Small Business Essentials

In the checkout line at Safeway, the woman behind me and I exchanged typical “line chitchat “.  She was warm and personable making for a more pleasant shopping experience.

Outside the store, she told me her name was Evelyn, she made custom jewelry and gave me her card.

Kudos to her for being bold enough to do so!  Many small business people either are not aware of opportunities and potential customers in non-traditional settings or they are too timid to reach out.

Small Business Essential #1 – Be aware and be bold – not pushy, but always tell people what you do and ask if you may give them your card.

Small Business Essential #2 – Make a good impression.   Part of that is your demeanor and appearance – you always need to be “customer ready “.

Evelyn was just that.  Though appropriately casual doing her grocery shopping,  she still made a positive impression.

SBE #3 – Of course you always need to have business cards and those cards speak volumes about you.

You can get innovative cards from Paper Passionista if you are ready to invest a little in your image.   If you are just getting started or are moving out of the hobby stage, VistaPrint has professional looking cards for FREEThere is no reason to try to print them yourself or worse – not have them at all.

SBE #4 – A website or Facebook BUSINESS page.  Your internet provider likely offers free templates anyone can use to create a basic webpage.  Facebook business pages are also free and if you get 25 friends to “like” your page quickly,  you get a simple web address you can use.
Mine is: www.facebook.com/SunnyKobeCook

You don’t have to do commerce through the site but people need a way to get to know you.

Include pictures of your work, a brief description of your credentials and services you offer as applicable.  Customer comments always help.  Same with any awards you’ve won as well as local or trade press so be sure to include that information too.

 

Lastly,  give us more than one way to reach you.  An email address and a phone number are critical.   A physical or snail mail address is not.  Not everyone (including me) likes to call – others prefer to call.  Offering both lets you connect with more prospects.

If you work from home, consider a post office box if you feel its vital to have a traditional mailing address but don’t put your home address on cards or websites.

SBE #5 – Be sure your voicemail has a professional recording if you are using that number for business.

Also, if its your cellphone,  don’t answer it at the movies,  a casino,  in the restroom or while the kids are screaming.   Better to let it go to voicemail and return the call from a quiet place than to appear unprofessional.

Opportunities are everywhere and all small businesses need to be ready to capitalize on them.  Are you ready?

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One Response to “Small Business Essentials”

  1. Eric Says:

    So simple. Thanks!

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