Second, are you out there selling your business? What networking groups have you joined? Have you joined any Chambers and attended their events? How well does the public know you? Being an introvert is not a good way to keep your business in the public spotlight. Get out there and mingle! Not a people person? Become one. You are not going to make connections being a wallflower. All entrepreneurs are salespeople by default — so act like one!
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MORE ADVICE FOR SMALL-BUSINESS OWNERS
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Third, pay close attention to branding and company image. Are they consistent? Do you have a PROFESSIONALLY created logo, or did you use the one your cousin made for you for free? How much study did you put into the color scheme? Is there anything about your company image that might be alienating or polarizing to some groups? Many small business owners overlook simple image helpers such as coming up with a great tag line. If I asked what local Chevy dealership has "…Lower Prices, Lower Rates" or what entertainment item store has "all the fun" I bet you could tell me right away. Creating a professional image for your business is a marketing must.
Fourth, budget for a serious marketing plan. I don't mean paying $10 to boost a Facebook post. If you are depending solely on Facebook for marketing, you aren't really marketing at all. Search out your target market, and find the best way to reach them. If it's "soccer moms," the best way to reach them is where? On the soccer field sidelines. Don't fall into the "laundry list" or shotgun approach trap. If you pick the wrong media, you will be wasting your money. If you are not sure, consult a professional. Be prepared to budget a serious amount of your revenue towards advertising and marketing. The worst thing a business owner can say is "I can't afford to advertise and market my business." If you do nothing, how do you ever expect to grow?
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HAVE A QUESTION?
This monthly column aims to help small-business owners navigate the resources available to them. Have a question about starting or managing a business? Email questions to email@example.com for possible inclusion in an upcoming column.