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.