Originally posted via clevergirlfinance.com

The majority of small businesses don’t survive beyond 5 years. And while that can be attributed to many factors, inadequate marketing is one of the most common. Successful companies often spend the bulk of their earnings on marketing. As the saying goes, you need to spend money to make money. But what if you don’t have that money to begin with? What if you’re just starting out and don’t yet have any sales? This article will go over 3 tips to help you scale your business on a budget.

3 Tips for growing a business with little or no capital

1. Focus on building an online omnipresence

Most people conduct some research prior to buying anything. When you have an enhanced online presence, you can get your brand in front of them right at that point of research. That’s when they’re most likely to convert. Make it a goal to be present on all the platforms where your target customers are likely to search for you.

If they do a Google search, your website or e-commerce store should come up in the results. If they go on social media, your pages should also come up. Even if they go to directories or online marketplaces, your business should still have a presence.

Building such an online omnipresence is a task that can be achieved in-house and without the need to spend any money. This article goes over some ways to get all your essential digital tools free, including a website, domain, hosting, and even branded email addresses.

Many companies have a hard time keeping up with social media because of how labor-intensive and time-consuming it can be. You can use free automation tools such as Hootsuite to help manage your pages more effectively. And if you just don’t have the time to do it yourself, you can outsource the work inexpensively to a freelancer on Fiverr.

2. Make social proof the foundation of your marketing strategy

Social proof is the idea that human beings are wired to copy each other. Our brain prefers to take cues from other people than to uncover things on its own because it’s more efficient.

Social proof is the reason why products like iPhones and MacBooks are wildly popular despite being more expensive than their competitors. If you can make it the foundation of your marketing strategy, you’ll be able to stand out even in the most competitive marketplace.

There are many ways you can build social proof for your business. The most effective is by collecting ratings and reviews. Reviews are up to twelve times more trusted than a business’ sales copies. The majority of consumers read them before making a purchase.

The easiest way to collect reviews is by simply requesting for them from your customers. You can do so in “thank you” emails or on payment receipts. The more positive reviews your business has, the more it stands out and appears legit.

Another great way of building social proof is by getting featured on well-known publications. You can find such opportunities by signing up on HARO and then responding to interview requests.

HARO is a website that journalists use to obtain feedback from professionals in different industries. Whenever your quotes get published, the journalists will usually mention your business in the story.

3. Form cross-promotion partnerships

Cross-promotion entails partnering with other businesses that you’re not in direct competition with, however target a similar clientele, and then actively promoting each other to your respective audiences.

For example, if you have a car rental business, you can partner with local hotels. You’re not in competition with each other, however both target tourists and people visiting from out of town.

Whenever the hotel has a guest who’s looking to lease a car, you become the automatic recommendation. And whenever you have clients who are looking for places to stay, you reciprocate by recommending them.

You can also promote each other on social media, blog posts, newsletters, and any other marketing channels that you’re already using. It’s a win-win for all parties with barely any costs.