July 11, 2022 – As an entrepreneur, every little thing counts. Each resource, tip, or trick could be the difference between success and failure, from saving pennies for the budget to making life-changing contacts at the coffee shop.
Have you started to feel a little discouraged? Don’t worry, that’s completely normal! You’re in good company. Every prominent entrepreneur started in your shoes. They, too, had to figure out the answer to this question: How do I create something from nothing?
Right now, your key to growth is finding scalable resources: though you may not be where you want to end up, you have to start laying the path to get there. You need to champion resourcefulness in entrepreneurship to be successful.
If you’ve hit a roadblock, we’ve got you—here are six tried-and-true ways entrepreneurs can expand their resources with limited means:
1. Use Coworking Spaces
Our first big rule: don’t rent out an entire office. It can be tempting to claim a whole building or floor and make it your own. But all of that space comes with a massive price tag that may sink your operation.
Instead, start with a coworking space. It will be less expensive than renting an office and puts you in an environment with like-minded entrepreneurs and independent contractors. Working alongside them will build your network faster than a dozen stuffy networking events. You also won’t incur the costs of office machines, cleaning, utilities and buying furniture.
2. Go Digital
It shouldn’t come as a shock to know that the key to growing your business (without breaking the bank) is to craft an aggressive online and social media campaign.
Your target audience probably spends a lot of their time online. Who doesn’t? Whether they flock to Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, or even Facebook, your social media plays an undeniable factor in your business’ early success.
Luckily, you can leverage plenty of effective strategies to target your audience. For example, instead of blasting out generic posts across the board, take time to research your target demographic. Based on your findings, personalize your content and develop a targeted paid advertising campaign to get your offering to the best viewers.
No matter how you handle your social media marketing, knowing where your target audience hangs out online (and choosing to “be” there) will help you narrow your search to create effective, meaningful ad campaigns.
3. Tap Into SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a great way to attract potential customers to your web content by forcing your landing page to the top of an online search. You can do this independently, without using an SEO expert or SEO program. And though it may take a little more work and elbow grease, the results can be far-reaching. SEO embodies resourcefulness in entrepreneurship, as you place bets on high-value content, strong digital experiences, and intelligent keyword targeting to get your message out faster. Understanding how this works is a great investment of your time.
4. Find Endorsements with Micro-Influencers
Whether you like it or not, influencers carry power. But you don’t always have to go for the A-list celebrity to get the endorsement you need. Micro-influencers can be an excellent place for young brands to start; their budgets are smaller, but their audience is engaged. If you find the right niche, you will find the right people who will want to hear your message. Remember to approach each conversation with respect and professionalism; you never know who might say yes (and who might become a prominent influencer in the future).
5. Meet the Community…and Volunteer
Why do so many companies spend millions of dollars on advertising every year? Because the more consumers hear about a brand, the more likely they are to try its products.
Just because you don’t have a million-dollar ad campaign doesn’t mean you can’t get your name out there. Online interaction is valuable, but going to in-person events is, too. Grab a calendar of community events in your area: do any of them connect with your brand? Is there a local organization that might benefit from your services? For example, if a company offers sweat-proof athletic gear, they might want to showcase merchandise at a local spin class. If you have a larger budget, consider hosting a party for your community; sometimes, an unconventional route is the best one. And especially in Greenville, volunteering with a non-profit organization is one of the best ways to make professional and personal contacts. In addition to making a positive difference in the community, of course!
6. Go Old School
It’s inevitable that, eventually, you’ll need resources and equipment to run your business. Whatever you need to purchase—a vehicle for your food truck venture, cool decorations for your storefront, or a large-scale food processor for your home bakery—try to find older equipment at a lower price. At the very least, it will give you a moment to beef up your savings until you can buy that new, glamorous food truck of your dreams.
Your Secret Weapon: Resourcefulness in Entrepreneurship
Here’s the truth: you won’t have to be THIS scrappy forever. But as a business owner, the early stages of your brand will likely be filled with long nights, new learnings, and finding unique solutions to unconventional problems. Whatever your goal, remember that scalability is critical: start small, but keep an eye on the future as you pave your path to success.