Grow your own business on a tight budget

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Businesswoman working on her budget
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Starting and growing a business is never easy. You need marketing to attract clients, but you need income from clients to cover the cost of marketing. Fortunately, there are a number of inexpensive ways you can market your business, and Kate K.F from BornWild Adventures is here to share some of the methods that have worked for her. 

Janet
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In order to grow a profitable business, you either need capital or financial backing right?

Well, I’m here to tell you, you don’t need to.

Okay, the odds are in your favor if you do have a nice stash of money to help you grow your business and chances are that having that money will make your life much easier and potentially speed up the process of developing your business.

I started my adventure travel business with hardly any money. I was working full time and even though I had a steady stream of income from that, I chose to run my business in the sense of spending outgoings when I received incomings. Even though my dreams were high as the sky, my feet were firmly on the ground and I knew that there could be a possibility that my business might not work out.

Life changes and different obstacles challenge us and I wanted to make sure (as a solopreneur) I was secure financially too.

Growing your own business on a tight budget basically means you will be doing most of the leg work yourself, working harder and longer hours but also learning all there is to know about all sides of your business, which is a huge asset to have as a business owner. Having all the money in the world allows you to employ talented people to do the jobs you don’t want to do, but then you won’t learn all aspects of your business which are really important. It will also leave you in the dark when you need to question why certain things aren’t working for your business.

Below, I will share starter tips in growing your business on a tight budget and showing you how you can get your business moving in the right direction from Day 1:

Social Media

Remember this phrase: ‘Social media isn’t for every business’

I used to post crazy amounts of posts for my adventure company but soon realized that most people won’t go onto social media to buy a trip. Think about it, where would you search for a trip?

Put yourself into the consumer’s role and sell on the platforms where you would look to buy your product. Not everything sells on social media and you’ll be saving yourself a lot of time posting if it doesn’t work for your business.

Blogging

One of the first things you should do is get a blog up and running. Why is a blog so important to your site? Because its contents will help you rank in Google searches so it’s going to be really valuable for you.

Aim to write a blog article each week and direct those articles about what you are trying to sell. So, for example in my case – if I am trying to sell a trip to Tanzania in Africa, then I will blog about Tanzania mountains, safaris, things to do in Tanzania, its national parks, camping sites and so on. That way when you start ranking on Google for those posts you will get the right kind of eyes looking at your articles.

Write a skyscraper blog post too. Google favors longer content that’s well written. We’re talking over 5,000 words plus. I wrote a skyscraper blog post here African Lion Safari that also includes a ‘complete guide to lions’ which helps get me viewers that would be interested in my safari adventure. Keep adding to your blog post and make it bigger, better and more impactful.

SEO

If you are a beginner in SEO, it’s worth spending those dollars on a consultation call with an experienced SEO professional. Within one to two hours, you will be able to learn the basics of SEO and keyword/keyword searches to help you write your blog posts with more effect. This will help you sculpt your articles to help them get ranked.

Ads

Google ads are great and don’t have to be expensive. People google everything for anything and Google ads are a great way for your business to get seen.

Even though the Google professionals suggest paying a grand sum of money to get your ad visibility, the truth is you don’t have to spend a huge amount of money. Encouraging traffic to your site is important and Google ads are a great way of doing this.

I started my Google ads at $1-2 per day and it got me over 1000 visitors a month. It’s not only good for getting visitors but also helps rank your website higher too. Great to try with Facebook ads as well.

Improving your Domain Authority

Love it or loathe it, the higher the DA the better your exposure will be on Google. There are various ways of increasing your DA which are all pretty important, but the one I found most effective is backlinking. Write guest posts and articles for other high DA websites and get a dofollow link back to your site. It’s a really effective way of not only increasing your DA but also getting more eyes on your site. Occasionally, websites may charge a fee to publish your article. If their DA is high enough then it’s worth doing!

Cross-Marketing

If you have the type of business that collaborates with other companies or brands, it’s a great idea to cross-market with them.

For example, I created a trip to Scotland that was in partnership with a very good wildlife organization. We cross advertised and they mentioned my company and the trip in many marketing funnels to their supporters without cost.

Conclusion

These tips are something I wish I knew from the offset of my business. It would have speeded up growing my platform tremendously.

If you are going to spend money, spend it on the absolute necessary and take pride in learning every aspect of your business yourself. Spending money on professional consultation calls in the beginning are great as they will set you up with great knowledge and set you on the right foot for a budding business.

Photo © JoPanuwatD / depositphotos

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Gravatar mystery man

My name Is Kate and I'm The Founder of BornWild Adventures. I started BornWild through my love for unconventional adventures, globetrotting and my passions to help wild animals. I am truly living my dreams through every adventure I create and being able to travel with like-minded people who love the outdoors and nature, is my favourite pastime. I make it my mission to be a voice for the voiceless and being able to live my truth to change the future for wild animals as much as I can.

Gravatar mystery man

My name Is Kate and I'm The Founder of BornWild Adventures. I started BornWild through my love for unconventional adventures, globetrotting and my passions to help wild animals. I am truly living my dreams through every adventure I create and being able to travel with like-minded people who love the outdoors and nature, is my favourite pastime. I make it my mission to be a voice for the voiceless and being able to live my truth to change the future for wild animals as much as I can.

14 Comments

  1. Avatar Seana Turner on June 8, 2022 at 11:34 am

    These are all great ideas. There actually are many things you can do for little-to-no money to get known. Social Media can be a great tool, although it takes time to get the followers. I think your point about putting yourself into the shoes of your potential buyer, and thinking about where they will be, is key. Most of my clients are local, so the upside of having followers from all over the world is minimal.

    I might also consider what you can do in your local community if that is where your clients are. Before COVID, I got a lot of business from public speaking engagements. That’s just starting to come back now!

    • Kate Kate on June 8, 2022 at 12:16 pm

      Great to read your comment Seana 🙂 Public speaking is a great way to get strong connections with people – kudos for that. But what I have learnt, for sheer volume, google is really the way to be seen by a lot of people. Good luck with your business. It seems like you have a good grasp on everything 🙂

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on June 8, 2022 at 12:32 pm

      I also found public speaking to be a great way of getting my name out there when I was an organizer working locally. Even if no one in the audience ever contacts you, they may mention you to others, either in casual conversation or when someone specifically talks to them about organizing. In addition, your exposure isn’t limited to the people in the audience (although it’s a great way for them to see what you’re like as a person), but everyone who sees any ads, posters, or other material promoting the event will see your name as well.

  2. Avatar Janet Schiesl on June 8, 2022 at 3:03 pm

    I agree that social media can be a waste of time for some businesses. But I do think that you need to have some presence and keep it active to add to you legitimacy.
    Blogging has been the best content source for me.

    • Kate Kate on June 8, 2022 at 5:32 pm

      Thanks for commenting Janet. You are right. Some presence is necessary but can be sparing. Blogging is great!

  3. Julie Bestry Julie Bestry on June 8, 2022 at 4:07 pm

    Finally, someone who stands up for those of us who write massive, multi-thousand-word blog posts! 😉

    But seriously, Kate, I appreciate the tips, and can see that all of these would be effective for someone seeking a global or national market; for those of us with a (hyper)local market, sheer volume seems less useful than hyper-targeted audiences. I’m curious what the ROI is for Google ads and how narrowly they can be defined. 1000 visitors in a month, if I were selling something tangible would be nifty, but how cost effective is it to buy (if you even can buy) advertising that will only be seen in a handful of local zip codes?

    I love the idea of cross marketing! I’ve guest-posted for local realtors, done public speaking engagements to help support local agencies and events, and think that the smaller your community and service area, the more important it is to integrate yourself with that community.

    I’m sure everyone needs to know more about SEO; I’ve had a website 20 years and still find so much about SEO to be veiled in mystery, or, like crypto and NFTs, I find my eyes glazing over when I try to read about it. The kind of private tutoring you describe is VERY intriguing. Finally, I can’t quite agree with the statement that social media isn’t for every business; since the purpose of social media isn’t to sell, but to create the essential “know, like, and trust” vibe as a necessary platform for the relationship between a brand and its audience/market. (I’ve seen funeral homes use social effectively!) The bulk of my business clients come from the organic relationships I’ve built on Twitter and LinkedIn, supported by the content on my website and in speaking gigs.

    • Kate Kate on June 8, 2022 at 5:40 pm

      Great comment Julie 🙂

      You can absolutely narrow down your searches for Google Ads. You could even have the Ad running one day a week, if there is a specific time your viewers tend to look. Local websites and magazines is another great way to get seen and connect with the local community. Perhaps there are some events you can create for the local communities to join and invite friends etc. Would any businesses within your community like to recommend you if you cut them 5 or 10%.
      Its a maze to find an SEO specialist that knows their stuff but if you can check out their reviews beforehand then it could lead you to a great contact which could give you lots of great advice 🙂

      Good luck Julie!

  4. Avatar Linda Samuels on June 13, 2022 at 10:25 am

    When I started my business almost 30 years ago, one of the parameters I had was it couldn’t be capital intensive to start it. Because at the time, our funds were limited. The dollars went into printing business cards, stamps to do a mail campaign, and some local print advertising. Over the years, I’ve invested more money in growing my business, but mostly it has been time investments- networking, volunteering, speaking, and writing (book and blog.)

    My advertising budget has decreased as the other ways of finding new clients increased. Social media and blogging has played a huge role with exposure to a global market. And now that I’m only offering virtual organizing, having built this larger platform is so useful.

    Thank you for all of the excellent tips. Your travel business sounds amazing, Kate!

    • Kate Kate on June 13, 2022 at 2:47 pm

      Thank you Linda 🙂 Im glad my tips helped. I do have so many more but these are the fundamentals. You sound like you are doing great! Thank you for stopping by, reading and commenting. Its always great to hear how women are doing with their businesses and what tips they have found that have helped 🙂 Thanks again Linda!

  5. Avatar Sabrina Quairoli on June 13, 2022 at 11:35 am

    I agree about blogging to promote your business! It is so important to revisit those older previously successful blog posts to modify them and add content. I’ve been doing this for a while and realized that this is the most efficient way to get my blog post noticed again if Google already thought it was valuable in the first place, but it just dropped in the rankings.

    Thank you for sharing these important tips.

    • Kate Kate on June 13, 2022 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks Sabrina 🙂 Actually really interesting to read that you have adding to blog posts which is working for Google. Thats great to hear! I’m glad my tips have helped 🙂

  6. Avatar Julie Stobbe on June 14, 2022 at 8:41 am

    I agree with Kate, taking the time to learn all parts of your business is very valuable. If or when you hire someone to do part of the work you will be able to assess their performance because you understand what they are doing. I have done Facebook ads and I would never suggest someone do them without guidance and support. I found it very valuable to do all the work on the FB ads. If I had not had someone to teach me the steps, and know the benchmarks to meet, I would have spent a lot of money for very little return. I guess my suggestion is to do the work yourself and for some tasks you can teach yourself and for other tasks learn from a qualified professional.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on June 14, 2022 at 12:32 pm

      I agree, Julie! The hard part is figuring out when you need help.

    • Kate Kate on June 15, 2022 at 4:25 pm

      Thanks Julie for your comment! 🙂
      Very well said and it really doesn’t cost a lot of money to get a freelancer who is knowledgable in these fields to help you for guidance.

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