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Getting Your Small Business Up and Running (Part 2)

Starting a small business is often as easy as just setting up shop right at your home. However, once your business is up and running, the next challenge is to get it attracting customers and making money. But this is definitely going to be the harder part.

Make Your Business Recognizable

Having a unique logo is always a good way to make your business stand out from others within your area. Freelance graphic designers can whip a logo for under $50. And if you are lucky enough and personally know the designer, he can even do it for you free.

If you can’t find a designer who will create your logo for cheap, there are plenty of online sites that create logos based on the parameters that you set on the site’s logo creation system. Since these logos are generated from templates, they might look a bit similar to other logos, but they will still suit your need. The logo can be used on your website or blog for free, but there is a small charge if you wish to download it for printing on boxes, shirts, or other marketing paraphernalia.

Along with a unique logo, having a recognizable colour scheme will help in making your brand easier to spot. The colour scheme you choose should reflect aspects of your business. For instance, warm colours like red and orange are best suited for food-related businesses, while monochromatic colour schemes suit service-oriented enterprises. Don’t throw in too many colours; two or three are preferable for your company’s colour scheme.

If your business involves goods delivery, investing on packaging is will also help in making it more recognizable. Incorporate the above to make your packaging stand out. Buy simple paper bags or blank boxes in bulk and print stickers of your logo and you are all set.

Use the Net

As always, having a company website is useful in reaching more customers. Creating a website of your own is relatively quick. However, finding a host for your site can be a bit of a challenge. What you want is a host that will provide you with the most services to offer for the buck. All web hosting companies the basic services that you will need, such as unlimited storage space and support for various database and publishing platforms. However, some hosts will provide additional services useful for small businesses, like electronic shopping carts and inventory services. These packages will cost you just around $5 to $15 a month.

Once the company site is up, your next task is to promote it. Your own profiles on social networking sites will be handy in letting people know more about the company and its website. Alternatively, setting up social media profiles and fan pages dedicated to the company would be a good idea, since these will better focus customers’ attention to the company.

Learning more about search engine optimization also helps boost your company website’s visibility on the net. Since the topic of website optimization for small businesses is very popular, there are tons of discussions and tutorials about it online. Thus, you don’t have to worry about having to find and hire experts.

A blog is another useful tool in promoting your company. It can either be integrated into your company site or separately hosted on a free service such as WordPress. The key to effective promotion through your blog is b posting interesting articles on it frequently.

A Few More Things

Taking up phone inquiries about your products and services can be very laborious if you and your personnel are the only ones handling it. Sign up for an answering service to free you of all the work. As an added bonus, the company will be able to extend inquiry time for customers, since you don’t have to worry about getting up at night to answer the phone.  These services will cost you less than $20 a month.

If you are finding it difficult to shoulder the initial operational cost of the business or simply want to generate more income, get a sales partner. Online shopping sites, such as Amazon, have sales partner programs that allow registered merchant partners to purchase products at lower prices and resell them for profit. The trick when it comes to such programs is to sell only those goods that are closely related to your products.

The above also applies when it comes to using your site as advertising space to earn additional income. Make sure that all the ads posted in your website are closely related to your business. However, avoid flooding your own site with too many ads, as it will distract your potential customers from fully exploring the site.

9 Responses to Getting Your Small Business Up and Running (Part 2)

  1. Mark Ford November 1, 2013 at 3:37 am #

    A logo and website is certainly the place to start when it comes to setting up a business.

    (I would say that I’m a web designer)

    The general perception is that this costs £1,000′s but there are plenty of really good designers out there that charge a lot less.
    Mark Ford recently posted…A Complete List of UK Twitter Hashtags To Help Market Your BusinessMy Profile

  2. Sam November 4, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    Good points Eric. The great thing about the web is that it’s opened up all the services to small fledgling businesses. What used to cost thousands of dollars can now be done by contractors online for a fraction of a price. Things like fiverr, odesk and elance are great places to start for a lot of the things like design, branding and others.

  3. Robert Davis November 6, 2013 at 6:55 am #

    Too complicated subject to cover with one article. Everything is correct, but still far more things need to be done, and of course, internet technologies first!

  4. Steve November 6, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

    Good article, very informative. I would add that choosing a website hosting service that will give you the ability to upgrade to a dedicated server at a later date is a good idea. If the business starts to become popular and the website receives a lot of visitors on a regular basis, a dedicated server will be required to handle the additional traffic that is being generated. With all of the potential traffic that is now readily available on social media websites, attracting a lot of new visitors very quickly can be relatively easy.

  5. michiis_back November 8, 2013 at 3:04 am #

    It’s very important for you to get your business cards ready and make sure you’re always carrying!
    word of mouth is always the best way to promote your business,
    when you run into old friends or family, catch up a little, have a little chat, make sure they know what you are up to lately, give them a card or you can even send them a free gift from your products, a nice gesture.
    works every time,
    Many thanks and Best wishes!
    michiis_back recently posted…Loading, Web Design Lebanon, full-service marketing and advertising companyMy Profile

  6. Agriya November 13, 2013 at 3:54 am #

    Hey Eric,
    As you said, unique logo does the trick for your business.Thanks for the color suggestion for Food business and the monochromatic colors. But these are depend on the Site owners interest.

    Search Engine Optimization really helps to boost your rankings in SERP. The past three articles are awesome and interesting to read. I’m waiting to read the next one. Keep updating

  7. Bob November 16, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    Thanks for the tips Eric! Some really useful advise here. :)
    Bob recently posted…Alpha-Pharma Rexogin (Stanozolol) – £ 40.00My Profile

  8. David November 19, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Great tips! Very helpful! I didn’t know that there are so many ways in which you can expand and advertise your business.

  9. Jeff Cole February 10, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    Getting your business going is very difficult, but at the same time rewarding. The amount of time you get to spend with your family varies, but in the end it is worth it.
    Jeff Cole recently posted…Building snowmen and housesMy Profile

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