At Central Comm, we have had the privilege of working with small businesses and start ups. When the corporate grind gets to be too much, or when a position within a company has been eliminated, both are reasons people tend to start their own business. Sometimes it’s a man, more often than not in today’s world it’s a woman. It doesn’t matter the person’s gender or the reason why, just that, especially here in America, owning a business is a source of pride.
Deciding what products or services one wishes to sell is often the easiest part. The most difficult part is knowing all the steps to take to make a small business work.
From what I have learned, one of the first things people talk about today is having a Brand. Branding is important because in developing a Brand and a Logo, we have to build a clear picture in our minds of what it is we have to offer the buyer.
What is it about our product or service that makes us unique? If it’s something everyone can use, what makes our product stand out among the crowd. Once we know that, it’s easier to build from there.
Then we need tools. Tools which will allow us to run our business successfully. Software for tracking sales and sending out invoices. For accepting payments and tracking expenses, and let us not forget it’s important to have those tools to track our inventory if we are selling a product, versus a service.
It’s always important to make a business plan of some type. Depending upon whether we would need outside financing or not, the business plan can be loosely worded, or very detailed in scope.
Take it from others who have experience, it’s important to get the word out. Advertising, press releases, working with local charities, a good website and marketing on the various social media platforms. These are all effective but nothing is more effective than personal contact.
Networking and getting the word out is a must. And by that I don’t mean you have to corner everyone you meet and give them a sales pitch. That won’t work and it will get people running the other way every time they see you. It’s more like showing up, introducing yourself, chatting and listening. Listen for cues that will help you make connections, not just for yourself and your business, but for connecting other business people. That good karma will come back to you.
Outsource tasks that it’s not necessary for you to handle all by yourself. Answering services, Virtual assistants, Book keepers and marketing companies can take care of the responsibilities which are time consuming and not actually revenue generators for your company.
Small businesses and startups