Any small business owner who isn’t filthy rich knows how difficult it can be running a business.
I’ve been building websites, blogging, managing an email newsletter and teaching for a while now.
The truth is that so many of my awesome colleagues who used to build websites, write, and publish online are no longer in business!
I honestly believe, that a lack of passion, and a lack of cash are two huge reasons why small businesses ultimately fail. This is my own experience, at least.
These aren’t the only reasons small businesses fail though. A lack of demand, a lack of skills, or a lack of experience can also run a business venture down.
Either way, I’ve personally noticed that unfortunately, a lot of small businesses end up failing. ☹
Have You Noticed The Same Thing? Tons Of Small Businesses Fail!
You’ve probably noticed the same thing if you’re a nerdy marketing geek like I am.
If you look at some of the different blogs, product launches, and of course all of the books and online courses published over the years, maybe as few as just 2 or 3 years ago; many of them are simply abandoned, or gone, missing.
Many of the small businesses of yesteryear have mysteriously vanished.
Small businesses aren’t the only ones dying mysterious deaths, I could list a huge array of tremendously large businesses who have went under during the last couple of years. (Think American retail).
That, in all honesty, is the biggest thing that all of those Marketing Success Gurus never really talk about; that success in anything, takes an abundance of effort, passion, grit, and of course an unfathomable quantity of luck!
That’s why, I honestly believe, that being lean in your entrepreneurial endeavors is so important.
So, let’s spend a few minutes brainstorming some tremendously powerful ways to stay very lean, so that your company is, at least in theory, statistically less likely to run out of cash.
Because, in my honest opinion, one very popular reason why many small businesses go out of business, is that they simply run out of cash!
So, if you can keep your costs down, I believe, you can help to potentially maximize your business longevity.
That’s why I’d like to spend some time brainstorming some very cool ways to keep your business lean and mean, so you can at least give yourself a chance to stay in business.
Cost Cutting Idea # 1 – Always Look For Free Or Low Cost Alternatives!
I think that if you can keep your costs low, without sacrificing quality of course, that it’s almost always a good idea.
Because if you have a super high cost each and every month, then it’s going to be even more pressure for you and your business to make ends meet, especially if you have a family and lots of personal bills to pay for!
So, always try to look for services that are cheap, or free.
For example, spend lots of time whenever your business spends a single penny, especially if you aren’t even generating any cashflow yet.
For example, instead of hiring a super expensive marketing agency to build your website, why not look at cheaper alternatives like WordPress, ClickFunnels, LeadPages or almost any other page builder that doesn’t cost a fortune?
That way, you can have a relatively decent web presence up and running, without having to hire a fulltime employee, or otherwise to pay a fortune working with a marketing agency of some type.
Or, instead of paying many thousands of dollars (or even more) to have graphic design work, copywriting work, or SEO work done, why not ask yourself if you can use free tools (such as Canva) to build the artwork yourself, or if you could simply create content for your own website? (Or, you could always look to super cheap outsourcing platforms such as Fiverr if you truly require professional services).
I honestly believe, that every single penny that your business saves, can help to grant yourself a tiny burst of longevity. Every penny counts, so never waste anything!
Cost Cutting Idea # 2 – Look At Low Cost Advertising Methods! And Devote Yourself To Learning The Art And Science Of Advertising.
I honestly think that learning the art and science of Sales Funnels can be one of the best and most cost-efficient methods to advertise your business.
Because, if you don’t know how to advertise your business, then it’s going to be nearly impossible to get any website traffic, clients, customers, or sales. This is especially true if you don’t have any well-connected friends, a solid reputation, or a big marketing budget to speak of.
So, I think we’d both agree that advertising is direly important for the average Small Business.
The only problem, of course, is that working with a marketing agency in order to generate leads, increase website traffic, or to otherwise advertise your business can be super expensive. It can actually be unfathomably, or impossibly expensive.
That’s why I love Sales Funnels. A Sales Funnel, (or any type of marketing funnel really) in my opinion, can be the single best way to take the advertising of your business into your own hands.
If you have a Sales Funnel up and running, then you can begin to test your creatives with cheap advertising methods such as Banner Advertising, Pay Per Click Advertising, or even Solo Ads if you wish.
Only then can you truly work to minimize the cost of advertising, because with a Sales Funnel you can measure the results of your advertisements. In other words, if you are managing your own Sales Funnel, and if you are measuring the results of your advertisements and your overall Sales Funnel Performance, then at the very least you can test to see which of your marketing ideas work, if any.
Because, in my opinion, the single most important attribute that a Sales Funnel offers you, is the ability to scientifically measure the performance of your Sales Funnel.
So, you can figure out if your Sales Funnel works, or if it doesn’t work. If it works, then you can slowly work on trying to enhance and split test your creatives even further.
If your Sales Funnel DOES NOT WORK, then you know for a fact that you need to tweak your marketing creatives for sure, because your creatives are not working, and your advertising campaigns are thereby operating at a loss.
Cost Cutting Idea # 3 – Think Way Outside The Box And Consider Very Low Cost Business Models
If you ever get the urge to start a new Small Business, the best advice I can give you is to start small! Start very, very small indeed.
One of my favorite business models, is of course online teaching! The reason online teaching rocks is because it’s a very low-cost business model to perform.
For example, as an online teacher, there’s a good chance that you already have all the technical tools that you require. If you have a relatively decent Microphone, and PowerPoint, then you already have the necessary tools to begin creating online courses. (This is, of course, provided that you have the confidence to teach and publish online courses, which does require effort of course).
That being said, I honestly think, that just about any business can creatively launch online courses given enough brainstorming power, and effort.
The best thing about online teaching, is that there are tons of marketplaces these days where you can submit your online courses to, and many of these marketplaces have an inbuilt audience. All of these variables together help solidify Online Teaching as a relatively cheap business model to consider.
Another really cheap business model is freelance writing!
If you love to write, then there are at least a dozen huge freelance writing websites where you can bid on jobs as a writer. (Check out Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer if you are interested in learning more about the freelance writing and ghostwriting market).
The best thing about the freelance writing business model is that it’s arguably the single leanest business model that I know of; just about the only tool you need to become a freelance writer is a word processor. (Of course, having some knowledge of SEO and possessing a handy SEO tool could help).
I’d like to restate that freelance writing can also be a great way to supplement your own income if you have a passion and drive to create awesome written content; and once again the best thing about freelance writing, is that this is arguably the single cheapest business model that I can think of! (Arguably, the only cost that you might incur as a freelance writer, is your time, which is obviously important, however if you love to write then this might be worth considering).
Cost Cutting Idea # 4 – Consider Outsourcing Instead Of Hiring. Or, Doing The Work On Your Own!
I kind of already brushed upon this idea, but as a Small Business Owner, I honestly can’t even imagine how frustrating and expensive it would be hiring a full-time employee (lol).
To be honest, there are so many powerful outsourcing platforms where you can hire experts for relatively cheap money, and I honestly think that outsourcing is therefore, one of the best ways that your business can stay and remain lean!
It doesn’t matter if you want to outsource any of the following topics:
- Graphic Design
- Computer Science / Development
- Data Entry
- Customer Service
- Website Development
- Search Engine Optimization
You can easily find all of the above services listed, or just about any other professional marketing service on the major outsourcing boards (Think sites like Fiverr, Freelancer, and UpWork).
Additionally, you can always tough it out, and consider writing that content, creating those graphics, or creating your social media content yourself!
After all, the surest way to stay lean and mean, is to put in some serious hustle!
Cost Cutting Idea # 5 – Automate When Possible!
I know that the title of this blog post says “4 tips”, however, I thought of this one later after I originally published the post, and I thought that it was one of the most powerful additions on this list.
I’m talking about automating as much as you can in your business.
These days, it’s so easy to automate powerful email marketing campaigns!
Email automation is one of my favorite ways to use automation, because if you have lots of awesome content that you’ve already written or published, then the problem becomes that your NEW email subscribers won’t get to see that content… That is unless you have an awesome email autoresponder campaign that greets your new email subscribers with your best content automatically!
I’m personally a huge fan of AWeber to help me accomplish this, and I recommend them to anyone who wants help with automating their email campaigns without breaking the bank.
Also, another really cool that can help you automate your business, is automated webinar funnels.
A lot of my students and colleagues actually shy away from automated webinars, however, I honestly think that they can be one of the most powerful ways to automate the marketing, lead generation, and sales of almost any small business.
And, nothing frees up time like comparing Live Webinars versus Automated Webinars!
It’s true that automated webinars can be difficult to master, and they also require a boatload of effort in order to launch effectively. However, I think that if you value your time, and if you love the world of broadcasting, giving presentations, lead generation, teaching, and sales, then webinar marketing, and webinar automation more specifically, certainly warrants additional research on your behalf.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of webinar automation, and someday, I hope to rely more on automated webinars as a means to deliver course content, to share content, to generate leads, and to also promote products and services.
Thank You So Much For Reading! You Rock!
These days, I honestly think that being lean isn’t only a good idea, I’d go as far as saying that it’s the single biggest advantage that small business owners like us have!
This humble blog posts just contains a few of my ideas regarding how to utilize this advantage, and I hope that this document finds you well.
Also, I’d like to thank you cordially and humbly for checking this out.
If you ever have any questions, or if you simply wish to brainstorm, then please never hesitate to give me a buzz!
I’ve got your back, and as always, wish you the absolute best.
Cordially and humbly…
Mike “Lean And Mean” DeVincent