Monday, October 12, 2015

Build with social media

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

     Social media offers many opportunities for establishing and building a small business. Start with your tablet, your desktop, your phone. Take pictures and selfies.

     With today's technology, you can build your business at home or in the local coffee shop. You can start with a single sale and grow from there.

     Example: Jack became intrigued with hydroponics. He thought that growing things without soil was simply amazing. He experimented in his basement, setting up racks of water-filled containers under grow lights where he began growing basil and lettuce. Next, he experimented with tomatoes. He gave some away to a neighbor who was a chef. This led to a conversation in which they discussed Jack's furnishing lettuce and tomatoes to the restaurant. Jack added to his basement hydroponic setup and today supplies several restaurants with fresh tomatoes and greens--year round. He has used social media to reach out to additional customers, and he is looking to eventually expand into an older, unused warehouse building--and serve a much bigger market.

     Example: Jill loves baking and discovered the many uses of ginger in cookies and cakes, even brownies and scones. She put pictures of her creations on social media and began building her business. Today, you'll find Jill's ginger goodies at corporate meetings, organizational gatherings, spas and retreats, as well as at upscale food stores. Jill's only sales force is social media, and her bakery is totally devoted to items incorporating ginger. UPS trucks come every day to take away packages being delivered to waiting customers. 

     Example: Takisha runs a pet supply store--no animals sold here, but everything needed for your dog, cat, or pocket pet. To increase traffic and sales, Takisha decided to add puppies--not for sale, but from local adoption agencies. She installed the puppies in the front window of her Main Street shop, and she posted pictures of them on social media. To build interest, she took selfies with each puppy and posted a deadline date (3 or 4 days hence) when the puppy was to be returned to the adoption agency. This created a sense of urgency and brought people into the shop where they bought all sorts of pet supplies--and sometimes adopted a puppy. 

     Your small business can grow and expand in direct proportion to how much you promote it. Today's social media provides a wealth of opportunity not available 20 years ago. 

     Don't think you have to be a professional photographer to take pictures for social media. You don't need museum quality. Just about any picture will do. Who can resist a picture of a puppy--and passing it on to friends?  



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