With so many people being forced into the world of entrepreneurial enterprise, here is some grass-roots advice from someone who has begun a few businesses with absolutely no start up capital at all. First let’s take a look at the challenges most start ups and small businesses face – then we’ll discuss how to stimulate sales and profitably as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.
A start up business is always at a disadvantage in the market place because it:
- has no history or track record to use to convince customers to trust it. This affects not just the credibility of the actual product or service being sold, but also raises concerns about accountability and guarantees should the purchaser experience any issues after the purchase. This creates a series of fears, and as we all know, fears create hesitancy to buy.
- a start up is often under capitalized there is often little or no budget for a promotion
- a start up usually needs to make money immediately in order to survive and often cannot take the time to cultivate leads.
In many ways, small businesses that are already established often share at leas the latter two challenges.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are strategies that can be put in place to stimulate sales quickly and on a very small buget. The caveat is that they often do require significant effort and a time commitment to get them implemented correctly.
Here are a few suggestions to help you stimulate sales and profitability for under $25:
- create a strong web presence whether you are an off or online business. Fortunately today it doesn’t cost much to create a web presence. It doesn’t even require much technical know how. It’s fairly easy to set up a domain that identifies your business or product or service for well under $15 per year and a hosting account for less than $10 per month on which you can upload a blog for no cost at all.I’m not going to go into all the ins and outs of this as there is so much information available on this subject already. What I’m going to focus on instead is outlining the principals behind this strategy. Understanding the process will help you map out a viable plan for your business.Creating a strong web presence involves obtaining as much internet ‘real estate’ as possible. Having one site will probably not cut it. You are best served by having a number of ‘sites’ which can include your main site and ancillary pages on a variety of social networking portals which are all cross linked with each other as well as with your main site. These portals will include facebook, squidoo, myspace, twitter etc. All of which are free.Add to this videos hosted on popular video hosting sites such as You Tube, participation in forums to create links in to your site and cross promotion links with complementary businesses and you will begin seeing traffic finding it’s way to your main site. Once again, these techniques are free. Developing videos can be done quickly, easily and at no cost with equipment as simple as a web cam if necessary.As you create these multiple ‘sites’ pay close attention to the keywords that your prospects will use to find your product or service. Once again, I will not focus in this article on the mechanics of keyword optimization as this subject is well covered on the internet and is beyond the scope of this outline. Suffice it to say that if you make sure that your urls, site descriptions and content feature your significant keywords, this will help to raise your page ranking and allow prospects to find you. This may take some practice to get your content readable, enjoyable, useful and meaningful. There are many posts on this site that will help you. Once you have practiced this and feel able to produce keyword optimized content, create articles relevant to your business and disseminate these via directories and article publishers such as ezinearticles.com. Also free.
So far, the cost for employing this strategy has added up to under $25. Not bad. If you only sell within a specific geographic area, you can consider a pay per click campaign to drive traffic to your site and to your physical location. This can be done pretty cost effectively by limiting both the geographic area for publishing as well as your daily, weekly and monthly budget.
- Advertise your site, your business or your products in classifed ads on and off line. Although free online classified services such as craigslist.org are mainly known for their personal type ads, you can also advertise business services free using this medium. There are many free classified venues available, for more information, please contact me. Although this is a tedious process, you can do this at no cost targeting the cities in which you wish to prospect. Not only are you actively advertising, but you are also creating more links to your site which drives up your search engine ranking.
In the suggestions above, i’ve outline a few HUGE virtually free opportunities to begin stimulating sales by using the internet – even for bricks and mortar businesses. These are great strategies and they do work.
However, driving the traffic to the store is not the only consideration in stimulating sales.
Of primary importance is your message featured – it’s this that is initially responsible for getting your prospects to take action. Your message needs to be based on a clear and powerful marketing and business plan. These ‘quick fix’ strategies, although they work do not replace the need for a solid business foundation. As I tell my clients again and again, business is like a jigsaw puzzle, every piece counts. Miss just one piece and you have an incomplete picture that will not be fully optimized.
I hope that this have given you some inspiration. Remember that you can always contact me for assistance with:
- Practical business and marketing plans that you can use on a daily basis, as well as for funding purposes
- Creation of powerful and proven marketing strategies
- Business development plans
- All forms of B2B and B2C copy writing
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a free initial no-obligation consultation – even if you decide that working with me is not for you right now, you will walk away with at least 2 immediately actionable profit generation strategies specifically tailored to your business.