Small business marketing

Everywhere you look, someone’s becoming an entrepreneur.  Whether it’s through Avon, Lia Sophia, opening a store front, or a home based business.  It’s awesome to see so many people with these great ideas to succeed!

Every day, I get a request from someone to buy jewelry, host a party, get a makeover, come to a shop, buy some art.  I once got an email from a local student asking if I will purchase her product because I should remember what it felt like starting out…bold words from someone asking right out for my money, right?  Do you think I purchased the items?  Would you?

Do I remember starting out?  Absolutely!  Do I encourage other people to start out the same way I did – double absolutely!  Did I push my product on someone with attempts of guilt?  Nope….I listened to my dad and got out and “pounded the pavement” (ok, so it was designer shoes on grass…but you get the point)  😉How do I encourage other small businesses to grow and what would I recommend?

1.  I like to strike up a relationship with other businesses and I encourage others to do the same.  I’m not just a customer with them, and the same with me – we become involved.  The best example of that is my hair dresser, Salon Alexander in Newington.  Ashley and I have worked together on projects, we promote each others’ businesses, and we are also each others’ clients.  As a matter of a fact, Ashley became our new ad at the Wadsworth bridal show!

If you’re interested in gaining business from another small business – my suggestion is to OFFER business first.

2.  If you can’t afford their services right now, then offer to swap services with the other business.  For example, if you’re a photographer and your friend is selling Avon – ask her to do a makeover and you’ll photograph it for credit.  Build a relationship between the two of you – every small business has one thing in common: you’re all a small business…think about it.  This is a photo from a session we did at a friend’s tea shop for her new marketing ideas to target kids’ parties.

3.  Make a name for YOURSELF – don’t be a name dropper.  Who cares if you know so-and-so…  what can YOU do.  Make your name be the name that people drop…how can you do that?  Something you need to think about as a business owner.  Here are my kids selling chocolates on their own stand for a fund raiser – did it all by themselves to raise money for school!  😉

4.  Say something nice.  Sounds simple, but it’s true…say something nice as that is encouraging.  Compliment a budding entrepreneur on their new ideas – raise your glass to their product.  People tend to remember the kind words more than the forced.

5.  Most of all, put yourself in their shoes.  Do you really think another small business wants to hear “oh, you really don’t need the business…” (yes, I’m not going to tell you how often I hear that one and BITE my tongue!!)??  Would you want to hear it??  Being in business is all about how things are handled…just remember a little tact goes a long way!  here Jess is with one of our favorite DJs to work with and recommend, Bert Fonseca of After Hours DJ Entertainment.  We always send business back and forth and are on top of each others’ lists!

I could go all day long about this – but I think it’s a good start!  I hope I’ve given some insight to those who are looking to get started in their businesses and reminded those who have been around…well…the basics!  😉

Do you have anything to add?

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