Becoming an entrepreneur and starting a home-based business can be both challenging and rewarding. Sometimes you just love the freedom of being your own boss and making your own decisions. But at other times you worry about how you are going to grow your business so that it becomes profitable. When your marketing budget is tight, it can be tough to find inexpensive ways to reach your target audience. To help out during these challenging times, here are four cheap ways you can grow your home-based business:
• Social Media: If you don’t have enough customers, one thing you do have is plenty of time. Use it well to build a social media presence. It costs nothing to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or start a blog. What is does require is a consistent stream of interesting information on your subject matter. You might be surprised at how quickly your business can grow when you have a strong social media strategy.
• Repeats & Referrals: It may be trite to say that the best source of new business is a satisfied customer, but it is true. Take care of the customers you have and ask them for more business. It’s surprising just how many new entrepreneurs overlook this crucial step. Then ask for referrals, testimonials and recommendations you can use to build new leads.
• Get Involved: It helps to become very involved in your community. This allows you to meet a variety of prospects. Talk about what you do, but don’t push. Always have your business cards available. Offer to speak at group events. Groups like the Kiwanis, Lions Club or Chamber of Commerce are usually looking for guest speakers. Join the PTA, theater board, or other local groups where your target audience might be.
• Be Where Your Target Audience Is: If you have a well-defined local target audience, it is usually easy to find where they are and market directly to them. If you are a college financial aid advisor, the target audience is high school students and their parents. In that case find out whether you can submit articles or take out advertisements in the school newspaper, buy an ad in the yearbook or event programs, or ask whether you can sponsor any sporting events or booster clubs.
Learn From Others In Your Business
It is also helpful to talk to others who have achieved success in your industry to find out what they have done to attract business. Think about your company through the lens of a startup or small business, and ensure your priorities are in the right place and continue to remain aligned with your business goals and company culture.