothing but has HIGH impact.
10. Create a Brand Presence Affordably
Finally, build your brand presence affordably. Whether it is investing in an inexpensive shopping cart solution like, e-Junkie or advertising online, make sure you spend your marketing dollars wisely.
Speaking of smart spending, I wanted to share with you that I’m offering a 33% OFF Holiday Special on all advertising and sponsorship opportunities for 2013! Get more details on our Advertising Page and get ready to take a step towards building your business, easily and affordably.
Building your business shouldn’t be about busting the bank. It should be about being part of a solution, creating a community and making it count. Want to offer a solution? Click to tweet this!
How will YOU build your business on shoestring budget in 2013?
Photo Credit: Pixabay