“The path to success can feel like a labyrinth for a small business owner, but with some good direction, your choices become a lot clearer.”
While the avenues, strategies, and tools will be different for every business, you can put yourself ahead of the game by making use of simple, useful methods. The following are some great topics that we have covered in the past few months, which are imminently relevant and applicable to the efforts of every entrepreneur.
1. Running an Efficient Home Business
Too many new business owners stepped out a little too early, being overzealous and eager to slap their name on a new building. Don’t be a casualty.
2. Startup Funding and Working Capital
There is one persistent question on the mind of any small business owner: Where is the money coming from? Whether your new business requires that initial chunk of capital to get things started, or you are simply looking for a little extra money to maintain smooth operations, it is good to have reliable resources for funding when the need arises. You have a variety of options to consider when looking for working capital or startup funding.
3. Advertise without Breaking the Bank
Pop quiz: What do you do when there is no money in your business’ budget for advertising? You get creative. Obviously, you would not have any customers at all if you never let the world know that your company exists, and you should not rely solely on word-of-mouth to spread the news.
4. Partner Up
Finding a good partner is one of the most propitious and profitable moves you can make for your business. Of the few basic types of people in the world, there are those who have the motivation, wherewithal, and even resources to help you get to where you are going. Others only excel at pointing you in the right direction by lending advice and insight, and the fact of it is that some will not even be able to wrap their heads around the idea behind your business venture.
A multitude of small businesses are opening every day, and many of the people running them are deciding to operate out of their homes. In this day and age, when technology and information are readily available and accessible, the prospect of running a home-based venture is well within reach. You may be doing just fine as a sole proprietor, but incorporating your business offers advantages and protections which you may not even know are available to you.
6. Competition is a Good Thing
Contrary to the belief of the vast majority of those who seek to be successful in business, competition is actually a great benefit to any company. Average entrepreneurs value their competition about as much as they value their in-laws, while experienced entrepreneurs understand that the competition is not the enemy. If you have a viable business, then you can assume that you have one, if not multiple competitors. If you have a promising idea for a business, then someone else has probably already thought of it. When you find another company doing the same thing you are doing, don’t panic. This does not seal the fate of your ambitious venture—in fact, exactly the opposite is true.
7. Working in Your Down-Time
The last thing you want is to lose momentum during those times where the orders are not rolling in. Not only is it important to stay optimistic, especially for new companies, but your business also has to remain productive. The natural reaction when business slows will be to become worried and stressed, but there are some things you can focus on during these periods that will help you stay on point.
8. Everybody Loves a T shirt
Whoever first decided to print a few words or graphics on a T-shirt and pass it around to promote their business was on to something. That is cheap advertising that keeps on giving. All you have to do is print a logo on a shirt, and presto! —your name is out on the street and circulating through the public. It may not reach as many potential customers as a billboard would, but it is quite possibly more efficient. Think about it: When someone puts on the shirt, they are wearing your company information at all kinds of public gatherings and places around their community. They are doing the legwork for you.
9. Web Design
If your business does not have a website, then you are already behind the game. Even if you are bringing in plenty of money to stay in the black, a great website is an invaluable point of access that taps into the e-commerce market, bringing in a significant amount of sales.
10. Content Marketing Converts
There are plenty of ways to motivate people to use your product or service, but there are few that work as powerfully or consistently as content marketing. You could rely on the sporadic, unreliable advertising of a billboard; you could spam everybody with email blasts to promote your company; or you could start publishing content that consistently brings internet searchers straight to your website and through the virtual front door of your business. These visitors are most likely already your customers because the information they are searching for is directly related to your business, which is why they will probably find your specialty to be something they want to purchase or sign up for. Content marketing is far more productive than conventional advertising; just watch how quickly it diverts the flow of web traffic into your favor.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.