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It’s not often that you come across a business which started off as a side project and within three years, has become global, being used in over 150 countries. This happens to be the case for Tim Kremer and Behram Khan, co-founders of Avaza, an all-in-one professional services automation tool that combines time tracking, expense reporting, quoting and invoicing with project management.
The duo share their top five tips on how to grow your business sustainably.
1. Prioritise marketing through free channels first
“What type of marketing will get you the highest return on investment? Free marketing! Research your target businesses first. Then integrate methods such as cold calling, letterbox drops and commenting on online business forums, marketplaces or directories, particularly those with high rankings. Make sure to respond in a timely manner with informative and relevant comments. By mentioning your product or service in comments, you can build an online presence and increase SEO.”
2. Team collaboration tools
“Using team collaboration software enables your team to work together even when members are located in different places, working from home or remotely. This software is on the rise as it allows companies to grow and thrive through a collaborative management structure. It is efficient and gives each individual involved the ability to make changes and monitor progress of a particular task or project.”
Online invoicing and quoting
“In today’s competitive marketplace, small businesses need to find an efficient way to generate invoices, quotes and keep track of their companies’ financial information. A key benefit of online invoicing is that it eliminates errors as it includes up-to-date records and it is accessible anywhere. All the data is in one central location and it saves time by allowing businesses to create and distribute multiple invoices quickly.”
3. Ensure your paid marketing has a positive ROI
“Many small businesses throw large amounts of money at paid marketing such as Google AdWords and Facebook. Unfortunately these channels are very competitive. In fact, many of the bid prices for advertising will leave you losing money. It’s an expensive branding exercise for companies with too much cash. Google Analytics is a free and efficient tool for monitoring and analysing site traffic. This tool is handy as it is applicable to businesses of any scale.”
4. Let your best customers market for you
“Make sure you give incentives to your customers for a win-win situation. By asking customers for feedback, you can incorporate their testimonies in all marketing material such as the company website and e-newsletters. One of the most successful marketing activities for Avaza has been our ‘Advocate Reward Program.’ Our customers can choose to go and write an honest review of our product at a range of popular marketplaces and in return for their time, we offer a credit towards their subscription.”