In today’s technological age, individually-owned businesses are on the rise. With the help of the Internet, many people are finding success at owning their own business. On the other hand, with so many entrepreneurs out there, many are finding themselves getting lost in the crowd.
According to the Small Business Bureau, 30 percent of independent companies fail within the first year. If you are a struggling business owner, that number can seem daunting! So how can you protect your business from becoming just another statistic?
1. Determine your niche market. If you want to be successful, you have to decide who you want for clients. What are their wants and needs? How can you best meet those wants and needs? Are you sure that the product you’re offering is best suited for the market you have chosen? Test your market for a couple of months. If you don’t start generating regular business, perhaps you should re-evaluate your market. You may be focusing on the wrong clientele for your business.
2. Go the extra mile. Once you have determined your best market, you will need to make your business stand out above the rest. With the number of individually-owned businesses starting every day around the world, you are probably not the only one with your specialty. If you want to keep your clientele, you will need to be able to offer your clients something unique. Most people appreciate someone who will go the extra mile for them. This could be something as simple as offering free gift wrap, free delivery, or a gift with purchase. Also, get to know your customers beyond the business. Ask them about their families or their own businesses. Be a people person.
3. Hold special events. One way to advertise your business is to host a special event. This could be anything from a one-day sale to an annual contest. If you need to “clean house,” offer some of your products at a special one-day price. You could also hold a simple contest and offer the winner a gift certificate to use in your store, or you could find another individual who would be willing to donate something from their company in exchange for free advertising with you. Be creative and have fun with this idea. Everyone likes to win something sometime!
4. Write articles for online publications and newspapers. Remember to submit articles to sites such as www.associatedcontent.com and other online publications. Many people will allow you to submit an article in their monthly ezine in exchange for a link on your website. You should also consider writing press releases advertising your business in your local newspaper. Writing articles is one of the easiest – and least expensive – ways to advertise.
No matter what you decide to do, remember to be creative with your business. You started this business because you are an expert in what you do, so prove to your clients that you can deliver the best to them.