What Could Your Small Business do with a Spare $100?
$100 doesn’t seem like a lot of cash these days, but you’d be surprised at what you could do for your small business with a spare hundy. We’ve found some cost-effective solutions in four different areas that can always use work (in businesses big and small). So grab that C-note and get ready to use it for some cool stuff to improve your small business.
Go Local – Social media may be all the rage, but there’s something to be said for making in-person connections within your community. Consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce and taking part in their networking events. Depending on the size of your town/business you can generally purchase a membership for $100 or less, and the meet-and-greets that they offer can be invaluable. You’ll meet other likeminded small business owners with whom you can trade services with, and maybe even gain some customer referrals.
Increase Your Marketing
Aside from word of mouth around the community, online marketing is generally the most cost-effective way to promote your small business.
Hootsuite – For entrepreneurs, owners, and consultants that want to maximize the amount of time they spend on their social media accounts, Hootsuite allows you to engage with your target demographic across all your social media accounts through a single dashboard. The “Pro” plan includes an enhanced analytics report and bulk message scheduling for just $8.99/month.
MailChimp – While social media DOES help you reach out to more potential customers, if you really want to make an impression on your customer base online, one of the best ways to do it is via email. You can significantly amp up your email marketing game with MailChimp, which offers tools to make your emails look and act more professionally. Additionally, MailChimp will scale with you as your business grows – you pay according to the number of subscribers you have. Pricing starts at FREE for up to 2,000 subscribers and scales up to $75/month for 10,000 subscribers.
MarketingProfs – Need smarter marketing? MarketingProfs helps to show what works—and what doesn’t— in the marketplace today. Basic Membership includes access to a rich library of articles and newsletters. PRO Membership adds how-to seminars, short Take 10 webcasts, inspiring Case Study Collections, handy SmartTools, and more. There’s no sketchy, too-good-to-be-true advice – just marketing professionals talking about real stuff. Basic membership is FREE, and Pro membership is about $23/month.
Get More Sales/Customers
Of course, increasing your marketing activity and knowhow is great, but only if it’s actually leading to more customers and sales. So can you do that with just a measly extra $100?
Google AdWords Marketing – Consider putting some time into learning more about AdWords, and investing your $100 into a search campaign. Google AdWords helps you to reach relevant customers with a range of options. Try investing your $100 for a month of pay-per-click ads – you only pay for results.
NiftyQuoter – This proposal software features a variety of theme/text/pricing templates, automatic PDF generation, and CRM integration to allow your small business to take the guess work out of client proposals. Clients can easily approve, reject or discuss your proposals via the NiftyQuoter online proposal software, and they will be able to see your reply in real time. Pricing starts at $19/month.
FreedomVoice – We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention FreedomVoice phone service which helps you to present a professional image to your prospects and run your business on the go, from anywhere and everywhere. Our plans start at just $9.95/month and our mobile app for iOS and Android is FREE.
Boost Your Productivity
Last but not least, as a small business owner you probably already know how important it is to stay productive. So here are some inexpensive ways to boost your productivity.
Basecamp – A private, secure space online where people working together can organize and discuss everything they need to get a project done. With Basecamp, you can see it, track it, discuss it, and act on it. Tasks, discussions, deadlines, and files are all predictably organized. Pricing starts at $29/month.
Eat That Frog! – Based on the premise that you should do your hardest tasks first thing in the morning, “Eat That Frog!” is a simple, no-nonsense list of 21 habits, written by motivational icon Brian Tracy, that will help you accomplish more in your life. Get it online for around $10.
Wunderlist – Available on almost every platform, Wunderlist allows users to access their to-do lists from almost anywhere. Beyond basic features such as the ability to star important tasks, create multiple lists, sort by due date and priority, and add tasks via e-mail, Wunderlist is also considered to be the most aesthetically pleasing. The basic app is free; Wunderlist Pro costs $4.99/month or $49.99/year.
There are a lot of things listed here that you could do with your extra $100, so how do you decide where to spend it? Of course the choice is up to you, you could focus it all in one area, or spread it out across the four different areas. It’s generally best to start in the area that you think is most lacking in your small business, however. Maybe you need more sales, or maybe you need to be more productive first in order to get those sales. Do what you think is optimal to bring you the biggest ROI. And of course, if you invested an extra $100 in your small business EVERY month, the possibilities and growth are endless!