Part 1 - 10 Things all small businesses should be doing
Before you say anything, you're correct, this isn't like most of my blog posts. In my defense though, I know so many of you have small businesses and I thought I'd share some of what I've learned over the years. For many years I owned a handmade personal care business. I did quite well and the reason I no longer do that is I lost my passion (and the fact that due to my physical issues I can no longer make the products.)
I've also been in direct sales, having made it pretty high up in Tupperware before life got in the way. Couple these with my many years of restaurant manager, I think I have unique views and experience that I can share.
This is Part One of Two
1. Create a strong personal brand. When you own a home-based or small business, your business is YOU. Make sure your personal brand is one that you want potential customers/employees to see. Create well crafted profiles on your social media accounts. Be sure to separate your personal "venting" accounts from ones that your customers/employees can see. Keep your personal life separate (unless that's part of your brand). The only social media site I use for personal reasons is Facebook. All of my other social media accounts are only for business.
2. Create a strong business brand. Consistency is key. Make sure your logo fits your company and the colors you choose are pleasing. Use a site like Canva.com to create headers for your social media sites. Make sure they look similar between all sites. Business cards are a must. With sites like Vistaprint and Moo.com and also with the quality of printers today, you can easily print or order 500+ cards for under $20. There is no longer an excuse.
3. Marketing is KEY to any business. Whether you run a product based or service based business, marketing is one of the most important things in business. If you're like me, your budget doesn't allow for spending much (if any) money. The good news is, you can market your business for free online. All it takes is a bit of time, organization, dedication and some useful free tools. Schedule Facebook posts to your business page using their built in scheduler. Use the free version of Hootsuite or TweetJukebox to schedule tweets. Hootsuite will allow you 3 social media accounts to be linked on their free version so you can also add your Google+ and LinkedIn accounts.
4. Speaking of LinkedIn, one thing I learned in my Social Media class was that if you do not spend a good amount of time crafting a well written profile, then do not have one at all on LinkedIn. A poorly written profile can actually hurt you. Then again, any poor profile on any site can hurt you, so think before you write!
5. Blog, blog, blog. Blogging is such a great way to communicate with people in a less structured way. Inject some humor or tips or even recipes. Give your readers things of use rather than just a sales pitch.
Well, look for the rest of my great wisdom and knowledge in the next issue! While you're waiting with baited breath for the next issue, here's some great products from Staples.com that any business can use
Until Next Time...