Lately I’ve had the opportunity to connect with some amazing individuals that are on the cusp of something great. The challenge is how to build you business while on a budget. It’s funny what a taboo word that is, in fact many times our new clients don’t even want to bring it up. Money is an awkward conversation, and I get that.
But what’s more awkward is having the feeling that you’re not meeting the client’s needs or causing them stress, because the conversation around budget hasn’t been honestly had. You’d be surprised, in our conversations, the brainstorming sessions that occur, all around concepts the client can do themselves, with little or no expense. Right off the top, there are numerous community organizations that are looking for guest speakers to offer workshops, they manage all of the promotion, can fill seats, and while it may not be a big revenue stream, it can be a source for testimonials and referrals. Sometimes you don’t know until you ask!
So how do you grow your business, on a budget. Here are our top 5 tips:
- Understand what your time is worth – and use it wisely. If you know an hour of your time can be billed for $100 and hour, and you just spent an hour on Facebook checking out what your friends have been up to – then that hour on Facebook just cost you $100. Was it worth it?
- Have disciplined office hours – set an alarm, get up, get dressed and get to work. Have a start time and an end time, and do not do laundry, get groceries, vacuum etc. during work hours. If you wouldn’t do it at the office, don’t do it from your home office. Don’t multi-task – FOCUS!
- Take an inventory of what you do really well and love to do, and what takes you too long and is outside of your skillset. If you spend too much time trying to figure it out, how much is it costing you versus the investment of having someone else do it for you. Virtual Assistants are great for that, have flexible hours, and because they don’t work just for you, they can work as much or as little as you need. In your first discussion with a VA, get the budget discussion out of the way, you may be surprised the suggestions and resources they can pull in to keep you on track.
- It takes a team! Now, I don’t mean a team of support staff (although you’ll get to that point), but align yourself with individuals that compliment your business, that you can refer people to and they can return the favor!
- Balance – succeeding doesn’t mean working 24/7, even if sometimes it feels that way! Balance work time with family time, office time with networking time. Let that balance change as your business does, and accept that it can change. What does balance have to do with budget? Absolutely nothing. But it is one of the most important skills a business owner needs to have, without balance you have burnout, burnout causes distraction, and lack of focus costs you.
And a bonus tip – if you know you’re going to have downtime, between appointments out of the office, reach out to a colleague and reconnect over coffee. Use that downtime to keep your network warm, your name out there, and your pipeline building. Having a cup of coffee with a colleague, may cost you an extra coffee, but having coffee alone, could cost you an opportunity.Lastly, if you’re like me and love apps, check out this fantastic blog: 25 Best Apps for Small-Business Owners in 2017 (nerdwallet.com). There are some great free, and paid, options to help your business grow and succeed.