5 Ways to Grow Your Business with Limited Capital
Not everyone who wants to start a business has the means to do so. It’s for that reason that we wrote about ways to build a business on a budget just earlier this year. Building on that idea though, it’s important to keep in mind that launching a business isn’t the only concern. Someone going about this process on a strict budget is also likely to face the problem of how to grow a business with limited capital. So in this piece, we’ll cover a few tips for addressing that very problem.
Keep the Business Open at All Times
When you’re running a business with limited resources, it can truly feel like you’re pouring every available ounce of effort and second of time into it. One way to ease that burden — and generate growth — is to make sure your business is open at all times. This way, you at least invite the possibility of generating business when you’re not actively working. If you’re selling a product or service online, this is basically the natural state of things. But if you’re operating a brick-and-mortar business, you may want to give some thought to how you can make some aspects of it available online, such that it can effectively remain accessible at all times.
Automate Where You Can
Not too long ago, automating would have sounded like an expensive option, only available to big and successful companies. Now though, there are some fairly simple ways to automate various aspects of your business, saving you time and effort (and maybe even the money you would otherwise have had to spend on a new hire). One example is to buy into software that can handle all of your budgeting and financial records for you. Another is to look into automated call answering services, which can handle incoming calls and route them to voicemail at your direction. Little steps like these can streamline your day-to-day practice and allow you to focus more on essential functions and, ultimately, growth.
Set Up Side Savings
With limited capital, you likely won’t be able to set too much money aside for investment. If it’s a personal business though, this can still be an idea worth considering. And to be clear, we aren’t suggesting that invaluable business capital should be placed into a risky stock portfolio. Rather, a savings account or certificate of deposit can do the trick. A relatively small amount of money in a savings account can grow at least a little bit over the course of six months or a year; spreading money across multiple CDs can give you multiple accounts that will accrue interest and mature at different times — essentially meaning that you’ll see occasional influxes of cash. In either case, you can use these methods to supplement your own income so that you have to take less out of the business; you can reinvest the earnings, or you can put the money directly toward a given growth initiative.
Focus on Your Target Audience
Hopefully, if you’ve reached the point of considering growth, you’ve gained some idea of who your primary customers are. If not, you can take steps to identify your target audience, some of which require relatively little in terms of money or resources. This is a crucial part of preparing for growth. A bigger business with more money to spare can sometimes afford to take a broader approach, and even do some trial and error in the hopes of expanding. A more limited business, however, needs a clear target audience to market to. Intensifying your focus in this area can bring about the highest probability of increased business. There will be opportunities to branch out more down the road.
Diversify Your Offerings
You may have heard the advice before that businesses should “diversify or die” in times of stress. Well, we’d apply it to times of growth as well. While you may not be able to effectively expand your marketing approach beyond a target audience, you may be able to think up a new addition or two to your company’s offerings. That might mean anything from a new topic of coverage on a personal blog to a few new products in an online store, and so on. Whatever the case, this is a relatively straightforward way of offering something new — giving your business the appearance of growth in a way that may just attract fresh interest.
Through these steps, you might just be able to spark growth in your business even with limited capital on hand. It’s a tricky process, and there’s never a guarantee that anyone thing will work. But don’t assume you need significant resources to start to expand, even if it’s only incrementally at first.