Selling Successfully: Your New Small Business
Starting your own small business is an exciting and stressful time. You’re venturing out on your own, with an idea and a dream. How can you set your new small business up for success instead of failure?
-Advertise! If no one can find your product, no one can purchase it! Whether you’re selling via a Facebook page, your own website, a brick and mortar store or a third party internet site such as Amazon or Etsy, you will need to do some sort of advertising. Depending on what your budget is, there are many advertising options. For a nominal fee, you can purchase advertising through Facebook. If you’re looking to engage your local market, you can have custom postcards printed and send targeted mailings. Depending on your budget, you can purchase advertising on local radio stations, or in print.
-Selling in person. Depending on what your product is, it may be a good fit to attend local craft or vendor events. For the cost of a booth fee (generally between $25-$100 depending on the size of the event), you can meet perspective customers and talk to them in person. You can get an idea first-hand of what sells well, what your customers are interested in, and questions they may have. Another option, if you wish to put forth a bigger time commitment, would be to attend a local farmer’s market on a regular basis. If you are making the commitment to opening a physical store location, make sure that the location you choose is beneficial to your product. Look for a location that is visible to potential customers and easy to find.
-Selling online. The internet is an important staple for any business in this day and age. How else can you reach millions of potential customers across the world? There are many different options for selling online, with different levels of effort. If you don’t have the time or knowledge to purchase your own domain and set up a website for your business, there are many third-party options available. eBay has been around for years, and has multiple options for different levels of selling. Be mindful that you will be charged a fee when your item sells. With the onset of Facebook, there are options for free/low-cost “storefronts” that are linked to your Facebook business page, allowing potential customers to simply click through and shop at your store. While you do have to build a storefront for these Facebook stores, it’s usually an easier process than starting with your own domain and building a full website.
-Excellent customer service. More than likely, what you’re selling is not unique, and if you have a competitor in the industry, what’s going to set you apart? Stellar customer service is a must. With all the social media avenues that exist, a customer that has a bad experience (and on a smaller scale, a very good experience) will share that experience with their friends.
Starting a small business is no easy feat. With adequate preparation, yours can be a success!