I was asked by a friend who has opened a small business, what I though were the key things she needed to do to get her venture off the ground on the right foot. She knows I have a background in advertising, and have run a small business of my own for eight years and she’s open to any help she can get.
For what it’s worth, I’ll share with you what I told her…
1) Pay a professional designed to create a logo and help you with business cards, letterhead and signage you need. Image counts, repetition of the same visual builds awareness, and a professional logo shows your commitment to your venture.
2) Use professionally printed forms, like invoices, checks and other forms – with your business name, logo and contact information cleanly and clearly printed on top. This gives your business a professional look that’s an amazing edge.
3) Have a true, enduring passion for what you do… so that it’s not work, it’s more like a life purpose. You live, eat, sleep and breathe this work… this life. Loving what you do is infectious – people sense it and are drawn to you.
4) Be a careful, diligent record keeper – write lists, keep a master schedule and remind yourself to follow up on bids or overdue accounts. You must manage details or you’ll lose – money and potential customers.
5) Identify what makes your business unique and tell everyone in any way and every way you can. Whether you use word of mouth, print or radio advertising, or online at your website – be sure your message is clear and consistent.
6) Do your best work, every job, every time. You never know who knows who and when you’ll need that referral.
7) Do whatever you can to keep your existing customers coming back – it’s far easier to keep a customer you have then find new ones. If they don’t hear from you, they’re not thinking about you either. Keep in touch.
I’m hoping these few common sense, no frills tips help her out. Any others you’d add? Feel free and we can have quite a useful list going here.
Waiting for your replies.