4 Smart ways Ottawa businesses can produce exceptional results on a shoestring
Exceptional results are what most of us strive for, but implementing the tools/strategies/processes to maintain those results, takes time… and time is money. So, the key to “shoe-stringing”-it in small business is to use what you know, differently, in order to shed excess time and costs. Here are MOGL’s 4 suggestions for producing exceptional results with minimal cash:
#1: Use the internet
Make use of free/cheap online tools like Fivver and Basecamp
- There are hundreds of service-based websites offering everything from video editing to sales training.
- Research your options and commit to using a few for minimal cost.
- Pawn-off easy projects, lighten your & your employees’ load to focus on profitable work.
- Try working with a variety of companies and processes, before you commit to your own
Use Social Media to publicize your wins and successes
- No money to market your business? Get on social media and start tooting your own horn.
- Research what others in your market are doing and saying – and join the conversation.
- Share some of your valuable insights and start to become known for your specialty.
- Just remember: Social isn’t for selling – it’s for talking (as if you were at an event).
Look for templates, how-tos or workbooks to get you started
- With Google at our fingertips, you never need to “start from scratch”. Read, research, get inspired!
- Read how others have solved the same problem / delivered similar services, to inform your choices moving forward.
- Download templates, how-tos or workbooks that relate to your needs. Entrepreneur is a fabulous resource for this!
#2: Tap-into Talent
- Learning is a life-long process… so why not learn about your small business?
- Hiring an expert can be expensive, so devote a block of time, each day. Stick to it and track your results.
- Lynda and Slideshare wonderful learning tools, covering a vast range of subjects.
- It can be easy to forget that employees have an array of skills to contribute, beyond those required by their job description.
- Tapping-into this talent requires understanding the employee’s capacity, as well their actual skills.
- To better understand their capacity, have employees track how/when their hours are used, and identify where they may have “pockets” of time to contribute their “other” skills (at MOGL, we use Harvest time tracking – it is fast and the reports are fantastic).
- Whenever you compliment an employee, hear them express a preference, demonstrate an approach or share a dream, see it as an opportunity to ask deeper questions and learn more about their inner talents (HBR has a great article detailing this).
#3: Focus on creativity and what you know
Get creative with your Unique Selling Proposition
- You will never be everything to everybody – settle on your unique offering and what comes easily. Then do it, well.
- Focus on developing unique bundles of, users of and innovative approaches to solving the problems that you solve… instead of time spent on fancier packaging.
- There is no formula for creating viral media – its luck, timing, messaging and medium. So, get creative and be persistent. Get them right and you can receive hundreds of thousands (sometimes millions) of dollars in free media exposure for pennies on the dollar.
#4: Lease or Outsource It
You don’t have to own everything
- Don’t fall prey to the need to “own”… hiring employees or large equipment purchases can burden a company over the long-term.
- Instead, evaluate the result you’re looking for. In most cases, it’s a service (produced by human or machine), when you want it, how you want it and at a reasonable price.
- So, cash being king, find the leasing or contract personnel that deliver those results. The flexibility you’ll gain over the long-term will enable you to flow time and money where it’s needed most, to continue producing exceptional results.
While there’s no such thing as a free lunch, it’s possible to get a five-course meal on a shoestring… if you utilize the internet, tap-into talents, get creative and lease/outsource your needs.
Have a wonderful day!