Most solopreneurs don’t have a lot of excess cash and are trying to find economical methods for business growth. The following six tips may help you expand your businesses at the local level:
1. For starters, we recommend Chris Guillebeau’s book The $100 Startup. This book has some great case histories and ideas.
2. Second, get a quality web site up and running. A web site is a good place to introduce people to your business. You can design your site yourself through one of the many companies available online or, if you are less computer savvy, you might consider hiring a professional web designer. In our area, we recommend Dynamic Graphics.
In addition, you will want to learn about search engine optimization (SEO). Choose a web site developer who can help you or, if you want to try your own hand, read The Beginners Guide to SEO Strategy by Patrick McFadden for some interesting thoughts about SEO.
3. Get some nice business cards. We use Vistaprint and highly recommend them. If you are still developing your logo and image, you can also get business card stock from Staples or any office supply store to print just a few at a time on your computer. Get these cards out everywhere so that you can direct people to your web site and to you!
4. Now you need to find customers. (I am not trying to be funny here!)
- How do you plan to break into this market place?
- Who do you know who may be able to help you get the word out about your new business?
- What kind of advertising will you do? You might check your local yellow pages to see how similar companies are advertising there and evaluate the following:
- How does your service differ from these others?
- Can you offer something they don’t?
5. Check with your local newspaper to find out how to announce the launch of your new business. These articles are often free of charge. We can help you with the “Press Release” format.
6. Offer free workshops. You can usually announce these workshops as a community service at no cost in your local newspaper. We can show you how to set-up your workshops if this idea appeals to you. Just let us know.
Building a loyal following for your business will not happen overnight. Be patient and persistent. Listen for feedback as you network and change course as you need to. But, keep those propellers turning!!
Please do not hesitate to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if we can be of assistance with any of the above. We wish you the best of luck in your solopreneur venture.
And remember, as Samuel Goldwyn once said, “The harder I work the luckier I get!”
How do YOU find customers and clients? Let us know in the comments below!