As small business owners, we feel a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing we created something out of nothing - started something that was not there before. Even as franchise owners we know that if we did not pursue that dream of owning that business, it would not exist.
The hardest part of being a small business owner is running and growing the business effectively knowing so much is riding on us as the leaders. We also do not have the same supports that we would have if we were working in an organization.
For example, while working in an office setting, when we do not know something we ask our colleagues. We are all in it together as employees and we help and guide one another. This is not necessarily the case for small business owners because we have to search and seek out help from various outside sources. There aren't necessarily "colleagues" or "fellow employees" to ask questions and get assistance.
The purpose of this page is to assist small business owners from the writers' personal experiences - failures and successes. Each business is unique, with its specific licensing requirements, products, services, infrastructure (home-based or location-based), etc.
There are step-by-step guides and helpful techniques, tips, and strategies. The information is useful for people looking into starting a business, sustaining a business, or growing a business.
Majority of the information is found in the Downloadable section or in the files below. The idea is to have material that can be printed and utilized in the course of business.
If there are any specific questions, it is best to send an email by clicking on the contact link.
What is active listening?
Active listening is one of the top skills a person in any level of leadership should develop. It involves:
· Using a variety of verbal and non-verbal signals to show others you are listening and processing what they are saying
· Listening and retaining the messages others share
· Understanding others’ personal needs, challenges, concerns
· Listening with all senses
· Listening in a non-judgmental and neutral way
· Getting to know and being there for employees
· Being reflective about what others are saying
When leading, supervising, or managing others, the goal is to move the organization ahead by achieving a common goal. The person in the leadership role cannot do all the work personally – it is impossible. She must rely on others within the organization, her team, to achieve that common goal and help the organization succeed.
Many people in leadership have worked hard, accomplished tasks, and successfully finished projects in their course of work, helping them earn a promotion in leadership, supervision, or management. They have not necessarily gotten to this next level by having strong people skills. There is often struggle and challenge for those in leadership positions who do not naturally have the people skills and active listening skills necessary to become effective at inspiring others to do their jobs effectively.
The good news is emotional intelligence can be learned and developed. People skills and active listening can also be learned and developed!
· Are you trying to find ways to network but needing some guidance because the process is difficult and uncomfortable for you?
· Do you have a new business that you want to promote and have a need to grow your network?
· Are you trying to get more people to know about your business so they can refer you clients?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, keep reading and use the information and steps in this article to help you do more start and continue networking.
What is Networking?
Networking essentially means getting to know people, and forming relationships, that will help you in our future endeavors, and will help the other party in his or her endeavors. It is the act of making contact and exchanging information with people, groups and institutions for mutually beneficial relationships.
Parts of a Network
For a small business owner, the network is made up of all individuals who can give and get resources and support. Resources and support come in different ways; they can be advice, new client referrals, financial help, ideas, knowledge, and even helping hands when there is too much to do!
There are several reasons why people do not like networking. Here are the main ones:
Networking takes time, but people are impatient. People meet each other at events and without getting to know the other person, quickly give their business card and throw their business pitch. Networking takes time because cultivating the relationship takes time. Building trust takes time.
· Do you want to start a business doing photography to generate some extra income?
· Have you always had a talent for taking amazing pictures and want to turn it into a money-making business?
· Have you been thinking about becoming a freelance or self-employed photographer but unsure how to do it as a business?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, this article and the strategies could help you begin in a step-by-step, organized, efficient process! Planning and doing things productively will ensure your chance of succeeding.
Basic Information to Get Started
The most important first step is to figure out what kind of photography you want to do. There is a wide range to choose from, including:
· Landscape photography
· Nature photography
· Pet photography
· Aerial photography
· Architecture photography
· Real estate photography
If you check out adobe.com, you will get a good idea of what types of photography you can choose to take.
Since this will be for a business, choosing ones you know will generate money. What is in demand? According to colesclassroom.com, the profitable types of photography include:
· Social media photography
· Family portraiture
· Event photography
· Fashion photography
Choose only the areas that will give you value and reward. Doing so will help you live and work your purpose.
If you answered YES to these questions, this article would have some beneficial ideas that you may not have thought of before to grow your side business!
Why is Marketing Important to a Business?
Marketing helps us grow and sell products and services. Movingtargets.com emphasizes 3 critical attributes of marketing:
• Gain new customers
• Get existing customers to buy their products more frequently
• Get existing customers to buy more products each time they complete a transaction
We go into business because we are reaching out to people because we have something to offer them. Even as non-profit organization CEOs, we are still trying to reach out and get people to join us, sponsor us, attend our conferences, etc.
Most brand new businesses and side businesses will spend considerable time in their beginning stages to do marketing. How else would they get the word out there about what they provide? If a new business is lucky enough to have money and investments, it will use a marketing company to do all that work for them.
Growing a small business can be quite a challenge! For someone inexperienced, starting a new business does not seem difficult, until the experience of trying to get clients and grow the business comes into play. Most business owners have passion for what they are doing and have an incredible knowledge base in what they are selling or servicing.
Getting the word out there to potential buyers, or people who have a need for what they are providing is the marketing and advertising portion. Most businesses must spend a substantial amount of time on getting the word out there about their products and services in the beginning years. Unfortunately, despite having knowledge and experience about their products and service, most small business owners do not know marketing. Also, half of the small business owners lack proper resources - they do not have enough money, enough time, or enough help to run their business and still market/advertise effectively.
A business owner can have the best ideas and best products out there to satisfy the basic needs potential clients are seeking. However, if those potential clients do not know about him, his products, and his services, the business cannot grow and thrive. Investing in creative ways to market and advertise a business is key to growth. Marketing is necessary for a variety of reasons:
Are you a small business owner?
Is your business still fairly new?
Are you trying to get some creative marketing ideas that cost very little or nothing at all?
I have some ideas for you that worked for me when I started my business years ago.
Did you know? According to Fudnera.com, 20% of businesses fail in their first year of existence. 30% do not go past the second year, 50% do not survive past their third year, and 70% are gone by the 10th year in business.
So why do small businesses fail? According to Investopedia.com, there are 4 main reasons:
1) Financial hurdles
2) Inadequate management
3) Ineffective business planning
4) Marketing Mishaps
The problem with marketing is it’s easy to do for a business with lots of financial resources. If a small business has millions of dollars invested in it, television ads can be run, as well as radio ads, mailers can be sent to every home in a large community on a consistent basis, etc. It would even be possible for a small business to have a separate department composed of well-paid telemarketers and salespeople whose job it is, all day, to bring in business day in and day out!
20 Marketing Ideas for Each Month for Side Businesses
To be effective and efficient at marketing periodically, here are 20 strategies we can use for our side businesses to succeed. Because these strategies are for side businesses, they are written for people who have very little time to invest in their businesses on a daily basis.
Download these free documents to use in your business in PDF format. To get the originals that are edible, please go to the Products page.
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