Starting a new business often means having to work within the confines of a very limited budget with no extra money to hire the staff and equipment you need. Yet, to be successful, a new small business venture must still be able to compete with other competitors in their area, many of which have the luxury and convenience of fully equipped, well-staffed offices and a budget capable of paying for them. The entrepreneurs that can figure out how to compete in the marketplace without blowing their budget or amassing a heavy debt load are the ones that will continue to thrive and grow, year after year. If you are a new business owner struggling to compete against other established businesses in your niche, these four strategies will help you level the playing field and build lasting success even on a shoestring budget.
Find a Mentor
Learning from the experience of those who have enjoyed business success of their own is a great way for new business owners to avoid making costly mistakes and develop the confidence to make good business decisions. Finding a great mentor does not have to be expensive. In fact, many retired business owners routinely offer mentoring services to new business owners as a way to give back to their community. The SCORE program, offered by the Small Business Administration, connects volunteer mentors with new small business owners, like you, who can benefit from their help.
In addition to this program, you should also remember to explore the knowledge and expertise of successful business owners in your circle of influence. Even if their business venture is vastly different from your own, the methods they use to gain loyal customers and clients and solve the day-to-day problems that face all business owners can provide valuable lessons to help you succeed. Inviting them to lunch or offering to caddy for them on the golf course can be a great way to network with them in a relaxed environment and build a relationship that will help to nurture your growing business venture.
Exploit the Potential of Social Media
Billboards and television commercials are excellent forms of advertising, but they can be far too expensive for the new business owner. Social media marketing, however, can be exploited for little or no out-of-pocket cost to create name recognition for your business and excitement for the product or service you provide. Start with a blog or website that you keep filled with interesting information that your clients will want to share, then add other forms of social media to reach even more potential customers.
Fun, shareable content ideas for social media use includes interesting local news tidbits, funny pictures or quotes and contests with inexpensive prizes, such as t-shirts or hats emblazoned with your logo and business information. Every time someone shares your message on social media, tells a friend about your products or wears a t-shirt they won in one of your contests results in even more, high-quality, low-cost exposure for your business.
Utilize Services to Handle Necessities
Another way to keep from incurring unnecessary costs as a new business owner is to utilize service providers for your business needs. Instead of paying salary and benefits for full-time staff members, such as administrative assistants and accountants, opt to utilize temp agencies, part-time help and services that provide experienced help on an as-needed basis.
Printers, scanners and other high-quality printing technology is another expense that new businesses need, but may not be able to afford. Utilizing managed print services is an affordable option that allows your new business to benefit from high quality printing for a wide range of marketing and business materials without the cost associated with the purchase and maintenance of high end printing equipment. You can learn more about managed print services online at a site like http://www.dpoe.com.