Eight Low-Cost Growth Hacks That Can Help Your Small Business

Business development can be tricky, especially for small business owners who are just launching their company. With a limited budget and resources, you might feel restricted. However, you don’t have to break the bank to grow your business.

We asked a group of Forbes Los Angeles Business Council members for some low-cost yet effective ways leaders can growth-hack their business. Here is what they advise:

Members discuss a few ways small businesses can improve growth.

Members discuss a few ways small businesses can improve growth.


1. Networking

Yes, it’s your time—and time is money. But people like to do business with people they know. Connect with like-minded individuals in your field, build a referral network, and create meaningful and authentic connections that will help your contacts keep your business top of mind. – Kelly Howard, EightSixtySouth

2. Local Media Outreach

While PR firms can be costly, one smart placement in a high traffic publication is not. Pitch your product or service to local journalists and make sure you have a good story. The payoff can be exponential. – Anna Nguyenova, Cablato

Forbes Los Angeles Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners in Greater Los Angeles.Do I qualify?

3. Bartering

You can barter a number of ways to grow your business in either social following, sales or awareness. You can offer your expertise (time), your distribution (social post/brick and mortar), your relationships (introduce to someone strategic) or your product (give them your product for free). The opportunities are endless. You just need to offer something they need that you have! – Mark Mastrandrea, IKONICK

4. Promoting Your Work Across Digital Channels

Share your success. Promote your most recent work on all digital platforms: That allows your network and clients know what you have been up to, and how your business is evolving. The work is done, so take credit! Every client wants relationships that have an impact, so by sharing other work I have expanded relationships and received referrals. It’s easy for brand building. – Jessica First, Kilter

5. Building Trust-Based Relationships

Warning: You can’t throw money at this one. Building trust with people takes time and effort, but the reward is virtually priceless. You didn’t become a leader flying solo, so why would growing your business be any different? But don’t forget: It’s not about taking, it’s about giving and building the community around you up. – Eden Gillott, Gillott Communications LLC

6. Sending Handwritten Notes

If you want to stand out with a “technology” that does not get buried in the barrage of daily emails, send a handwritten note to a client, vendor or supplier. It can be written from a place of gratitude, it can be a “great to meet you” note, or an unexpected note that says, “I am thinking about you and wanted to say hello.” Do not underestimate the power of this growth hack. – Michael Albanese, Element Lifestyle

7. Targeted Paid Communications

Start by identifying keyword searches for your product or service on Google. Create very specific videos that give that person an answer to the exact challenge they want to solve. Deploy video ads on YouTube to people performing these searches on Google, or to people in similarly targeted niche categories on Facebook. This process builds a reputation among your audience over the long term. – Robert Brill, Brill Media Company

8. Focusing On Your Niche Market

Choose to serve a very specific customer and develop deep, reciprocal relationships with them. This is especially effective in B2B today because social media allows customers to make connections and lean on each other more and more for product recommendations. If you can get your customers to sell your product on your behalf because they are so happy, that’s the ultimate growth hack. – Mike Whitmire, FloQast