Growing a company seems like an expensive task, but it does not have to be. There are many ways you can build your company without any money. In fact, you can get far with just Internet access, time and a clear vision. Here’s a list of 9 steps you can take to help grow your business without spending a lot of money.
1. Create your company’s roadmap
What is the problem you want to solve? How will your company solve it? Outline, from start to finish, exactly how your company will function from a user’s perspective. Then, outline exactly what you need to do to create that reality from the company’s perspective. Be as detailed as possible, and ensure your outlined strategies don’t require a crazy amount of cash to it pull off.
2. Do market research
Walk people in your target market through your vision. Take their feedback into account and look for patterns. Your concept may make a ton of sense in your mind, but it may not make sense to customers. If they don’t “get it” or see value in it, chances are they won’t give you money – which is what you’re typically after.
3. Create a “floor-plan”
Come up with a detailed “floor-plan” of your company. If you have an app idea or Internet business concept, draw every single screen. Where are all the buttons, and where do they take you? What does the copy say? What graphics do you need? Every single page on the site or app needs to be drafted.
If it’s a bricks-and-mortar store or a physical product, detailed designs and an actual floor plan of the store or product are going to be necessary before you can develop your idea further. You can use programs such as Photoshop for this, but you can also do this using paper and pencil. As you do, new issues and ideas will arise that will help you develop your concept even more.
4. Do a competitive analysis
What companies are using a similar business model, and how do they structure their company and their service? What companies are currently in your space, and what differentiates your company from theirs? Do as much research as you can, and use that knowledge to springboard your concept forward so you’re not playing catch-up later.
5. Keep on learning
You may not have gone to business school (don’t worry, neither did I), but you can still learn from the best. Services such as Udemy offer low-cost or free resources to learn about business, entrepreneurship and various facets of marketing and sales that can help cut months or even years off your development time.
6. Use social media
You can build your following without spending money. Get all your friends and family to start following your social media accounts, and give them regular updates on your progress. Give them incentives – such as promo codes for your upcoming product – to invite their friends as well. If you already have a following, even a small one, it can help drive your initial sales.
7. Network often
Go out and meet other entrepreneurs. There are tons of organizations out there you can get involved with, both in person and online. Tell other entrepreneurs and people in your space about what you’re doing. Get them excited about the concept, and ask for their help if you think they can provide value. If you already have a clear direction once you’ve launched, build an advisory board of five to seven fellow entrepreneurs with relevant success in your space. Give a percentage point of equity or two in exchange for advice, strategy and connections. (Join your town or city chamber of commerce to promote your business in the community).
8. Find a mentor
One of the most powerful assets you can have in entrepreneurship is a mentor. This should be somebody you look up to who has already achieved a level of success you hope to someday reach yourself. Find a way to connect with a person who you want to be mentored by – tell him or her your story, and ask flat out if he or she would consider mentoring you. More often than not, they’ll be flattered and will say yes. From there, learn all you can.
9. Get a logo
I saved this one for last because, even though it won’t be your most powerful step, it will be a strong symbol of your progress for you personally and it may drive you to further action. Some services charge a few hundred dollars for a good logo, but I always love using Logo Joy. You can get a pretty solid logo done for a reasonable price.
Are these all the tasks you need to undertake to reach the level of success you want? Definitely not, but they are 9 powerful steps that don’t require any significant amount of money up front. Focus on getting these all done before spending more, and you’ll be well on your way.
That wraps up this post, thanks for checking it out and come back for my future content. Leave comments below and hit the like button if you thought this was useful!
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