In these financially tough times for consumers and businesses alike, it can seem as though you just don’t have the budget to commit to services that will boost your business growth. However, Dave Scheine, Australia Country Manager at Podium, says there are some cost-effective ways to grow your business on any budget.
There is perhaps no more significant period on the small business calendar than the end of the financial year. Understandably, the EOFY can bring worry for business owners – many of whom will be faced with a tax bill.
This year, though, it also brings with it a sense of opportunity, optimism and a desire to put the impacts of the pandemic behind us once and for all.
A tax bill – or just a small budget – in the new year doesn’t have to come at the expense of growing your business, though. At previously Google and now Podium, I’ve worked with thousands of businesses in dozens of industries, seeing first-hand how they’ve strategically and innovatively grown their business on any budget.
Whatever tax commitments you face from July, here are a few cost-effective ways to grow your business without over-stretching it financially.
Five tips to grow your business on any budget
How often have you reached the EOFY and wished you’d spent a little more time budgeting in the preceding 12 months? If you want to grow in the year ahead, make budgeting your first priority.
After all, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) found that almost half of small businesses fail, with financial mismanagement a common cause according to the University of Technology Sydney.
An effective budget helps understand how much capital you have at your disposal once you’ve offset non-negotiable expenses like rent, wages and tax. When you’ve determined how much money you can safely invest, try to prioritise expenses that contribute directly to sales and growth. It’s wise to leave yourself an emergency fund, so don’t budget every dollar.
2. Customer satisfaction
To grow your business, it’s easy to think you need to reinvent the wheel or think outside the box. One of the most cost-effective – but often overlooked – growth strategies is prioritising your customers. Customer acquisition is up to seven times more expensive than customer retention, but you can do both without breaking the bank.
A happy customer will remain a customer for two years longer and provide over 300 per cent more value. By delivering meaningful, convenient experiences you’ll be better able to incentivise their loyalty, encourage them to leave online reviews and turn them into organic brand ambassadors.
According to Podium data, 84 per cent of Aussies are influenced by online reviews, while one in four (28 per cent) read a business’ reviews while standing outside before deciding whether to go in.
By building meaningful relationships with satisfied customers, you’re increasing your opportunity to retain them and acquire their peers. Both are crucial for sustainable, cost-effective growth.
While it might sound obvious, the bigger your team, the easier it is to grow. However, hiring staff is expensive and difficult. In fact, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveals that in February there were almost twice as many job vacancies than February 2020, prior to the pandemic.
Outsourcing, though, provides a flexible, cost-effective way to access the expertise of others.
For example, if you’re developing a new product, you might not be able to find or afford a product developer permanently. However, it’s often easier to source a freelancer or consultant with the same skillset. While freelancers or contractors have higher rates, they can be engaged based on your needs – daily, hourly, monthly, etc – and you aren’t required to cover taxes, superannuation or holiday or sick pay.
Time is money for a growing business, so don’t waste it on time-consuming, non-revenue-generating tasks that can be automated. Technology that streamlines tedious processes like data input or digital marketing frees up your time to, for example, improve customer satisfaction, release new products or services, or pursue other growth opportunities.
Not only does automation save time, it can also save you money by reducing the number of technology platforms you use. Rather than investing in multiple apps – which is expensive, challenging to master and reduces efficiency – use software, like Podium, that carries out many functions. When your business runs in collaborative unison behind the scenes, it’s easy to focus on your vision and your growth.
5. Grants and resources
In the wake of the pandemic the Federal and State Governments have created a host of resources, grants and programs to help small businesses overcome challenges and seize opportunities.
Whether you’re looking for mentoring or funding, sponsorship, rebates or just the foundations to bring those goals into a reality in the new financial year, look around to see what support is available for you.
Australia is famed for the vibrancy and innovation of its small business community. After two years in which they overcame incomprehensible challenges, the new financial year brings newfound optimism and an opportunity to grow, whatever your budget.
This article originally appeared on Kochie’s Business Builders, read the original here.
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