Monday, March 23, 2015

Start and grow

     Free daily tips, information, advice and ideas
     to help you better manage your small business.

     The mechanism of starting up and growing a business has long fascinated me. And it came quite naturally.

     I grew up in a family business. My two sisters and brother established businesses. Being the youngest, it took me longer to get there. Just out of college, I started off in corporate America. Disgusted, I left and started my first business. There have been four or five, depending on how they are counted. 

     A business can be set up using any idea. Of course, some ideas are bigger than others. The marketplace and how you structure your business determines your success. 

     The marketplace is big enough to accommodate that idea you are passionate about. If you are interested in something, others are as well. They are your target market. How you reach them will determine your success.

     Example: A lady once asked me how she could increase her sales in her small pet store. When I asked her what she was doing to promote her place, she said she took ads in the local paper. I suggested she use social media, post pictures of pets, and begin reaching out. "But I don't sell pets," she objected. "And I know nothing about social media." We talked it through. Later, she realized how easy it was to attract attention with pictures of puppies and kittens. She emailed me that sales had more than doubled in a relatively short period of time--she had set up on Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Hers had been a simple question, and it was solved with a simple answer.

     Social media makes it simple, easy, and inexpensive to get the word spreading in your community. It's even more productive when your business offers services and products that appeal to a wide spectrum of the marketplace. Everyone has a pet. Everyone has alternative health issues. Everyone needs help around the home and yard.

     Example: A young man once asked what business he should go into. He wanted a business of his own, but he was perplexed as to the type of business he could pursue. Unfortunately, public school had not prepared him to make a business decision. In a quick back-and-forth, I helped him realize that he already had the answer. "Look inside," I told him. "Find the thing that you are most passionate about, and set up your business around that idea." Today, he owns a small construction firm--renovations and additions to homes. Occasionally, he tackles whole structures. His passion for building has become his business. 

     A career can be built on your passion. Artists and authors, therapists and tradespeople, landscapers and lawyers, shopkeepers and specialists--no matter your interests, you can build your business to serve that market. Start and grow. 

     And don't neglect the use of today's social media. The marketplace is continually changing. To a great extent, social media is leading the way. Find your place in it. It can reward your business with growth.  


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