All business owners want to expand their offering and reach more customers. And it makes sense - the more people who buy our products and services, the less we have to rely on our loyal customer base. But if you’re on a tight budget and don’t know how to reach more people, then it can be tough to grow, and you become stuck in a rut. Below, we’ve rounded up five ways to get your business in front of more potential customers without spending a fortune.
Networking is one of the oldest tricks in the books when it comes to marketing your business, and it’s clear to see why. The more people you meet in real life, the more connections you have, and the more likely you are to be recommended. Attend networking events in your area, host your own to put your brand in front of new people, and don’t be afraid of emailing strangers for a chat. If you don’t know where to begin, here’s an excellent guide to networking for beginners.
Social media is another platform where you can spread the word about your business and put yourself in front of new customers. Make sure you’re on all of the relevant social networks for your niche - typically, B2B businesses have the most success on LinkedIn and Facebook, while B2C customers promote their businesses on Twitter and Instagram. Play around and see what works for you - and consider social media scheduling tools like Buffer to save time.
When you search for your products or services, does your business should up first on Google? If not, you should invest in a search engine optimisation strategy to boost your rankings and help you be seen by more people. In fact, if you’re at number one on Google, 33% of all people who Google your search term will click through to you - that’s a seriously high number. If your website is buried on the fourth page at the bottom, you’ll never be able to compete. Make sure you understand the basics of SEO, or hire a company that offers SEO for small businesses to do the hard work for you and get your business ranking high for relevant search terms.
Launching a referrals or affiliate scheme can be a great way of building your business and getting more customers to sign up. You could, for example, offer other businesses and website owners 10% commission every time someone buys from you; it’s a simple, no-strings-attached way of getting more people to shout about your business without spending a penny.
Partnering with other businesses could be another way of bringing more customers through your doors. If you offer business stationery, for example, then you could partner with a business management company or cleaning company and cross-promote services. The closer aligned you are as businesses the better, but you don’t necessarily have to work in the same industry.
There you have it - five of the best ways to grow your customer base on a budget. Whether you’re a startup or have years of experience in business, good luck with your campaign!