The transformation of the digital economy has inspired teenagers right through to people in their 50s to start their own business.
PWC’s Geospatial Economic Model (GEM), reveals that small businesses can unlock billions of private sector output over the next decade by making better use of Internet and mobile technologies.
But starting a business is one thing, growing is an entirely different matter, and there are many obstacles along the way that will either embrace or hinder your future success.
“My favourite business tool is social media marketing,” Gary Griffiths, founder of Threesides Local, says. “It is the fastest path to revenue and also one of the cheapest. You turn it on and revenue flows, you turn it off and it stops.”
Threesides Local helps real estate agents optimise advertising through targeted Facebook ads. They are located in Australia, USA, Canada and the Philippines.
“I found that having a virtual office works well for me, as it cheaper than renting commercial property, and I have staff all around the world that I am communicating with in different time zones,” Griffiths says.
A virtual office can offer many benefits including mail forwarding, answering service, virtual receptionist and companies like Servcorp even offer a Onefone app to trial for free.
Parker Russell International is an accounting and business advisory firm based in City of London in one of the most prestigious buildings – Servcorp’s Level 30, The Leadenhall Building.
CEO of Parker Russell, Jason Parker, says that “the best decision that we have made after we have sold our own office building nearby and commenced to use a flexible office option offered at Leadenhall Building by Servcorp.” Parker says. “The business model is smart allowing flexible use of office space and coworking space across the floor.”
A virtual office can save a small but developing company not only real costs, like rent and utility bills, but also the opportunity cost of not having to travel everyday or hire a secretary full-time.
Saving money on rent, full-time staff that you don’t necessarily need and wasting time travelling, when you could already be working fruitfully, could result in tens of thousands of pounds available to you to re-invest in your business.
10 ways to grow your business with minimal costs
- Use targeted and researched social media channels that are right for your business, as a source for clever online marketing campaigns.
- Consider the use of a virtual office to save you money on rent, utilities, staffing costs, so you look professional from day one with a bona fide address, landline phone number and receptionist.
- Educate yourself – take every opportunity to learn about running a business, your industry, marketing, hiring, growing your company etc.
- Understand your customer – present the right amount of information to them that is clearly communicated and easily understood.
- Make it easy for the customer to buy your service and/or product.
- Make sure your pricing model is competitive.
- Form strategic partnerships with other businesses that can refer work to you.
- Use free Apps, webinars and seminars to help save costs, run your business more efficiently and to be a better leader.
- Consider switching to Cloud computing for all your software and hardware needs. Smart use of technology should increase your efficiency.
- Let people try before they buy if possible. If they love the experience, they will probably pay for it.