11 simple ways to improve your business without spending a penny

Here, we take a look at 11 simple ways you can improve your business without spending a penny.

As a business owner, one of the important things you will always think about is how to increase the value of your business at the lowest possible cost.

Whether you run a one-man trade service, or a 100-staff company, maintaining a healthy, efficient going concern is a critical to business’s success. You want to be able to retain customers and maintain processes that keep things ticking over profitably. To do this, you must consider the little things.

Sometimes, excellent service isn’t about having a fancy furnished waiting room for your clients, but it is saying and doing things that other businesses often neglect. These actions (sending a ‘thank you’ email, giving referrals, sending birthday cards and so on) can go a long way to solidifying your business.

Without further ado, here are some useful tips:

Help your customers

In the wise words of Dan Price, ‘focus on helping people and your business will follow.’ Most entrepreneurs are so profit-oriented, and while that is not always a bad thing, it helps to be people oriented too. Is there any additional value that you can give your clients through your business? Perhaps they need referrals for some other service? Helping your customers keeps them glued to your brand.

Get your cash flow right

It’s crucial that you maintain healthy cash flow at all times. That means forecasting and getting additional finance if it is required in order to grow. There are helpful tools to get a business loan out there so make use of them. Keep a track of all spending and see where you can cut back without affecting efficiency and productivity. If you need to get someone part time or full time to help with financial modelling and planning.


This is more about reducing your overhead costs. Are there some services you would be better off handing over to experts? Say you are a mattress sales company, but need to keep a healthy online presence through regularly-posted authority content. Instead of writing it in-house, it would be more cost-effective to hire a copywriting agency, and give your team time to focus on sales strategies.

Use the right web hosting company

Your business could lose potential customers by having an inefficient web hosting provider, or by being on the wrong plan. Imagine if people wanted to place orders for a mattress via your website but found it ‘unavailable’ most of the time. They will go elsewhere. Brendan at www.umbrellar.com says, ‘A good web hosting provider could be the difference between a conversion and a lost sale. Your brand’s reputation is linked to how people perceive your website. It needs to be fast, responsive, and reliable.’

Go green

Your business probably already consumes a lot of energy resources. It is believed that by 2020, the total world energy consumption will reach 629 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu). You can save money on energy by switching to more conservative power sources, LED lights, and reusable water.

Explore social media marketing

If you haven’t included social media in your digital marketing plan, you are missing out on a potential goldmine. The beauty of social media is that if used properly, you can widen audience. The real-time, trending-news nature of some platforms like Twitter makes it easy to break into a mainstream audience by jacking your content into trending topics. Sites like LinkedIn are great for brands looking to network with potential stakeholders online.

Network more

Following up from the previous point, networking can bring a multitude of amazing opportunities for your brand to grow without spending money. You can indulge in service swap activities, meet new suppliers/customers, attract investors and even connect to news reporters for a press release. Networking is not only valuable in the short term, but also forms long term partnerships for businesses.

Be business-courteous

When was the last time you sent a loyal customer a ‘thank-you’ mail? Little gestures count in building emotional connections. You may not know it, but this can influence a customer when they are enticed by your competitors to switch. Other memorable acts include: sending them birthday cards, giving ideas for their own business, and invitations to social events.

Monitor trends

You don’t operate your business in a vacuum, so you need to know what is happening out there. How can Brexit, or triggering Article 50, affect your business or those of your customers’? Having a global view of the market can make you take proactive decisions and improve your business.

Motivate your staff

Remember to pay attention to your internal customers. Your employees are the backbone of your business, and without their smarts and skills, you will experience setbacks. A motivated employee will impart that attitude into your customers. Listen to them, organise company hangouts, and celebrate individual success.

Give freebies

Who doesn’t like freebies? I love them, you do, and so do your customers. Find out how you can incorporate free items into a sale, and encourage people to frequent your business more. Even downloadable templates, white papers, and free webinars count.

These eleven points will guarantee improvements to your business, whether it is primarily online or bricks and mortar, and will expand your potential and reach without having to commit a large budget.

Further reading on how to improve your business

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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