Living expenses continue to rise and just about everybody is in need of some extra cash. This is probably the best time ever for you to own your own small business and launch your brand.
Now before you start thinking of the barriers you'll face or the possibility of securing a business bank loan, remember that you can initiate and own a small home-based business for just a few bucks — or even FREE.
Depending on what you need, you can easily run your home business from your kitchen table and, frankly, you can finance your business from a few extra bucks you save during the week. Even better, you could pause your coffee runs, hold off on buying that new PS game station, and walk away from new shoe purchases for a few months.
At least long enough to make sure your dream of owning a business comes true.
How much time will it take to run your business and build your brand? That depends on several things, but mostly it depends on how many hours you want to spend working on your business. If you have the time, you may not mind spending 6 days a week pushing long hours to get your brand off the ground. If you've already got a 9-to-5 or two part-time jobs, you may want to work your own business only in the evening and in the morning before work. Perhaps you just want to work on the weekends.
Which hours you choose to dedicate to your brand will be linked to the amount of money you can generate and the type of services and products you can sell. If you're full-time, your business can start out earning thousands each month and move up to several thousand dollars a month in earnings.
Working your business part-time, and you can earn anywhere from an extra $100 to a few thousand per month. That might be just what you need to supplement your income from your 9-to-5, and you'd be perfectly happy.
Brand + Talent + Needs = Success
What kind of brand should you launch? Try to find one that matches your talents and needs. If you like speaking with people and selling them on your ideas, you would do amazing in a business that requires some sales skills. If you enjoy it; you'll make great money at it.
If the idea of having to sell anything makes you want to run for the hills, stress no further. There are businesses that require almost no selling. What you would do is simply use the product(s) you're selling and talk to people about them when they ask. Perhaps write blog articles about them and even ask for reviews from folks you know and have given samples to.
Of course, new customers rarely (if ever) fall into your lap. An effort has to be made by you to find new prospects if you want to succeed and not only launch a successful brand, but sustain one as well.
Get Yourself Some Loyal Customers
There are several simple and inexpensive ways to get new customers.
- Reach out to everyone you know and talk to them about your business. You'll be surprised how many will become interested and want to buy from you.
- Send out letters or postcards if you don't have an offline location. Send 10 per week. You can get names and addresses from clubs you've joined, associations, the chamber of commerce, and lead generators who are in the business of gathering prospective addresses for businesses. Also check your Yellow Pages under “Direct Mail.”
- You can also go to your social media! This is now a preferred method of contact for most Solopreneurs because it's quick. However, you'll need to gauge your audience's activity and send them notifications accordingly. Be it three times a day or ten times a week, you want to make sure that your message has been seen but not annoy your audience.
- If you haven't already, launch a website. Let that be your advertisement hub. Include all your experiences, products, and ideas on it, then register the site with Google and other search engines. It's free to use and, if done correctly, your site will be listed successfully.
- Consider placing ads in your email newsletters, or those of others you know. It's a very economical way to reach thousands of people who are probably interested in your brand and topic. Search Google for “ezine directory” to find sites that list thousands of email newsletters.
- Establish a partnership with a local non-profit and launch a fundraiser event to sell your products or service. They will sell the product you supply because it's a win for them and a HUGE win for you, as they'll make money from those sales, and you'll often grab new attention and customers in the process.
- Take your brand to flea markets or local trade shows in your area for your industry. Get a low-cost booth and tell your story to anyone who'll listen. That's what flea markets and trade shows are for, and you won't feel one bit out of place so go for it.
- If you already have a website, promote your business on your site to convert your audience into loyal customers. Post ads of your products and/or services and videos of customer testimonials. These are just some ways you can get an added promotion without paying for it.
These are just a few ideas to help you get up and running. If you've got the itch to start your own business and launch your brand, go for it.
Remember to find out what gets your mind and heart racing – in a good way. What keeps your interests even on the difficult days when you're not sure if you'll want to go on?
Go for those types of inspirational ideas that drive you to keep going. Once you lock into what your passion(s) is then you're set to devote your time and money into your brand's success.
It'll be the smartest thing you'll ever do.