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Katie Colleran

19 Sept 2016

Budget-Friendly Business Boosts

Gone are the days of spending thousands of pounds a year on advertising, exhibitions and software (to name a few!). It's now easier than ever to make an impact without the big budget pricetag. We've provided you with a few handy ways you can boost your business without breaking the bank.

Crowdsource a freelancer

Save on agency and contract fees or retainers by crowdsourcing your work. Sites such as PeoplePerHour allow experts to bid for your job, making sure you get the most competitive price. The community is full of webmasters, graphic designers, marketers and virtual assistants, so you're sure to find someone with the right skills for your task. Whether your job is big or small, you're sure to find the right freelancer to take it on.

Build your network

Reap the benefits of being active on social media - set up a company page on LinkedIn to engage with or find your customers and leads, and to connect with industry pros and influencers. By keeping your page active you'll be ensuring your brand always has something new to say when your connections and prospects research your company or see you on their timeline. Focus on building your network of contacts, taking time to headhunt any potential employees and you could find your business saves a packet on recruitment costs too.

Software saves

Another great way to save money for your business is by utilising free to use online tools and software, as opposed to more expensive PC packages: Most offer a basic service, with a premium option for a monthly subscription fee.

Skype

Free to download, easy to set up and great for team collaboration. Not just for internal use, it's also becoming more popular to engage with external contacts via Skype too. With webcam support, file sharing and instant messaging, it's included in most Windows packages. Skype is a must have for sharing ideas and information at ACS!

Basecamp

An online tool used for project management. Collaborate with agencies and other external contacts easily, share files and to-do lists and instant message your workgroup. It's a great tool to use if you find yourself sharing updates amongst your team regularly.

Dropbox

There's nothing more annoying than an e-mail with a huge attachment that won't send. That's where Dropbox comes in. Upload and share files securely, and access them from work, home or on the go. You can also edit documents in real time, meaning the changes are published instantly so everyone's on the same page.

Hootsuite

A great web tool which brings together all your social media accounts. Free to use, Hootsuite has an intuitive interface allowing you to not only monitor your social media interactions, but to post to all your accounts at once. It's useful for tracking engagement and what your influencers are up to as well.

Canva

You don't need to be a Photoshop pro to create engaging imagery any more. Canva is another free to use online tool which allows you to create graphics for social media or the web. Whilst there are some paid options, much of the content is free and enables you to create Photoshop-quality graphics without the premium pricetag.

Free online training

The internet is the best information source we have, so it makes sense to make use of the wide range of training programmes available. Many websites offer some courses for free or on a trial basis. Futureproof your staff knowledge with Google's Digital Garage - a new web platform designed to boost your digital skills, for free.

Compare for the best energy deal

It's good practice to check whether you're getting the best deal on your utilities a couple of times a year. Prices fluctuate and new deals are being introduced all the time. What was the cheapest 6 months ago may not necessarily be now! See how much you can save by visiting your comparison site of choice. All you have to spend is time.

Partner with another business

It makes sense to engage with other institutions nearby. Not only is it great PR to partner with a local school or college, but such partnerships can also pave the way for apprenticeships and events; some schools may allow you to use their facilities for event space or you can set up a scheme to guarantee employment places for school leavers.

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