According to an article published in February 2016 on USA Today, “the best time to own a Small Business is NOW.” Why? I believe it is due to the times we live in. We are so busy doing so much that we will pay for good, quality services for just about anything. From Housecleaning to tutoring; from lawn care, to ordering pre-made, home-cooked dinners, creating a business that maximizes your gifts, solves a problem, and allows you to “collect coins” along the way is the name of the game.
But to ensure, we are not a part of the “going out of business” statistic, we must have certain tools, processes and organizational procedures in place. Every business MUST have three (3) essentials to maximize their profit and ensure success in their business. Every business owner must:
- Get a Website! I will never forget listening to one of TD Jakes’ business empowerment sessions and he mentioning the importance of online presence. He mentioned, if you needed a plumber and heard that “Joseph Smith’s Plumbing” was fantastic, but did not have his business card or a way to get in contact with him, most of us would just Google him; however, if Joseph Smith did not have a website, how would you be able to contact him with our plumbing issue? Since Joseph Smith’s Plumbing was only known by “word of mouth” and did not have online presence, Joseph Smith’s Plumbing just lost money. Why? Potential customers have no way of finding him online. We are living in the millennium and having a website is critical to any business. Some find it overwhelming to create a website and it can be viewed as a daunting task (I know I felt like that), but if you do nothing but purchase your domain (i.e. www.josephsmithplumbing.com) and put your contact information on it without you putting all of the bells and whistles on it, you are doing good. Just put something up that has contact information on it. You can always come back (or even pay someone once you generated good income) to make your website “fancy”. But whatever you do, get a website. I purchased my domain from Bluehost (click here to find out about them) and I use a free WordPress platform through Bluehost. Yes, the thought of creating a website can be overwhelming, but if you dedicate a weekend to it, it can be done. You Must have a website!
- Collect email addresses online. You have to be able to stay in contact with your clients and even potential clients. Having a Facebook Page or a Business Twitter account is fine, but social media is an ever-evolving space. Today Facebook is popular, next year something else will be popular and Facebook could fold (where’s MySpace?). However, if you have someone’s email address you have a direct line of communication which for most, does not change (I’ve had my same email address for 11 years). Plus, if you are running a special, moving into a new building or just sending out a blog, you can quickly and easily notify your clients via email. I use Aweber as my email collector. It is easy to use and the instructions are pretty clear to set-up on my website (click here to take a look at Aweber). I also use Opt-in Monster as a “pop-up” on my site to increase the number of people “opting in” to my email newsletter collector. Both are easy to set-up and is essential to your business.
- Create products or services for clients (or potential clients) to purchase directly from your website. If you are a hairstylist, for example, create a page with a list of “Natural Products for Natural Hair” that your clients can purchase off of Amazon (i.e Virgin Coconut oil for dryness). You can create an Affiliate link directly to Amazon for them to click on to purchase and if they purchase the product (or anything else on that order) you can get a percentage of the order. This is an easy, quick way to make additional income while still helping your client. To view how I did it on my website, click here.
All in all, these key tools are essential and will aid in the success of your company. As small business owners we must run our business like a business and not like a hobby or side hustle. It’s 2016 and there’s so many ways for us to increase our online presence and diversify our revenue stream within our business. I do not know about you, but I want to find success in my business so that I can pass it on to the next generation. Incorporating these three tips can help in doing so.
If you have a hobby or a business idea and do not know where to begin, check out my “Turn Your Hobby Into a Business” E-book. It’s a quick and easy read, walking you step-by-step to starting a legitimate business. Let’s get started!