If you’re looking to open your own business, you can’t expect it to be wildly successful overnight. In fact, many businesses take a few years to build up their reputations and become profitable. Fortunately, there are many opportunities to take advantage of when you’re looking to boost your business.
Here are some of the best ways to kick-start your business:
Markets are an affordable and easy way to show off your products to the public. They can offer valuable opportunities for first contact with customers. If these customers are impressed by your product, then hopefully they’ll spread the word to their friends and family, and you’ll start building up your customer base. Remember to hand out business cards or contact details to everyone who visits your stall, whether they buy your products or not.
Keep an eye out for large events taking place in your area. These could include sporting events, music concerts, festivals or conferences. Contact the event organisers to find out whether you can set up a stall at the event to sell your products or services. Many of these events attract tens of thousands of people, often in a relatively confined area, which means that your stall will usually be impossible to miss!
3. Social media
Most first-time business owners can’t afford to spend huge amounts of money on marketing and advertising. Thankfully, social media has given businesses invaluable opportunities to market products and services completely for free. Join a variety of community Facebook groups or groups that are associated with your field of business. You can then submit posts that promote your business and link back to your Facebook business page. The more groups you post on, the more potential customers you’ll reach. Social media can be just as effective, and sometimes even more effective, as paid forms of marketing.
4. Digital marketing
Social media is just one small aspect of digital marketing. There are many digital marketing tools which are either free or reasonably affordable. You could start by setting up a free Google My Business account, which makes your business more visible on internet searches and Google Maps. You should also consider setting up an email list to send product information to prospective customers. Check out service providers like MailChimp, which offers free email sending services for businesses with less than 2000 subscribers.
5. Buddy marketing
Buddy marketing is an innovative way to market your business, by forming mutually beneficial relationships with other business owners. Simply put, buddy marketing involves promoting both your own company and another company. For example, when you’re handing out your own business cards, you could also hand out the business cards of the business you’ve decided to ‘buddy up’ with. The buddy business will do the same for your business. This is a great way to extend your reach to a larger pool of potential customers.
Networking is a vital part of getting your name out there and meeting with potential customers, partners or investors. Sign up for all relevant conferences or networking events in your area. Remember that networking can also happen spontaneously – whether it’s at a party, sports club or event.
Getting a business off the ground takes a lot of hard work and dedication. You should take every opportunity to promote yourself and your business, and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg!
Want to gain more business skills?
Have a look at Oxbridge Academy’s range of Business Management Courses.