For mums running a small business, it can be challenging trying to find the time to effectively reach your audience as well as making ends meet. Part time jobs can supplement your income temporarily until you find your feet, particularly if they are in the evening and you have a partner to look after the kids at this time. Additionally if you need to find staff you can always try advertising for them online.
Once you have decided who you are selling to, whether your focus is crafts, childcare, or business services, you will need to try and plan an effective marketing campaign. You may believe that your products will sell themselves and in an ideal world this could be the case but unfortunately people usually have to do some advertising and marketing.
Initially you need to understand your position in the marketplace and do some research. Once you know this you can begin to build a plan – which doesn’t have to be expensive as many mums often believe.
If you live in a small community that frequently runs small events you can use these as a way to communicate to people. Perhaps they already know you but didn’t realise you were providing this service. Friends and family will be more trusting of your products so be aware that this can be very effective. It’s all about networking, showing examples and highlighting why you are different to other similar competitors.
As soon as you have a few frequent customers, get them to refer you to their friends. Client reviews are often deemed more trustworthy than your own opinions about your business as these are people who have actually benefited from what you have to offer.
Try sending out some free samples or handing them out at the community events. Everybody loves getting something for nothing, particularly after Christmas when they are short of cash, and this can generate future orders for your product or service.
If you haven’t already done so, set up a facebook page – even if you don’t have a full website yet or can’t afford one, facebook will allow you to engage with your customers, responding to queries, informing them of special offers and basically getting people to interact about your services. The more ‘buzz’ you create the better your company is likely to do. If you don’t have time for this, you could just try blogging as this could avoid you having to respond until you expand and can afford to pay somebody else.
There are many easy ways that you can market your products and services in order to get your small business on the right track in 2012. Monitor what proves most successful and try to do this a second time if it’s suitable to do so.